Monday, April 18, 2011

Show Review: Dying Fetus, Dead Walk the Earth, Nightfire & Thrown Into Oncoming Traffic, April 15th in Wilmington, DE

As promised, ladies and djentlemen (see what I did there). There's a lot to cover here, so I'll just get right to it.

Friday night was a pretty crazy night for me, and it all started with some pretty horrific traffic at the beginning of our pilgrimage. Luckily, we left for the show early, so we still got to the good old Mojo 13 with plenty of time to spare, and spent the majority of the remaining daylight toking and chatting about all things metal. Then after a brief delay, we heard Thrown Into Oncoming Traffic setting up and sound checking, so we headed in and secured our spots on the floor. Just like last time, these guys played a very strong set, but they drew the short stick of being the opening band that played to less than twenty people, excluding the people from the bar. The few people that were there watching them (myself and my friends included) thoroughly enjoyed their set, and one or two weak attempts at starting a two-person pit were made, but in the end most of us just stood there and admired the band's impressive musicianship and energy. I really hope Thrown Into Oncoming Traffic sticks to it and ends up getting better spots on big shows like this, they've definitely got the right stuff going on.

Up next was the mediocre-at-best Maryland deathcore outfit Debbie Does Dallas, and while they definitely weren't the worst 'core band I've seen in my days, my friends and I still only watched the later portion of their set. On the other hand, after those guys wrapped up, Nightfire started setting up, and then it was a completely different story. If you guys aren't familiar with them, they're an unsigned tech death band from Newark, Delaware, and they're one of the tightest bands in that area by far. They sound very similar to And Time Begins-era Decrepit Birth, and they always put on a very impressive live show. As soon as they started their set, the crowd immediately woke up and strong pits were started every few minutes. The band mirrored the crowd's energy nicely with plenty of head banging, windmilling and horn throwing, making the whole experience feel like it was in a big city venue rather than a tiny bar in the suburbs of Delaware. By the end of their set, everyone was finally in really high spirits, most likely due to the fact that, by a stroke of luck and the good graces of the venue owner, the band got to play a slightly extended set. Be sure to leave them some love on their Facebook if you're looking for some quality underground tech death. Vocalist James Dorton and drummer Jesse Beahler are also in Her Virgin Womb, another damn good local act, so that's cool too.

Up next was the band that I'm pretty sure everyone was there to see besides Fetus: the always entertaining Dead Walk the Earth. I'll be honest, most of their set was a blur to me, but that's because I was particularly ripped for it, and I spent the whole thirty minutes headbanging nonstop. Probably not the smartest move, I know, but surprisingly it didn't seem to do as much damage to me as going that hard for that long usually does (giggity), and everyone else appeared to be having as much fun as I was, so in the end it was all good. I really wish I could remember any of their song titles, because Dead Walk the Earth has some really badass material up their sleeves; not just fast or brutal, but both, and well-written at the same time. But all you need to know is that if you're looking for a really good local show, Dead Walk the Earth is a must-see at least once. Just make sure you bring protective pads.

After DWTE exhausted us all, we were all in desperate need of a smoke/fresh air break, so I must admit we also missed all of Pale Existence and Withered's sets. It's not that we didn't like either of the bands, but we needed to conserve our energy for Dying Fetus, and all three of us probably would have collapsed from heat stroke if we had stayed inside the whole time, so we took our time regaining our strength. However, after an hour or so and two bowls, we headed back inside with renewed vigor and eagerly waited for the last band.

When Dying Fetus finally took the stage, at first it didn't seem like there were as many people there as I had imagined, but as soon as they started playing I quickly realized that that was just because nobody was moving yet. A massive pit was formed immediately, and it was kept up for pretty much the remainder of the night. The energy level did end up dying down a bit towards the end, but that was just because everyone was just so worn out by then. The band sounded absolutely massive, even with the limited space and equipment, and they tore through the best songs from all throughout their discography, including "One Shot One Kill", "Your Treachery Will Die With You", "Praise the Lord (Opium of the Masses)" and a medley of "Pissing In the Mainstream" and "Kill Your Mother Rape Your Dog". They played for at least an hour and a half, before finally calling it a night well after midnight. By the end of the night, everyone was deaf and had sore throats, I ended up with a grapefruit-sized bruise on my right elbow (courtesy of Dead Walk the Earth's wall of death), and two friends of mine even ended up getting bones broken. DWTE's own Dr. Satan broke his arm in two places moshing for Dying Fetus, and later on I found out the same thing happened to another friend of mine, except she broke her foot. My hat's off to you, Andrew and Carole, in retrospect I got off light. Real light.

So once again, Mojo 13 came through and delivered the kind of shows that haven't been seen since the days of the underground. That place was absolutely leveled by the time we headed for home, and everyone had a great time. Hopefully there will be many more shows like this to come.


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