Last Night Converge and Neurosis: Night 1
posted by February 17 at 13:00 PMon
I heard most of A Storm of Light’s set standing in a line outside of Neumos waiting to get in. Hey everybody, see those signs posted all over the doorway that say, “Tonight’s Show is Sold Out. No Tickets Will Be Given at the Door”? Yeah, that means you aren’t getting in unless you already bought tickets. Don’t stand in the one line and keep everybody else from getting in because you’re pretty sure you can convince the door man to let you squeeze through, or because you just don’t want to believe the sign until you’ve waited in line for 20 minutes. When I finally did get inside it was clear this was the opener chosen by Neurosis. They were slow and heavy, and sounded like Isis with Gregorian chanting. I got to hear one song before they finished.
Converge opened with “Plagues,” one of the heaviest and most brutal songs they have ever written. It starts with a guitar riff that sounds like a chainsaw, and when the band kicks in it feels like they’re using that chainsaw to cut off limbs. Their set was mixture of songs from their last three releases, not going any farther back than Jane Doe. Although the energy was high in the front half of the floor it was clear that a lot of the people there had come to see Neurosis. The pit was relatively small and contained, but that’s what you can expect from a 21+ crowd. Old folks don’t care to throw down on the floor like the young’ns do. Seeing as this was a more mature audience, much of which had come to see a different kind of metal act, they chose to close their set with the 12 minute epic finale “Jane Doe,” an unexpected treat since the band almost never plays it live anymore.
There was a pretty hilarious moment in the set when a fan started yelling out “Give it up for Boston!” (where the band is from). Singer Jake Bannon replied, “Yeah, Boston’s alright. I’ve lived there a long time. It’s expensive and kind of shitty. I think Seattle’s better.” Several people in the crowd started shouting “Seattle! Seattle!” to which the band responded with the opening riff of “Outshined.” As much as Seattle fans usually loathe being reminded of grunge fame by touring bands I thought this was hilarious. Mostly I was just glad they played a Soundgarden riff instead of a Nirvana one.
If Converge is the thrill of a predator hunting and killing its prey, Neurosis is the part where it sits down and slowly eats the raw carcass. The band usually plays to a video projection behind them – my brother always told me stories of seeing them at the Firehouse 10 years ago when their video just kept repeating a guy shooting himself in the face. The video and musical choices of Neurosis have definitely changed in the last decade. Their slow, brooding doom metal is night and day from what Converge is putting out there, and after such a high energy show I had a hard time wanting to just stand still and take it all in. Their video had images of animals decomposing, trees falling over, flowers wilting, the earth coming apart at it’s seems. It was all very metal, but it was slow, deliberate metal. I just kept thinking, “I would be so much more into this with some weed and a couch.”
Outside I found two true super fans, Chris and Clyle, who had been sitting on the wall listening to the show since they were not of age. Even though they are going to tonight’s show they still sat out in the cold to hear the first night. You boys win the Metal Spirit Award. Congratulations.
Tonight the opener has been chosen by Converge, and it is our own local beer vikings Akimbo. This should prove for a much more active 2/3 of the show, and the fact that it’s all ages means the floor should be ape-shit. If you want to go to this show you should definitely buy your tickets before it’s time to line up at the door. Otherwise your ass will be out of luck.