Friday, September 12, 2008

Carcass at the Nokia Theatre

Ticketmaster printed the ticket for this show as CARCASS - REUNION, but they might well have called it CARCASS - MARATHON: start with a six band bill and throw in some flood-worthy rains that turned the city in a lake and delayed the caravan of tour buses coming down from Massachusetts and you end up with something like five and a half hours of live metal brutality of the grind, death, and black varieties. We were lucky that the show took place in the highly efficient environs of the Nokia Theatre: the extended setups and sound checks that had to take place between each act could have been a recipe for complete disaster at almost anywhere else.

Because irony is a bitch, that night I not only chose to eat barbeque before the show, but decided I felt mellow and chose to sit in the darkened seats at the back of the theater rather than fight the crowds up front. As the show went on and on, the heavy meal, the darkness, the slight disconnect I felt from sitting some 40 or 50 feet away from the stage; all conspired to try and knock me out long before the night ended. I never actually fell asleep, but yawning as Suffocation was on stage singing about the best ways to kill people was a little embarassing. I usually like to save my visceral scorn for bands I actively dislike.

So the show itself was a bit of a wash (so to speak), but it had one major saving grace: the official tour program. Lord knows what metal gremlin whispered in my ear and convinced me to pick one of these up from a merch table (which were pretty impressive by themselves: Aborted may not be a particularly interesting band, but t-shirts were among the best I've ever seen), but it was an excellent decision. Most of the pages were ads for record releases, which meant pages and pages of black and death metal band logos (the best kind of logos conceived by modern man) and all kinds of gruesome, brutal art. Picking through the pages of the tour guide was like visiting a museum of humanity's imagined depravity distilled into iconographic form, which made for great reading while waiting for the interminable sound checks to end, and impressed me enough to hold onto the program after the show. My favorite is the full page ad for Twilight of the Thunder God, complete with plug for the set of Amon Amarth bobblehead dolls.

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