Show In Review: Chaos & Carnage Tour
After a day full of non-stop napping to recover from Slayer, I made my way to my free hotel breakfast munching on bagels and chugging orange juice like it was nectar from the gods before settling down to sew more patches on my battle vest while watching Star Wars. Not too long after my buddy Wheelz and I went to meet up with Wade Taylor the vocalist from Atoll and Avarice to hang for a bit. Followed by hunting down an Arby’s for an orange cream-sicle shake and some grub for sustenance before figuring out GPS navigation to the venue. Once there the parking lot directly next door had a sign that said 6 dollar all day parking. Turns out the wind blew over the piece of paper that said $20 for event parking. It was highway robbery but the guy running it was nice enough to pick up and carry Wheelz (chair and all) over a patch of uneven dirt to the gate opening.
The Pressroom is located in downtown Phoenix directly between the city jail and the police department. It’s an older brick building with marbled glass tile windows. The lobby area where some of the merch booths were set up was filled with mouth watering t shirt designs, posters and so much more. I immediately regretted spending my $150 merch budget at Slayer (it did not keep me from making some online purchases later on).
After finally getting up to will call and checking off my name we ventured inside. There was one large bar in the back with 5 bartenders running the show. The wood floor was rustic and not yet stained with spilled beer and sweat. There were several pillars in between the bar and the stage that made for some much needed support throughout the show. Outside on the opposite end of the main entrance was a fenced in alley way complete with a water station and food vendor where the scent of strawberries and cigarette smoke ran rampant. The concert buddies and solo attendees had some impressively patched battle vests to say the least. Not to mention the amount of bad ass metal band T’s.
Malnourished was on first. You could hear the carnage blasting through the venue even from outside. I do wish their set time was pushed another 15 minutes since the line at the door was still quite lengthy by the time I had my frisking and got through will call. I felt slightly robbed and lacking in the nourishment seeing their full set would have provided. They are head-bangable and mosh worthy to say the least despite there not being an active pit. As always I enjoys supporting local bands whenever I can that put their heart and soul on stage. Especially a band with such a great story behind their name. I can imagine this show was a huge deal for them and they did a phenomenal job.
Recently these gents released a single “The Grey Asylum” and word on the street is they are working on putting out a new EP. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy end of 2019/ beginning of 2020 if the rumors are true 😉 . Until then I will enjoy some circa 2017 numbers from their self titled EP and the new single while keeping an eye out for anything new they churn out.
Uncured went on second. Their breakdowns were where it’s at. With that being said, the New Jersey natives seemed a little stiff on stage and didn’t appear to be having fun. There was room for improvement with crowd interaction and overall stage demeanor. The lead vocals were very mono-toned and lack luster for my tastes . When solos or riffs were done they were muffled out by the rest of the band instead of emphasized and only met my small complimentary input from the rest of the band making it sound a bit jumbled and choppy.
Some people loved them. Not my cup of tea, but you can form your own opinions by catching them live and/or listening to their latest LP dropped in April “Epidemic” .
Fallujah came on and my ears perked up. There was no pit until Wheelz made a small one happen. It didn’t last long though. The crowd didn’t seem motivated to rage out. Mind you Fallujah is definitely more techy than the other bands that played this bill.
I won’t lie I was not a fan of their darker lighting scheme. It made for almost no photo opportunities and you could forget seeing the actual band. You were just watching silhouettes in dark blue and red light performing playing music.
Their performance was a bit underwhelming for me. I had set my expectations a little higher for them. Not to say that the music wasn’t great to hear live having played some numbers from their latest release “Undying Light” such as Glass House (2019) and Hollow (2019) and one of my go to’s from Dreamless, The Void Alone (2016).
Spite…..I have had the privilege of seeing Spite on Multiple occasions. Back in Vegas between Ragefest and their show at Eagles Aerie Hall this past Halloween. Darius and the rest of his band mates emulate the anger and pain in their lyrics.
The mosh pit was the best I’ve seen yet for them no weird hardcore dance spin kicks but rather the floor erupted in glee giving circle pit. Part of me wanted to go in, the pull was definitely there, but the other part of me was like …Annie you are still recovering … you know better. Rage-fest was decent but this was another level of awesome. I caught some video at the beginning before things got real wild. I ended up getting a nice gash in one of my arms cutting through some tattoo work before it was all said and done. I’ve definitely had worse.
