Thursday, 3 December 2009

Gig Review: Taste of Chaos (Killswitch Engage / In Flames) - Manchester Academy - 02/12/09

Well here’s something you certainly don’t see every day: the first band is only half way through it’s set and already the venue is well packed out. I’ll have to admit that, for once, I regret not catching the entirety of the set from Maylene & the Sons of Disaster (7), because from what I did see, these guys sure know how to rock! Bringing a distinctly metal feel to a down-in-the-bayou groove, Maylene sound something akin to Lynyrd Skynyrd, run through a fuzz pedal and turned up to eleven, complete with a tri-attack guitar set-up! Definitely a band to keep an eye on for the future!

Next up with have New York metalcorer’s Every Time I Die (5). Now, I’m not going to lie to you, at this point I was tempted to just go and hang out in the bar. I’ve never really liked anything I’ve heard from ETID but I decided to stick it out and see if they were any better live. They weren’t. Only a small percent of the crowd was really even paying attention and these were mostly 13 year old boys just looking for an excuse to start a circle pit. At one point front man Keith Buckley tells the crowd to “sing along if you know the words”, though exactly how one would sing along to this sort of noise is beyond me. Here’s hoping his new side project with various members from Fall Out Boy and Anthrax produces something slightly less displeasing on the ears.

So after suffering though that, it’s finally time for what I was hoping would be the highlight of the night: In Flames (7). I’m sad to say I was sorely disappointed by them tonight. Don’t get me wrong, they played with their usual clinical precision but there was hardly any interaction with the crowd and a great number of songs were absent from the set (Bullet Ride, Episode 666, Only For the Weak, Trigger to name just a couple.) Nether the less, the crowd greets the band with massive applause and they play enough of their better known tracks to keep most people in the crowd interested. The same group of young lads from Every Time I Die’s set are still starting circle pits, so they’re obviously having fun tonight. And after a somewhat disappointing and far too short set (just 50 minutes) In Flames leave the stage and I can’t help but feel that perhaps they would have been better off on their own headline tour, though they’ll be headlining the upcoming Taste of Chaos dates all across Europe, so maybe the British record buying public are more to blame for the sour taste left in my mouth after this set?

A brief trip to the bar for a drink and a good moan about what was left out of the In Flames set and then it’s back in for tonight’s headliners. The classic ‘Benny Hill’ music airs over the PA (the music that used to play when he was chasing half naked women around. If you don’t know what I’m on about, ask you parents) and it’s a fitting way to start the show, as to rapturous applause, everyone’s favourite clown, Adam D storms on to the stage, resplendent in tuxedo t-shirt (as are the rest of the band) and his trademark headband and cape. I’m going to say something now that might make me unpopular with some of you, but I don’t care: Adam D is an idiot. Simple as, the guy is a moron. He acts like a clown just with less makeup. I’m all for having fun and moving around on stage but this guy lunges around the stage like a spider-monkey on speed. It’s easy to see why the likes of Max Cavalera and Kerry King are so outspoken about his behaviour. That said, Killswitch Engage (7) deliver a perfectly average set, covering all their hits, throwing in a couple of new songs (though I’m sure they know as well as we do that their latest offering was very much sub-par) and even making me leave with a smile as they finish with their rendition of Holy Diver, which drew the biggest crowd reaction of the night and strikes me as a bit sad when the song people are most keen to hear is a cover version.

Overall gig rating: 7/10. Not a bad night’s entertainment, though I really felt that the 3 main bands on the tour did not live up to their billing. Maylene & the Sons of Disaster however were truly a treat to watch and, if for nothing else, tonight was a worth while venture simply to discover this band! You can check them out now on Spotify or their Myspace.

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