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News From the Pit
Seether, FFDP, Lacuna Coil, Hellyeah at Rupp
I wasn't about to miss this show. So I caught a ride with friends and we had a good time. Kicking off the show at 6 p.m. was Lacuna Coil. It's starting to make me mad that this very talented band has to open every time I see them. And a lot of the time I'm driving far mainly just to see them. I'm sorry, but Drowning Pool sucks compared to LC. The singing of LC kills over half the bands they play with usually. The mixture of Cristina Scabbia's high pitched and beautiful vocals and Andrea Ferro's low extended vocals really set this band apart from anything I've ever heard. And I've heard a lot, let me tell you. I've turned a lot of people on to this excellent band from Italy.
What's really funny is that I used to not like it and I used to make fun of it when I was on the metal radio show The Attitude Network. But then a funny thing happened. It slowly grew on me like a fungus until they were one of my favorite bands! Weird, huh? The darkness, moodiness, hooks, melodies, odd and creative guitar riffing, unreal bass sound and amazing vocals got to me somehow.
And I'm a thrasher! Lacuna Coil played "Survive", "Spellbound" and "I Won't Tell You" off the new album, then "Our Truth" and "Heavens a Lie" and it all sounded great. I love that band and hope they finally get a chance to play later on upcoming tours. I'm sick of this opening chit!
Drowning Pool came up next and made me want to vomit, especially after hearing LC. Ryan McCombs couldn't sing his way out of a wet paper sack. This band plays so much in this region seeing them is like seeing a nasty prostitute on your street every other day. DP should have went first. When a band plays in your town so much that you loathe them, something is wrong. Take time out and give the fans a break for a while. The band sounded okay, though. Maybe I'm being too mean. I actually like the band and always have. I just think they made a bad choice with this newer singer. They played "37 Stitches","Tear Away", my favorite DP song "Step Up" (which sucked because the singer could not get near as low and growly as former vocalist Jason 'Gong' Jones) and last but not least, "Bodies," which had the kids going off. It got kind of wild there during that song. Ugh, I can't help it though, that singer is doo doo.
Next up was Hellyeah, a band consisting of members of Mudvayne and the drummer from Pantera, Vinny Paul. I saw them a few years ago and wasn't very impressed even though I like Mudvayne and Pantera. Together, there doesn't seem to be much chemistry, but time changes things and I can happily say that these guys have gotten much better and quite a bit heavier, too. They have come into they're own as a band.
I enjoyed the set, especially "Alcohol and Ass", "Cowboy Way" and their heavy triumphant rocker of a tune "Hellyeah," which had even an old man like me yelling as they ended their set.
Vocalist Chad Grey is badass too, and has a very different style that I find cool. I'm very picky about my vocals, but Chad is very creative and has a great singing voice when called for. I loved his work in Mudvayne.
Five Finger Death Punch came up next and I was stoked. I love this band; they are my favorite newer band. I love the music and the vocals. Vocalist Ivan Moody is the bomb.
Not only can he actually sing well, but his screams and growling are perfect. And the guy does know how to work a crowd well. He had that place as wild as I've ever seen it. At one point, Ivan told the crowd that the security there was their friends and to be nice, but then he said to the security "these kids are not your enemy, so treat them with respect." Then Ivan invited the kids to start a human avalanche (crowd surfing) and the place went nuts. The security in front of the stage was in abundance and seemed adequate until that comment, then a wave of humanity poured over the barricade in droves!
Those poor security guys were pummeled by hundreds of kids flying over the walls in dangerous fashion. I saw some pain. Bodies were flying, people were getting hit/kicked in the face, people plummeted face-first onto concrete, kids smashing their heads on the stage because they got thrown too far, it was nuts! Those security guards got a substantial beating from those kids flying over the wall. I saw people getting carried out unconscious. The band sounded great but the soundman for FFDP was a fargin' moron because half of their set was marred by hideous sound.
The bass was way too loud and the gain was set much too high, and you could not hear Zoltan's guitar hardly at all. (I love Zoltan Bathory's guitar/songwriting.) The cover of Bad Company's "Bad Company" is killer. It wasn't until halfway through the set that they regained control and got a decent sound. I felt like bitch-slapping that sound guy. The band played "Hard to See", "Salvation", "No One Gets Left Behind", "Bad Company" which rocked, and "Never Enough." They ended the set with "The Bleeding."
I foresee great things for this very tight sounding band.
Seether came on and totally rocked out. Usually I'm not into this kind of music that much but I cannot help liking this South African band. They are excellent. Shaun Morgan's songwriting and vocal skills are nigh well unbeatable. The melodies and hooks? Timeless. Yeah, dude's music will live forever.
I've seen this band a lot, but I never get tired of them for some reason I find odd.
Shaun came up with some trippy echo/infinitely delayed guitar madness that belies the music he plays. It almost delved into the metal world! I was a bit shocked, but I liked what I heard.
His guitar fret markers were little mother of pearl erect penises. He always has some funny stuff like that on his guitars. I've heard these guys are very cool and I believe it. The band played a long set of hits such as "Fine Again", "Broken", "Gasoline", "Careless Whisper", "Fake It," "Rise Above This" and, of course, "Remedy."
Guitarist Troy McLawhorn almost fell off the stage when he got excited and jumped maybe a little too far and high; he lost control on landing and went flying into a standing platform, that almost fell offstage because dude hit it so hard. A bad injury was avoided by the merest inches. He had to have messed up that super-expensive white Gibson Les Paul guitar he had. It hit the platform first.
This band sounds incredible live and sounds just like the recorded versions, unlike a lot of top bands.
Yeah, this show was fun, but I was a little disappointed in the turnout at this show. I expected more, but only about four thousand people showed up for this awesome event. I still had a blast and enjoyed the great music of these rockin' bands.
Special thanks to Mark Phillips, George Vallee and Rupp Arena for being so good to us here at LMN.