Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Children of Bodom at the Hammerstein Ballroom

I'm starting to wonder if I should impose two year gaps between Bodom viewings...or that the theory I've heard about the band's inability to really rock a headlining spot has a ring of truth to it. Either way, I left this show feeling less pumped up than I had when Bodom played Gigantour earlier this year.

I suspect the problem might have been my own head space more than anything else: Bodom was the last night in a long string of late nights with no sleep, I had been rocked by GWAR while drinking heavily the night before, and frankly I couldn't bang my head with my usual alacrity as a result. I had also developed a morbid fear of accidentally smashing my head into someone's shoulder, which almost happened the night before. For me, the live experience is all about feeding off the energy and submitting to barely-controlled animalistic instincts for a little while; when I can't do that, or can't do it without letting go of the stream of conciousness of my ego, I don't enjoy myself as much.

So that was the bad. The good was in little things:
  1. The show was twice as long as I had expected in a good way: having not done any prep work, I missed the inclusion of both The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me.
  2. I hadn't heard Between the Buried and Me before that night and their performance proved to be an excellent introduction to their work. I didn't think "progressive deathcore" was possible as a genre, but clearly I'm not giving the deathcore guys enough credit. The recorded material I've heard so far seems pretty consistent with what I was hearing through my surprised shock, so Between the Buried and Me may have garnered themselves another fan.
  3. I spent the last two sets up in front, hoping to tap into a bit more of the life coming from the stage (makes me sound like a vampire, doesn't it?). At some point during Testament's set, the three small pits in the very front opened up into one long pit that ran like a wound parallel to the stage for about 40 feet. At one point, a guy who had to be a bit under six feet and well over 200 pounds decided it would be an excellent idea to run the length of the pit and plow into an unsuspecting group of concertgoers clustered at the end. Unfortunately for them, he made it. I'm surprised they didn't knife him afterwards for being such a douche.

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