I was late and missed the local opener (damn it!), but it was a great show. The venue isn't the biggest, but the fans that didn't fit in the stage area did our best to get a good view, which wasn't difficult; for those who somehow couldn't, there are TV screens throughout Rams Head Live. It was a bummer to see only one of the venue's three bars open to concertgoers, but at least the concession stand was also open.
The crowd didn't move much throughout the show; it seems to me that the Summer Slaughter audience has been more and more still each year. Most of the moshing and other movement was, more or less, only done when prompted by the band (minus that during Arch Enemy's set). I'm not sure why; it could be due to the closing of several metal venues in the DMV (District of Colombia, Maryland, and Virgina) area, saving energy to mosh constantly during the headliners' sets, and possibly the death of Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The increase in crowd surfers may have also played a part; there were no stage divers, but more people are crowd surfing each year at SS, and people standing still can more easily take part in catching and carrying them.
For various reasons, Obscura and After the Burial were absent from this show; Obscura had visa issues, and After the Burial had recently lost a band member (R.I.P. Justin Lowe).
Beyond Creation rocked, wish they had a longer set. In fact, I wish that every band prior to Born of Osiris had a longer set.
Cattle Decapitation also kicked ass. I might have personally preferred to see the death metal and grindcore bands AFTER the deathcore bands, and right before Arch Enemy, but like my friend who drove me home, I admire the ability of SS's organizers and promoters to make a death metal/deathcore festival work.
| || |
At one point, I heard two simultaneous vocal lines and starting to wonder if BoO uses backing tracks, which I'm not a fan of; turns out that their keyboardist also shares vocal duties, and even ditched the keyboard to join their singer Ronnie in "frontmanning" (I'm not familiar with BoO).
Then came Arch Enemy, and right from the start, I nearly came. I honestly thought that the news of Jeff Loomis joining Arch Enemy was a prank for a few days after it was first announce, but he was right there killing it. Alissa's stage performance was great and kept everyone engaged; if I had to describe it, I might say that it was an interesting mix of Doro Pesch and Bolt Thrower's Karl Willets, but honestly, I think that Alissa White-Gluz sings and performs like Alissa White-Gluz.
The only thing I would have changed if I somehow had the power to do so was the disproportionate set times. And opening all of the bars; that does require more staff, but the inflow of money should be worth it.
You can catch my Show The Death Pit Every Saturday Night at 9 PM PST for 3 or more hours of crushing metal on www.brokenneckradio.com