Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Onscreen Autopsies And A Packed Meatlocker

Gig Review:
September 16
Circo Volador

For starters, the venue was sold out, and this is a big place, mind you; totally amazing how packed it was. And Carcass hardly disappointed.

Billed to start at 7:30 (which i didn't know until way after the show) i arrived to the venue to find tons of people outside and inside already packing it on the ground floor which made me go to the top seated area where i found a place where i could see the stage and everything very well; the stage had two cloth-screens in each side in front of some amps with drawings of a slashed human torso, on top of the drums there was a screen that had the image of their third album, Necroticism. The crowd was conformed by tons of people representing the old guard as well as your usual metalheads.

At about 7:45, the lights went out, the screen changed it's image and an intro tape was played, a narration of some sorts after which a droning note started to fade into it; after a few minutes of this, the band came onstage and started things with "Inpropagation" followed by another album opener, "Buried Dreams" from their Heartwork album which informed most of the set. The crowd on the floor weren't moving too much on the accounts of there not being much space to move but there was some crowd surfing; the crowd's response, however, was enormous. On the third song, "Corporal Jigsore Quandary", one of the most well received ones of the set, the projection of the screen showed various body parts being dissected and ending with an eye being implanted on a brain.

The band looked good and dominated the stage with a balance of calm coolness and rocking still intensity with some movement to here and there, Jeff Walker was handling his Les Paul-like hollow-bodied bass with authority and a bit of struggle wearing a Rotten Sound shirt, while Michael Amott was playing a very big Dean Flying V, possing around the stage for a bit; at the other side of the stage, Bill Steer stood there like a guitarist straight out of the 70's, with slightly bell bottomed jeans, a tight brown shirt and his long blonde hair, extracting impossibly low ended heavy riffs of his very vintage looking Les Paul. The band sounded tight and clear (except for the vocals, the microphones were a bit muddy, soundwise), pretty much like the records and like if they never broke up or if they had a different drummer now.

The band played most of Heartwork and about half of Necroticism, they deviated from these albums to play "Reek Of Putrefaction" from their masterpiece (or one of their many masterpieces, anyway) Symphonies Of Sickness to follow it with "Keep On Rotting In The Free World" (complete with various symbols of many faiths on the screen) from their suicide attempt Swan Song, after which they went back to the very beginning of their career, playing "Genital Grinder" and "Psyosisified (Rotten To The Gore)" jointly to make it like one decent lenght song. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them switch from playing the more sophisticated side of their career to the more barebones and unpolished era with even more brutality, it was also great listening to Michael and Bill do some grunting live. After these, they left the stage, not an hour after they started their set.

When they came back, they played "Death Certificate" then the monstrous "Exhume To Consume" and left again; before they came back, Juan Brujo of Brujería came out to yell "Viva México Cabrones!!!" (on account that since the night before, we were celebrating the Independence Day) after which Jeff made a crack about him being his father, he then made a crack about them going backstage to inhale oxygen like Axl Rose or something; he actually made several jokes during the show but most were inaudible thanks to some microphone problems. He then introduced each member of the band, pointing out that Daniel Erlandsson was replacing their original drummer Ken Owen (i heard a section of the crowd chant "Owen, Owen!" earlier during the set) after which he made another joke, this time saying Erlansson owned eBay or something similar, right after which Daniel started pounding a slow beat which gave away the entrance of "Rupture In Purulence", Walker followed with the ultra heavy bassline and then the guitars kicked in, Jeff stood in front of the stage, past his mic stand and played a bit of the song without singing it after which a galloping twin guitar riff started and gave to a fast beat, that of the song "Heartwork"; easily the highlight for many people. The band finished the song, started a riff as a coda to it and ended it all, the screen started to show an autopsy from the first cuts to the body, while the band said their goodbyes to the crowd, throwing picks and drumsticks, with Jeff walking along the space between the barricade and the stage.

Personally, i have two complains, the first being that the show was very short, considering their back catalogue and that they hardly touched anything from their first two records, which brings me to complain number two, namely why the denial of most of Reek and Symphonies? To me and many others, this was the highlight of their career, their golden years and best albums; granted, i love Necroticism and Heartwork and i know those two are much more popular but come on!!! There's tons of amazing songs in both first records.

Thinking about what i am complaining, i seriously don't feel like it was a waste by any chance, it was more than a great concert, and i'm immensly happy for witnessing one of metal's best bands in action, as if they had never had any major lineup changes or had broken up. Everything was crushing, inspired and amazing; after all it's said and done, i can't complain.

Some pictures:

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