They played a mix of older and newer material. Pulling from their latest album Nothing is Beatiful (2017) with IED, Drown Me, Kill or Be Killed and my personal fave track off that album Despise. In addition to their newest single release The Root of All Evil .
Revocation came on while we were still outside. They weren’t top of my list to see but I’m always down to see what a band has to offer live. We trickled in after a couple songs. Once again I was holding a hat and a pair of glasses so that they were not consumed by the pit as Wheelz went off to rage for both of us. Playing through their latest album “The Outer Ones” (2018) with the title track, Of Unworldly Origin and Vanitas before taking us back 2009 for Existence is Futile
Carnifex was a straight up riot. This was my first time seeing them. Having been on my must see list for some time now I had set my hopes high that they would blow my mind and they did not disappoint.
Lighting was on point, crowd interaction was killer. You had 2 gents in wheel chairs in the mosh-pit, one of which was lifted up by the crowd towards the stage. The band loved every second of it and commended their fans saying that that is what metal is about and that is bad ass in response to the spectacle before them.
Their set consisted of a run through over a decade of their discography Lie To My Face(2007) , In Caolesce With Filth and Faith (2008) , Hell Chose Me (2010), Skipping tracks from their 2011 release Until I Feel Nothing before going into Dark Days (2014), Hatred And Slaughter (2014), Dark Heart Ceremony (2016) , Black Candles Burning (2016) , and Bury Me In Blasphemy (2018)
Shortly after this show Carnifex released a new single “No Light Shall Save Us” featuring Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy that is worth a listen.
Dying fetus….FINALLY….the band I was most looking forward to crossing off my list. My Gods the brutality seemed gloriously endless.
When my coworkers from my day job asked me who I was going to see when I was out in Phoenix the look on their faces was hilarious. I’m going to see Dying Fetus…their face has the “I’m sorry, what?!?!?! Fetus?!?!?!” look. It never gets old. I got the same expression when I said I was seeing Coathanger Abortion too. Muahahahahahah. Anyway …back to the show.
Opening up with In the Trenches (2012) just hitting me in the chest. They included One Shot, One Kill (2003) from the album that really got me into them “Stop At Nothing” followed by songs like Grotesque Impalement (2000) , Eviscerated Offspring (2010), Subjected to a Beating (2012) , Wrong One to Fuck With (2017) and more. The pit kept going the ENTIRE time and I was soaking it all in. I do not regret seeing them live. I would pay to see them again in a heartbeat.
Whitechapel, the final headliner, played to a thinning out crowd. You could see the tired eyes of those in the back of the crowd (where we were now situated). We took selfies with random members of the crowd and snagged some show posters to take back with us.
Overall I felt like I was too drained to fully enjoy their performance as amazing as it was. I really dug the plaid shirts making them look like metal lumber jacks on stage. This tour showcased their latest album drop “The Valley” including new tracks When a Demon Defiles a Witch, Brimstone, Black Bear , and Forgiveness Is Weakness in their performance.
They played additional tracks off of their last 3 albums Mark of the Blade (2016) Our Endless War (2014) & Whitechapel (2012) Self Titled but refrained form including anything released before 2012. I would have loved to hear some of their earlier stuff live such as pretty much half if not all of This Is Exile (2008) but it is what it is. I was happy to just be able to see them live as I had missed the last few shows that had come around previously.
We got back to our hotel after several lost kids asked for rides due to poor transportation planning . One kid even told another show goer they would be willing to lay in the back of their truck for the hour plus trip.
After we got back to the hotel it was a matter of rearranging the furniture and getting organized to make room for hosting Vegas locals The Nocturnal Affair who had a show at club red as part of their tour with The 69 Eyes. There was just enough room to make it all.work squeezing in a double-decker cot and a foam sleeping mat so that everyone had a comfy place to crash. candid conversation about tour life and my latest show escapades ensued before we all crashed out for the night.
In the morning I woke everyone up …it’s not the best feeling in the world to have to wake up a band after they played a show and have been on the road on a constant for almost a month now. But I did it anyway so that I could check out AND head back to Vegas in time to catch my next show. After dropping Wheelz off in Kingman I got back in Vegas a bit short of 4 in the afternoon…exhausted but pumped for the nights festivities.
Next show…. Prison, Oceano and Carnifex with local support Silence Speaks, Arborize and Vatican Falling at Fremont Country Club