Saturday, July 03, 2010

48 Hour Marathon

The exciting sequel to 15 Hours!

Landmine Marathon

The Hub, Sacramento, CA

July 1, 2010

This was Umlaut's 6th show in 7 days... and also the first Landmine Marathon show in almost a year that I didn't have to take a plane to see.

In classic Lock 'N Loll drama, the scheduled venue (16th Street Cafe) abruptly closed the day before this gig. However, the show was quickly relocated to a new space called The Hub. There wasn't a whole lot of information about The Hub on The Internets other than shows there were usually "invite only"... but we had the address and word that the show was confirmed... so with that Photo Ray and Umlaut jumped into the teeth of rush hour traffic to hit the road North to Sacramento. When we arrived at The Hub we found out why the venue is on the down low: It's basically a 20' x 20' room behind an auto body shop!

"The Stage" as seen from The Merch Table

The tapestries on the wall covered up the windows that looked into the body shop and the cars in various states of repair. Too funny.

I IMMEDIATELY knew this was going to be one of my favorite Landmine shows. The space was so Punk Rock DIY Medieval! It was going to be like a cage match in Stalingrad.... but at least it had a clean bathroom, although "the bar" was Straight Edge.

Straight Edge Bar

I have now seen Landmine Marathon in a major concert hall, bars, a pizza place, clubs, and now in the back room of an auto body shop. Now all I need to do is see them in a house and I can stop following them... (JOKING). This was the type of space I've been wanting to see Landmine perform in... Most people would be horrified to see a band under these conditions, but not Umlaut. It was completely DIY and underground... bare bones... no place to hide. Landmine exploding in such a small confined area would define everything I love about this band.

The band went on 2nd in order to make sure they played in case the Sacramento Police Dept. showed up to close the show down, which evidently happens regularly at The Hub. So, after setting up their gear with the quickness of a seasoned touring band, the tripwire was set and Landmine detonated with 'Exist' and the room quickly became a murder scene.

(Pic by Umlaut)

Initially there was that space of cowardice as people tried to keep a safe distance from the band... but that was quickly broken down and it was like a fistfight in Hell for the next 35 minutes or so.

(Pic by Umlaut)

In an unexpectedly heartwarming moment, Landmine dedicated 'Crisscross Thoughts' to Umlaut and Photo Ray. It was extra special because that happens to be Umlaut's fave "old" Landmine song. Awww... Special. This was an insanely fun show with the crowd practically on top of the band in the tiny room. Like I said, a fistfight in Hell.

Quote of The Night: "One word: Fuck yeah, man!" - Random Kid to Landmine... except that's 3 words, dude.

If you bought one of every Landmine merch item you would have paid $80. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Then 24 hours later it was...

Landmine Marathon
Kimo's, San Francisco

July 2, 2010

FINALLY a Landmine show where I could be home within 15 minutes and also Landmine's first S.F. gig since last August. I'm sure this has happened to everybody: A band asks if they can have a delivery sent to your house in advance of them arriving in your city... and then they ask if you can bring the delivery to their local gig. Am I right? Yeah, I thought so...

What was inside those boxes? MAGIC. Prior to the show Umlaut met up with Landmine as well as Aesop Ludicra and his genius son Ezra (aka The Biggest Iron Maiden Fan under the age of 10) at El Toro for that time-honored tradition amongst touring bands: Mission Burrito Sacrifice. The sacrifice was made... much salsa was spilled.

Upon arrival at Kimo's we had an hour or so to kill before load-in and spent it in time-honored San Francisco fashion: Drinking beers in a gay bar. Note: When there are dudes in a bar who sing along to every word to a Pink song you're probably in a gay bar. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course!

Landmine Marathon are a band with 2 sides: A Hardcore Punk side and a Metal side and I've noticed one of these sides becomes more dominant depending on the venue... or the crowd... or the band's mood. In Sacramento the night before it had been Landmine Hardcore... Tonight in San Francisco it was Landmine Metal and they performed the tightest, most focused set I've seen them play to date. Sometimes a steel pipe to the head is most humane of all weapons... sometimes... like tonight.

After the set opener 'Exist', Grace took command of the show by immediately closing that space of cowardice as people tried to keep a safe distance from the band. The band then played a defining performance that featured everything I love about Landmine onstage (the interaction, the unpredictability) kicked up a notch.

Landmine @ Kimo's
(Pic courtesy of Sensory Abuse)

There is always an underlying amount of theater going on when Landmine are onstage. When Grace sneers at a venue from the stage while wrapping the mic chord around her neck like a garrote and letting the mic hang like a charm around her neck it's worthy of Alice Cooper. This was Umlaut's 3rd Landmine show in 4 days and I had quickly keyed into how the rest of the band were playing at another level already as well. The Jackson bookends of Dylan and Ryan were Ginsu-like with their slicing precision and the Matt and Mike bass / drum hammer was a meat tenderizer to the ears. It's still early in this 35-date U.S. tour but, especially at Kimo's, it was obvious the band are already getting into a rhythm onstage as they pursue their bloodlust for bigger things. A blog rant like this can't communicate the energy and mayhem; Landmine Marathon needs to be experienced live in order to appreciate them. If you're lucky, some blood might even be spilled (literally).

Number of Motörhead shirts = 1. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. THANKS as always to Team Landmine (Matt, Ryan, Grace, Mike, Dylan, and Valerie) for our fellowship and joy in Jesus Christ.
  • Click HERE to see Photo Ray's shots from Sacramento and Kimo's.
  • Click HERE to see Sensory Abuse's shots from Kimo's.