Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The End Of The Road

Warbringer / Lazarus A.D. / Landmine Marathon
Thee Parkside, San Francisco
November 7, 2011

It's not often that I've witnessed the first show of a tour and the last show of a tour... but that's what happened with the America Torn Asunder Tour featuring this packaged bill. A little over a month ago I attended the tour's first date down in Hollywood. The bands were all fresh faced, their merch bins full, and their equipment prepped and ready for over a month on the road. Now 38 days later the tour steamed into San Francisco for the 37th and final show of the trek. Damn, 37 shows in 38 days. I expected the bands to look pretty crispy when I saw them again… and they were… and some of their equipment was no longer alive.. but their merch bins were almost empty… which is a good thing.

Thee Parkside is a special venue for Umlaut when it comes to my kindred spirit band Landmine Marathon because it's where I was first exposed to their blow torch ways onstage. Fast forward over 2 years and 12 shows later and it was cool to see Landmine within these familiar confines again. Tonight would be my lucky 13th time seeing the band. Landmine were welcomed back to San Francisco with the traditional box of Mission burritos that touring bands have coveted since time immemorial.

As Ryan Landmine and I went to the Prius that was parked on a dark side street to retrieve the foil wrapped jewels it felt like I was making a drug delivery to the band. For those who care, Landmine's burrito setlist was:
  • 1 bean rice and cheese
  • 1 chicken burrito with lettuce pico sour cream, etc
  • 1 bean rice cheese lettuce tomato/pico
  • 3 bean rice pico guacamole no cheese
  • Hot sauce on the side
METAL.. Don't worry, the box was made from free range cardboard.

Truth be told, this was more of a hang out session than a gig… I was only there to see Landmine and the night took an unexpectedly old school social turn when I discovered that Rafa Black Cobra and Gary Holt and his entourage were in the house. Gary was literally just off the plane back from Austin where he had sat in with Slayer again at the final show of their World Painted Blood Tour. Much old school conversation ensued and I decided that Gary needs a History Channel show called You Weren't There where he will debunk all the myths about The Old Metal Days.

"Thrash started on the East Coast?! Bullshit.. You weren't there!!"

Landmine Marathon killed it. Tonight was the 13th time I've seen Landmine and they were firing on all cylinders from the opening notes of 'Three Snake Leaves'. The first night of the tour 38 days earlier had been somewhat shaky, but tonight the grueling 912 hours that had passed since that first show detonated for this last show. It was one of the most focused sets I’ve seen Landmine play... No bullshit... 7 songs… 40 minutes.. blow torch volume… decent crowd action.. Thank you, g’night! While I missed hearing some of the old set list standards, the 3 news songs were confidently brutal and felt broken in from the month of working them out on the road. I've said it before: Great band... great people... and Gary Holt even liked them. So there you go...

(Photo courtesy of Photo Ray)

Sorry, I don’t like Lazarus A.D... so the outdoor patio of Thee Parkside was a welcome refuge as they entertained the crowd inside. I don’t mind Warbringer; they seem like good dudes and they’re definitely Road Dogs when it comes to touring. I had heard they added a cover of Motӧrhead’s ‘We Are The Road Crew’ to their set since the opening night of the tour. When they started into that classic I went in to watch some of their set from that point. Again, Warbringer are a good band but it's just that I've seen it before... in 1983. Honesty is my only excuse.

If you bought one of every Landmine Marathon merch item you would have spent around $95. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. The burrito drop was handled the old fashioned way: Via the barter system.. will delivery burritos for t-shirts and vinyl.

Click HERE to see Photo Ray's shots from the night!