This was one of the strangest gigs I’ve been to in quite a while. I met my friend Jeremy at the one and only Lansdowne Hotel before the show, where he informed me that:
- As reported in Drum Media and at PyroMusic, the ticket price had been reduced to $30, and ticket holders could bring a friend for free, presumably because of poor ticket sales;
- It wasn’t clear what support bands were playing since ads placed by the Manning Bar listed two different support acts from ads placed by the promoter; and
- As reported on blabbermouth.net, Obituary would be playing one man short since lead guitarist Allen West is in jail.
I particularly liked the phrasing of West’s statement on the matter: “I have gotten into trouble that can only be resolved by my incarceration.” All the best to him of course, and I hope to see him play next time Obituary tour Australia.
Undaunted by these setbacks, we set off across Victoria Park to the gig. Appropriately, the flower beds had just enjoyed a liberal application of fertilizer, making the whole place smell totally rank.
We missed the first support but saw most of The Day Everything Became Nothing, who put on a decent show.
Nothing was gonna prepare me for the aural assault delivered by Obiturary. To their credit, they delivered a killer show without a lead guitarist. I thought rhythm player Trevor Peres would bust out a few leads to fill the gap, but he didn’t- making this probably the only metal gig in human history completed without a guitar solo. Peres kicked off the set with a slow, grinding riff- I’m not sure of the song- that went on for ages and had me quivering in my Mack boots.
Back when I was a live sound engineer, I always preferred mixing bands with one guitarist, mostly because it’s much easier to get a good sound. Both guitars usually occupy the same frequence range, so doing a mix such that it’s possible to hear each guitar clearly can be difficult. Live, less is usually more- a simpler sound with fewer instruments often communicates better to the audience, and this was certainly true at this gig. Just having a rhythm guitar made the constant riffing brutal. Although the sound and the feel were totally metal, the single guitar gave the band more of a punk or hardcore edge to my ears, which ain’t a band thing at all.
Drummer Donald Tardy was also enormously impressive. His drum solo intro to the encore was a great piece of showmanship and drumming skill.
Although ticket sales were presumably slow at first, prompting the ticket discount, by the time Obituary took the stage there was a very good sized crowd. It wasn’t packed like at Testament a few months ago, but I think everyone went home happy. I was well satisfied with a great gig, a new Cause of Death t-shirt, and a loud ringing in my ears that lasted for several days.