Unlike Tgod, I'm gonna give the entire review of the day in one article, even though it was one hell of a day. I woke up after just a couple hours of sleep due to sheer anticipation at 6 a.m. (Cleveland is about 4 hours away from Cincinnati). My friends were already at my house and the girls were getting ready, of course, this took about an hour. So instead of leaving at 6:30 a.m. we ended up leaving at 7:30 a.m. Figures. After a couple of pit stops and numerous metal discs (i.e. Lamb of God "Ashes of the Wake", Unearth "The Oncoming Storm", and Strapping Young Lad "Alien") we arrive in Cleveland right on time - I mean Devildriver had just taken the stage.
My friends got in no problem but like Tgod they were late with the press list so I heard Devildriver's entire set outside of the pavilion which kind of sucked but whatever. I got in just as A Life Once Lost took the stage, grabbed my first of many beers, and proceeded right up to the front row. These guys really surprised me, played a lot off of "Hunter" but a couple off "A Great Artist" which I thoroughly enjoyed. "Vulture" was my favorite they played and really closed out a pretty good set well.
Next up was All That Remains. I could hardly hold back the excitement as "The Deepest Grey" blared onto the speakers. Surprisingly, Ken Susi from Unearth appeared with the band and played great with the rest of the guys. ATR played most of their songs off of "This Darkened Heart" which was not a surprise to most of the audience. They sounded great and I can't wait for them to come to Cincinnati with Chimaira, Six Feet Under, and 3 Inches of Blood in about a month.
After All That Remains, I noticed that there was a barrage of a lot of hardcore crap that I was not into whatsoever. Sorry to fans of Madball, Fear Before the March of Flames, Throwdown, and High on Fire, I just don't like any of them. So we decided to leave for a lunch break which turned out to be more like a beer break even though we had been drinking the whole time at the concert anyway. We trekked off to Rock Bottom Microbrewery right by the Scene Pavilion and drink heavily while all the hardcore bands did their thing.
We stumble back from the microbrewery just in time for Every Time I Die, who I had seen live before. Although I'm not very into them either, they played a decent show, even one or two off of their upcoming release. Then Norma Jean burst onto the stage full of energy. I mean these guys really got the hardcore crowd going. Unfortunately, I also did not find this band overall very amusing so I continued to drink and watch hardcore kids make fools of themselves in the "mosh pit" and I say that lightly. It looked more like bad kung fu choreography but that's neither here nor there.
And then all of the sudden, I hear metal again. Devin Townsend and the Strapping Young Lad gang burst onto the stage awakening all of us metalheads with raw power and emotion. They stole the earlier shows as I expected they would. This being my first SYL show, I moshed, crowd surfed, and basically went completely nuts during this show. SYL played mostly stuff off of "Alien" but snuck in "Oh My Fucking God" off of "City" which was very well accepted. Devin was acting like a crazed lunatic and bashing Cleveland left and right during the show. I thought it was funny as hell especially being from Cincinnati (a little bit of a teeny tiny rivalry between Cincy and Cleveland in Ohio - hope you caught the sarcasm, we hate each other). But all the guys in SYL were amazing and I can't wait to see them again.
Directly following Strapping Young Lad was GWAR. Now I've never enjoyed GWAR enough to even go to a show. I'm sorry, I know I could probably get hung in most circles for saying this, but I think they have absolutely no musical value whatsoever. Now theatrically, I guess there is some value but I fail to see it. Sorry, I don't like bands for theatrics, they've got to have some sort of muscial value in order to enjoy them. Therefore, GWAR was a waste of time for me.
Opeth followed which actually really killed the overall attitude of the crowd. I don't know whose ingenious idea it was to have Opeth on a tour with extremely heavy and brutal bands such as Chimaira, Lamb of God, and Unearth, but it just didn't work. I never saw a more bored, borderline perturbed floor in any concert I've ever been to. The only song that sounded like it fit with the crowd was a song off of "Ghost Reveries" which sounded really good to be honest.
