Review by David Feltman
For a hot and lethargic Memorial Day weekend, there wasn’t a better way to relax than with a bill filled with face-melting metal music and Birmingham’s Zydeco had the perfect lineup. The show started off at 7pm with local grindcore group Of Men and Angle’s Flesh. Concertgoers were still wandering in, but OMAAF didn’t let the lazy Sunday vibe dampen their set. The band burned through its rapid fire, earsplitting songs with vigor. Despite being the little guys of the lineup, OMAAF wasn’t timid or intimidated, breaking up their set with levity. “This next song is called ‘I Forgot to Put the Goddamn Cheese on My Nachos,’” said lead singer Andy Flesh before launching into a split second, Napalm Death-ian blast.
Dillinger Escape Plan’s massive amount of equipment was already set up at the back of the stage and while OMAAF’s modest gear fit easily enough, Royal Thunder was visibly crowded. Bassist and lead singer Miny Parsonz found herself isolated to the right of the stage, unable to move far past her mic stand and the drum kit. Royal Thunder was the most out of place on the bill, with its 70s era doom-tinged stoner rock surrounded by lightening quick grindcore and mathcore bands. Their performance was passionate and primal. You can tell when a band is really feeling it and the crowd responded with enthusiastic applause. After the set one audience member said, “That wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but they were great. I love that stoner rock.”
The show moved quickly through the evening with 45-minute sets and 10-minute set ups. The Faceless went on right a 9 pm. If Royal Thunder was constricted, The Faceless was pitifully cramped. Undeterred, the band climbed to the edge of the stage and played as loud and hard as they could. The band moved effortlessly through dime-stopped tempo changes and brutal blast beats, inciting fans to scream and shove against the stage. Any moment of the show could hold a surprise, switching from nasty technical deathcore to carousel music instantly. The set wasn’t any longer than its predecessors, but felt like it went on all night.
On their own, Royal Thunder or The Faceless either one would have been well worth the $15 admission. The fact that Dillinger Escape Plan was on the bill too was just the cherry on top…a blaring, hyperactive cherry of sheer metal violence. DEP filled the stage with smoke and strobe lights. The band members jumped, stomped and climbed on every inch of the stage. They were in perpetual motion the entire night; at any second a band member might fling himself into or over your face. The show was like a full-blown grand mal seizure.
As much love as the other bands showed the crowd, none were as selfless as DEP. Lead singer Greg Puciato wouldn’t just reach out to grab audience members’ hands, he would fling a monitor out of the way to get on the edge of the stage, reach three rows deep into the crowd and then pants the sound tech that ran out to fix the monitor. Not only did the band bring one fan on stage to sing along, they treated him like he was in the band. Puciato came in to scream with him, literally, tete a tete and guitarist Ben Weinman bent over backward, leaning across the fan while he sang. Nothing was held back and by the end of the show the guys were soaked in sweat and blood. Puciato’s shirt was drenched and tattered. There was no need for an encore, the fans were sated and exhausted.
This tour is an amazing lineup and a must see show. With tickets going this cheap, there’s absolutely no reason to miss out. Do not let this show pass you by.