“I want to see all of you go ape shit,” an apparently sober (or you know.. somewhat) Phil Anselmo declared from the stage Tuesday night at the Showbox. The former Pantera vocalist and current label-head, boxing “journalist,” and front man of soulful Southern sludge super group Down sure had his share of die-hards in the crowd – most notably a round 50-something dude with a burly facebeard who, during the openers, kept yelling “Come on Phil!” and “ Show ‘em what’s up Phil!” The band handled knew their audience well, churning out a set heavy in NOLA material, their first record and landslide fan favorite. Onstage, Eyehategod drummer Jimmy Bower locked the band into a solid stoney groove as he sat behind the drum set, complimented by the sheer crunchiness of guitarists Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity) and Kirk Windstein (Crowbar).
With all this in mind, I gotta say, you know it’s a heavy week when you saw Down and they weren’t the heaviest band you saw. No, that title goes to French eardrum-crushers Gojira and the ridiculously loud yet precise set they played last Sunday at Studio Seven. There’s a reason why this band sells out shows wherever they travel. Ball-bustingly heavy.
Assuming you’ve already decided what your plans are for the weekend, I’m going to suggest a couple shows for those who wish to extend the rage by one more evening. On Monday night, the ghosts of Northwest’s past will haunt the Highline as Devotion brings their uniquely throwback Soundgarden-gone-hardcore sound to Capitol Hill. Tacoma band Shore is opening. If you’re into Quicksand, Jawbox and y’know that whole alternative post-hardcore 90’s thing, make sure you show up early for Shore. Why not? It’s fuckin' free, man.
That same night, across town at the 2 Bit Saloon, you can get your fill of cheap bear and evilness with their weekly “Metal Monday” event where, this week, blackened thrashers Thou Shall Kill will be headlining. Expect nothing less than full-on leather, spikes, chain mail and fake blood. Pretty on point for a Monday night if you ask me.