Directly after Opeth was another apparently more popular hardcore band named Poison the Well. I've heard a few tracks here and there from this band and nothing really sets them apart from a majority of the hardcore genre in my opinion. They put on a fairly decent show and got the energy of the crowd back up to an acceptable level before Unearth took the stage.
Finally I was at the point where I don't care what was going on, I could not leave the floor for the remainder of the evening. Unearth took the stage with so much brutality, I could not wait to get my pics and get into the pit. I hurried around the barracade and got my pics and off I was. After three songs into their set, I met back up with my friends close to the stage and enjoyed the rest of Unearth's show. This was my third time seeing them and each time they get better and better. All songs that Unearth played were off of their 2004 release, "The Oncoming Storm".
Clutch was up next and initially I wasn't the biggest fan of this Southern rock/metal band but throughout the show they grew on me. Clutch played a lot off of "Blast Tyrant", their last album, but a few old songs as well that got everyone grooving. They ended up playing a great show and provided a nice segway between Unearth and Chimaira.
Now was the time, my first Chimaira show. Sad, I know. They're from Cleveland and I've never seen them play. I was supposed to see them like four times and then we'd get snowed in, or car broke down a week before, unbelievable. I thought I was doomed and would never see them play. Thankfully, Chimaira burst on for an unbelievable show. It was everything that I had hoped for and more. They played more off of "The Impossibility of Reason" than anything else but they did play "Nothing Remains" and "Comatose" off the new album and they completely rocked Cleveland. It was a great show and they really seemed genuinely happy at the warm response they got in their hometown. This was probably the highlight of the entire day for me.
Oh, but wait, there's more. That's right, my favorite band in the world directly followed Chimaira, Lamb of God. I don't know how anyone in the metal community does not like these guys. Brutal, heavy, passionate, and excellent every time I've seen them (this was my 4th time). I was really happy about the setlist that the guys played due to the fact that I've never heard "Vigil" or "Suffering Bastard" live. Like a kid in a candy store, I pummelled through mosh pits, circle pits, and crowd surfers, while enjoying these guys. Cleveland went completely nuts for Lamb of God, and I thought Chimaira would have been the most excitement of the night.
Quick funny story. I went to this concert with my buddy Mike (first metal show) and Cassi (metal head) and her friend Aisha (first metal show). Now Mike got the hang of it pretty quick and ended up having a great time. Aisha however, at some point decided to change her shoes into flip flops prior to Lamb of God, unbeknownest to me of course. So right before "Now You've Got Something To Die For", Mark Morton, one of Lamb of God's guitarists, pointed to the crowd and twirled his finger in a circle. All of us knows what that means it's circle pit time. Well Aisha didn't get the message, I yelled run to her as soon as I could becuase I honestly thought the girl could die. I pointed to the front of the floor along with Cassi and yelled for her to run. She apparently couldn't hear me in time and vanished right in front of me in the pit. I laughed so hard, I almost got trampled. We found her later with blisters from the bottoms of her feet to just below her calf. Moral of the story: Don't wear flip-flops to metal shows.
Aside from that hilarious mishap, we had an unbelievable time at the Sounds of the Underground tour. I would recommend that if it hasn't already passed you, definitely check this tour out. It's got something for everyone and you will have a blast. Special thanks to Jensen Lee from Adrenaline PR for the hookup as well as Rob from Chimaira and Jed from Strapping Young Lad for the interviews. Hope you all enjoy the pics.
Note: Tgod wore the Emo Sux/666metal.com shirt well here was what mine said:
Front: 666metal.com (stacked with a halo over the middle 6)
Back: Cuchulainn - Harm.Us/666metal.com --- Scaring preppy bitches, wannabe thugs, boy bands, hippies, metrosexuals, nu-metal die-hards, pop-punk listening fags, and those diluted wastes of space emo kids with aggressive metal since 2001. (and in big bold letters) Harm Webzine - 666metal.com