It's amusing to me to note that - despite some six or seven years engaged in the craft o' music journalism in and around Vancouver (and a lifetime as a music fan in the area, excepting the few years when I lived in Japan) this Wednesday marks my first ever visit to the venue formerly known as GM Place, now Rogers Arena. So little interest do I have in the sort of artists that normally fill such houses that I have - the odd Neil Young show aside - never even seriously considered going to a show there. Wednesday marks the change: I'm going to see see Exodus, Rob Zombie, and Slayer.
Photo by Andrew Stuart, taken from the official Slayer site
I am most excited about this show. Having come late to Slayer, just as I came late to metal, having walked away from it in the 1980's in favour of punk - I have to say that it's utterly remarkable that a band this aggressive, antisocial, and passionate are ABLE to put on an arena show of this size - particularly when most of their equally talented peers and heirs have a hard time fillin' venues the size of the Rickshaw. Metal of the sort Slayer plays SEEMS like an underground taste, but Rogers Arena is definitely NOT an underground venue! I'm most curious how it will all feel. I can't even remember the last real arena-rock show I went to - maybe when I took a friend to see Roger Waters in Japan in 2001 or so (she was visiting me there, and a fan; it was one of the dullest musical experiences of my life). I should imagine Slayer will be considerably more exciting!
And lest he feel left out, I'm growing increasingly interested in Rob Zombie, as well; I simply haven't GOTTEN to his music yet - having ignored metal steadfastly until about 2009 - and I had mixed feelings about his first two films, when I first saw them, but I thought his Halloween remake, which I caught up with recently, had very interesting things to say about the backstory of Michael Meyers, highly relevant to the metal attraction to evil... Even Exodus sound pretty cool; I checked out their thrashy song about murderers Leonard Lake and Charles Ng, and quite liked it...
I'm equally stoked to see Amon Amarth this Thursday at the Commodore. See below for a link to the Straight interview I did with their drummer. It fascinates me that they're using the tribal tendencies of metal to stimulate a vaguely neoPagan revival of interest in Norse myth, without, apparently, succumbing to the tendencies that some of their peers have had towards yoking such things with a nasty Nazi nationalism or a proclivity towards burning churches... this all seems like a very healthy, very potent use of the energies of metal, even to someone without a pinprick's worth of Scandinavian blood. (A certain woman with a Dutch background will be with me at the show, tho'; perhaps you can guess who?). And by damn, they rock! Amon Amarth have everything musically that I still like about Iron Maiden, while improving on all the areas where I'm less thrilled... I've been spinning their music for weeks now, and it just keeps getting more satisfying...
Plus there are gigs announced by Arch Enemy, Opeth, Enslaved, Mayhem, Napalm Death... And there's that August 2oth gig with Corpsegrinder doing vocals for Infernäl Mäjesty. And tho' I won't be there, there's also Cephalic Carnage and Exhumed at the Rickshaw, this very evening...! It's going to be a good few months in Vancouver, metalwise...
On top of all that, I see that a very interesting prairie metal band, Akakor, is coming back to Funkys in October. I saw them a few months ago and liked their take on metal - remember it as a variety of technical death metal with particularly interesting bass parts (perhaps enhanced by the fact that they were played by a female!). To atone for the fact that I'm neglecting the local scene to go to a couple bigger name shows this week, here's the whole of Funky's listings for the next while... Fans of Amon Amarth and Maiden especially might want to check out Titan's Eve on the 11th...
THURS AUG 4 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – BAD FATE - GREYS – THIS CITY DEFECTS – CASCADIA
FRI AUG 5 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – HONG KONG BLONDE - GREENBACK HIGH – THE BLACK AMPS – SKATIN FOR SATAN
SAT AUG 6 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS - ALCOHOLIC WHITE TRASH – LESBIAN FIST MAGNET – VON BONES – CAR 87
THURS AUG 11 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – TITANS EVE – AUROCH - UNLEASH THE ARCHERS – SACRED ALLY
FRI AUG 12 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – MEMORIAL – A.T.F. - PSILOCYBIN
SAT AUG 13 - NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS SELEIGHNE14’S 21! – SNFU – BLOODNASTY – LIKELY RADS
THURS AUG 18 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – UNLEASH THE ARCHERS - CELESTIAL MACHINE – AUTERIC - TRIBUNE
FRI AUG 19 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS - EXCAVATOR – GATE KRASHER – EPIDEMIC - CADAVOR DOGS
SAT AUG 20 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS - MORTILLERY – DIRE OMEN – M16
SUN AUG 21 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS - TARANTUJA – SHITHAWK – M16
THURS AUG 25 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS TOURING STONER DOOM – DEVOTION - LORDOSIS – BLOATED PIG - GRAVES
FRI AUG 26 – BRUTAL ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS – GROSS MISCONDUCT - WORLD CLASS WHITE TRASH
SAT AUG 27 – EAST VAN METAL FEST – MARES OF THRACE – AHNA – JOYCE COLLINGWOOD – SEI HEXE – PURPLE RHINESTONE EAGLE
SAT SEPT 3 - NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – TIMECOPZ – THE THROWAWAYS – STREET LEGAL DIRTBIKE – GUT FEELING
SUN SEPT 4 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – UNLEASH THE ARCHERS - VANQUISHED – THE KILLING FIELD
FRI SEPT 9 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – SUGAR COATED KILLERS – GYNOSAURUS X - CLOACA
SAT SEPT 10 – MY ANNUAL BIRTHDAY AND JAKS SK8 COMP AFTER PARTY - DAYGLO ABORTIONS – FUQUORED - CHACHI ON ACID
SAT SEPT 17 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS JESSES BIRTHDAY WITH HAM WAILIN
SAT OCT 1 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS – ABRIOSIS – AKAKOR – SUPER MASSIVE BLACK HOLES
THURS OCT 6 – NO BOLLOCKS PRESENTS - ALONE AGAINST ROME - DATURA
FRI NOV 4 – NO BOLLOCKS AND THE INVISIBLE ORANGE PRESENT - WARBRINGER – LAZARUS AD – LANDMINE MARATHON – DIAMOND PLATE