Review by Chuck Loesch. Photos by Chris Carrasquillo.
When I looked at the schedule for Emo’s on October 20th, I realized there was going to be some interesting developments during the show. The Ghostbustour featuring Iwrestledabearonce on the outside stage and the return of Immolation to Texas on the inside stage offered a rare glimpse in to two completely different metal audiences, that have no respect for one another. Death metal and avant-garde metalcore do not mix. So I knew it was going to be a strange night of music all around, but for my own sanity in this review I will stay with the outside stage.
After getting in the door a little late, Vanna took the stage. Their Honest Hearts EP released a week earlier on the tip of everyone’s tongues. Heavy breakdowns and tender alto vocals trademark the performance like no one else on the tour. The young crowd took right to their inspiring set, singing right along with almost every song.
Next up, Josh Scogin and The Chariot take the outside stage. They begin to stupefy the entire crowd with their psychotic rhythmic pulsating metal. Having a higher turn over rate than your average Taco Bell, it is difficult to pin down a current line up, but regardless they have mastered the set. Given their fairly deep catalog, they played a variety of material and did it very well.
Chelsea Grin on the other hand is a relatively new band that has gotten critical acclaim, as well as fairly dedicated following. A six piece deathcore band from Utah, they play music very similar to their peers, but live, do a much better job than most. All stop, gyrating, thick chords ring out as the audience goes nuts.
When Eyes Set to Kill finally gets going, I realize that I never really liked this band. Their last CD was lackluster at best and the stage performance about the same. Musically they were sloppy, pitchy and didn’t offer much in the way of compelling stage antics. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind much though.
When the rainbow is wheeled out onto the stage, this was going to be a different kind of metal show. The quirky insanity of Iwrestledabearonce resembles a car wreck that you can’t look away from. Selling t-shirts that declare “Making Metal Gay” turns off certain people, but that bravado makes me admire them. Not caring who likes them or not, IWABO is all about having a screaming good time making music.
Lead singer Krysta Cameron makes no apologies while destroying the boundaries of metal into shards. With only one album, and an EP they have a relatively short set. You love or hate this band, and the people who paid to see them went insane when they played “Alaskan Flounder Basket” and of course their ‘hit,’ “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon.”
Overall a great show and the only conflict between the two diverse crowds was actually from one of the Black Metal bands (Abigail Williams – they even posted a video) who threw a dildo on stage during IWABO’s performance, and that simply turned into another one of their antics. These young up and comers have a long interesting future ahead of them.