At first, I wanted to see the sell-out Thursday sold-out concert again at the Vibes Event Center because of one of the opening acts, Gatecreeper. I had never heard of headliners until two days ago, but I needed to see what they were all about.
The venue, Vibes Event Center, is located on East Houston Street in a downtown warehouse district. He shares the building with a haunted house called Psycho Asylum. Party. We entered through a psychedelic hallway with black light posters on the wall. The lobby and concession area had a long row of bathroom stalls facing the bar. Very strange.
I arrived in the main room just in time to watch Charlotte, North Carolina’s Magnitude, a bunch of young dudes. The guitars kicked off with a Kirk Hammett-style melodic riff. As the first song was built, the double kick turned into a relentless blast. The vocals were too muddy for me to make out, but part of the crowd up front knew the lyrics. A guy took the stage to sing part of a song. I love when this happens.
Magnitude songs were everywhere – a little groovy, a little touching, and all full of screeches. The crowd dug the blackouts, of course. Between songs, the lead singer talked about positive shit. Again, must love.
Next, Gatecreeper from Phoenix. The group I wanted to see. After taking the stage to the Chicago Bulls theme song, they brought in a brand of old-fashioned hardcore death metal that’s all the rage these days – thanks Power Trip and RIP Riley.
The sound of the guitar and the general sound of the band were there. The throaty voice and thrash chug captivated some of the mostly younger audience members. Others even tried to slam. But, in the end, nothing really clicked between them and the audience. Anyway, I was delighted to see them. I love old school death metal at the Obituary.
Knocked Loose is from Oldham County, Ky., And they earned points for heating up the crowd by blasting the entire Willie Nelson song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” into the audio system. Good. Spooky sound effects occur and the band take the stage. The slam dance immediately followed. High shrill voices hammered one glorious breakdown after another.
The songs on Knocked Loose are brutally anthemic, and the crowd was familiar with the lyrical hooks. The singer spoke the F word a lot between songs. Nervous. I have heard musical notes from Deftones and Glassjaw from time to time. Here is a concoction made to measure for San Antone. Good energy fills the room.
I learned the tour didn’t stop in Austin, so it seemed like a decent number of townspeople had turned up for the show. I love when this happens. Viva SA. Long live heavy metal.
Want to see more photos from the show? Check Runningslideshow of the concert by local photographer Oscar Moreno.
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