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Concert Review: Mushroomhead 11/13/04

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This show started out as being headlined by Motograter and featured Dope in support. Mushroomhead had been scheduled to headline a show a few days later. Then the Mushroomhead show disappeared from the schedule, to my disappointment of course, I had seen them back in February, and they put on one hell of a show. Then, upon checking the schedule again, I found them added as the headliner for the Motograter show. Now that was shaping up to be an excellent looking card, it was Mushroomhead, Dope, Motograter, Twisted Method, and local act Trapnote.

I got to the club shortly after 8pm, on what was fast turning into the coldest night of the season. The wind was whipping through the alleyway where the crowd was forming. The doors opened at about 8:30, and the line slowly started moving inside. After getting in, I found a good spot along the railing lining the pit area and waited for the show to begin.

The first act hit the stage at 9:00. They introduced themselves and launched into a heavy blend of nu-metal and punk. It sounded great, the energy was high, the crowd was getting into it, only thing was, we could not understand a word they said, not even the band name. It turns out they are called Spanam, and they made the trip all the way from Tokyo, Japan to play a tour in the US. I was very impressed with them, a different take on the US metal sound. After their set I made my way over to their merch table and picked up their latest CD, Symmetry. After the show I got the chance to meet their singer, Hata. granted we could not understand what each other was saying, but there are things in music which need no translation. I was happy to be exposed to their music, and they were happy for the enthusiastic reception.

After they left the stage, the stage was quickly setup for the next act, Twisted Method. I first saw them back in February when they opened for Mushroomhead. These guys are developing quite a following since then. They came out and tore up the stage getting the crowd up to a fever pitch. I am not terribly familiar with their music, but it was easy to slip into the hardcore emanating from the stage. They played for about a half hour before relinquishing the stage. These guys are poised to break through and become big players in the hardcore scene.

Next to stage a half hour of destruction was Motograter. I saw them a couple of months ago, see my review of that show here, but this time was a little bit different. For one thing, they did not have the Motograter instrument onstage, I believe the player was not able to go on this tour, and have someone filling in playing the bass. On top of that, there was so much equipment between all of the bands that hey were not able to have there percussionist, Smur, onstage, meaning this portion of their sound was left out. Next up was the temperature, it was so cold outside that it precluded them from being able to put on their body paint. Which is a shame, as it adds a menacing look to their stage show. Lastly, there were some monitor and microphone problems. Ghost could not hear himself, and the mic kept shorting out, at which point he took the secondary mic and used that for the remainder of the set. They did put on a great set despite the problems, they were able to overcome them and kept the energy going. even playing a cover of Sepultura’s “Roots”. This performance wasn’t quite as good as the last time I saw them, but still good. Hopefully, they will come back and headline a show again here.

Up to this point the acts were making use of Mushroomhead’s drum kit, so as to shorten the time between acts and the amount of equipment that needed to be onstage. Mushroomhead’s 8 members require a great deal of stuff to be onstage, doesn’t leave a lot of room for anyone else.

Dope is acting as co-headliner on this tour, which was completely setup by their frontman Edsel Dope. With that being the case, they got to use their own drum kit, the stage was set for them to tear the roof off. They hit the stage at about 11:20, and proceeded to unleash their brand of mayhem. The went through all of their most popular songs, along with their editorializing on the state of the country and the presidency, to the raucous cheers of the crowd. These guys have gotten better with each successive concert. They are becoming tighter and the songs are becoming stronger. On top of that, they know how to work that stage, they didn’t have a lot of room up there, yet managed to make it appear as if they had the whole thing to themselves. Towards the end of their set, they brought out the singers from Twisted Method and Motograter to go through their cover of NWA’s “F*ck the Police.” The crowd was nearly insane with energy by the end of their 45 minute set, and that left only one more act to go.

The moment we were all waiting for, Mushroomhead takes the stage. The look is different than when I saw them back in February. Last time they wore black outfits and masks that we are used to seeing, this time they wore white with paint spatters all over them. They proceeded to outdo the last time I saw. They were onstage for nearly an hour playing a mix of songs from their two albums. The crowd was crazy getting into every song that hit. Not sure how else to describe the show. From their MTV hit “Sun Doesn’t Rise” to “Solitaire Unraveling” and everything in between they played it all. The one complaint I have about their set is that the mix was a bit off, some of the vocals were a bit buried at times. Outside of that the energy was up, the crowd was large and raucous, and the night was loud.

Overall it was one of the best shows from start to finish that I have seen this year.

See some Phone camera pics here.

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