Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sister Sin, Destrophy, Blackguard, Otep - 6/18/11 at Jaxx, Springfield, VA

Ack. So I didn't write up My Enemy Complete and those other local bands like I was supposed to >.< If I get a chance, I still want to do that, since they can use all the promotion they can get. But anyway. While it's still fresh in my mind, let me type up my review of last night's concert.

It was a kind of crazy combination of bands - when I first saw that Otep was touring, and then that Blackguard was supporting her, I thought, how in the world is that going to work out?! I was really looking forward to seeing both of them, but it just seemed like an odd combination. Actually, in addition to the four bands in the title, this goth act called One Eyed Doll also performed last night along with two local bands, Pain and Beyond Black Skies, but we missed those. (Yeah, it's we, not I, now. Life just got a little more interesting :P )

We got to Jaxx in the middle of Sister Sin's set. S. was really looking forward to seeing them, and I was glad we didn't miss them too. They're an "old-school" metal band from Sweden. Their songs are pretty catchy, with a bit more of hard rock sound, but still heavy enough to headbang to on most songs. Certainly the singer, Liv, headbanged plenty. The crowd was not really into it though (they didn't even respond to the "Hey!"/fistpump prompt the first time around >.<), which was a shame since I thought Sister Sin was pretty cool.

Destrophy was pretty good too. Still more of a hard rock sound, but their older songs were pretty heavy. For the two new (and not so heavy) songs they played, they made a big deal out of the fact that they get a lot of play on a certain radio station, and in fact they made a big deal about their CD's and merchandise before most of the songs. I guess they have to promote their stuff, still, it got kind of annoying. Of the new songs, "Closer" was the better one I thought, and I wanted to jump but no one else was into it. Typical Jaxx crowd!

However, I forgive them for that due to the way they received Blackguard. Huge mosh pits! Massive headbanging! If you want to know about Blackguard, see my paean in this post. I thought Blackguard sounded better than ever - they were loud and energetic and Paul's energy was contagious. Their sound seemed a bit out of balance, though - something, maybe the bass, was too loud and it was hard to hear the melodies. They acknowledged their folk metal roots and played a few old songs at the end of their set, but all the folk awesomeness was lost in the noise. I thought their best song last night was "The Fear of All Flesh," probably because it's a song that sounds good loud and made the crowd go crazy.

So speaking of going crazy. OTEP. If you haven't noticed, most of my reviews critique the crowd as much as the band, because I think the experience of being part of the "crowd" is as much part of the metal concert experience as hearing the band. I mean, you could headbang to music by yourself at home - you go to a concert so that you can headbang, fistpump, shout and mosh with a bunch of other metal fans. I'll still enjoy a concert even if there are only a few people listening and I'm the only one headbanging (has happened..) but it's much more fun with a bunch of other people that are into the music too. So anyway. Otep was, well, Otep. It seems like people either love her or hate her; me, I think she's awesome, as much for the artistic way she does things as for her amazing heavy music. She makes songs that, to me, sound a lot like spoken word set to metal music. I wasn't sure how that would work out in a concert setting - does one headbang to spoken word? Well, it worked out really well actually - the heavy music got people moving and Otep's rapid-fire delivery rode right along with it. The mosh pit was massive, at times I thought the whole floor would turn into one huge pit. (And then what would happen to the goth chicks? Haha, I'm mean. I'm not crazy about the pit either because having waist length hair that gets caught on things makes it more painful than I'd really want it to be.) But I had a good time headbanging on the edge of the pit.

Otep didn't come back out for an encore, and we met a diehard fan in 7-11 who complained about how she only played one song from her new album. I'm not that familiar with her new album and like her old stuff better anyway, so I didn't really notice or care about that, but I thought it was kind a of a jerkish gesture not to do an encore, especially since she kept saying things like we were the best crowd she'd ever seen (shows how cynical I am that I wondered if she says that to every crowd). Still, I thought it was a good show, enjoyed all four of the bands we saw and would definitely see any of them again.

Next concert: TUSKA METAL FESTIVAL in Helsinki!!! Saturday July 23!!