"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls...Dying Time is Here."
The concert didn't start with that but I think all good heavy metal concerts should (as I think everyone should be required to do a Megadeth or a John Denver cover song). In spite of this the Dethklok show was awesome. I was really looking forward to it since I was unable to attend Prong on Monday due to illness...and I completely forgot about Gwar last week (although I still am not sure if I would have wanted to pay for them).
I arrived a little later than I would have normally liked due to working late and then having to head home to take care of my dogs (stupid dogs...always wanting food and water, some things are just so demanding!). I show up a little before 7:30pm...the parking lot is full. I was not sure how many people would actually be coming to the show. I know I loved the cartoon, but how many others watch metal music cartoons? A lot. The show was supposed to start at 6:30 but the people I talked to said that I only missed two songs of the opening band, High on Fire (there was also supposed to be a band named Converge also but none of the 4 or 5 people I talked to saw them...so I am not sure if they didn't play or everyone showed up late). HoF was OK but nothing really outstanding. They played for a long time...almost a full hour which is rare for an opening band. The singer surprised me at the 40 minute mark by saying something like "Thanks everyone for coming and seeing us before Dethklok and Mastodon...we only have four short songs left!" Four? That is the kind of thing that is usually said before the last song...and they weren't really short (although I guess by death metal standards it is true that they were not dragging 12 minute sagas).
Mastodon started off really good. I liked their first three or four songs...and they had pretty interesting and trippy graphics and videos on the big screen behind them. However, their songs all started sounding the same and the graphics started repeating somewhat and I started getting a little antsy around the halfway point. I had only heard a couple of their songs before and once those were over I found it hard to get into the rest of their show...and to me it seemed like their songs started becoming more disjointed (heavy to soft melodies with poor transition) and longer and more stereotypical 12 minute sagas. Decent but not something I would check out again unless I was more familiar with their music.
Dethklok comes on...err, at least they started showing a few animated shorts to begin the show. The first was with Jack Black's Brutal Legend character being a roadie for Dethklok. Then a clip of the Council talking about the dangers of Dethklok and their new plan to stop them. Finally, the band appears. I am not sure what to expect from a live concert from a band based on a cartoon metal band. I know from the show that I have probably a better than 50% chance of being killed while at the show and I made sure I had my Pain Waiver signed. Hooray, they actually started of with the Metalocalypse theme song. After their first album didn't start with this, I was wondering about the concert. I thought it was a dumb move not beginning the album with it because every night we (as we the Dethklok fans) watch the show so we are used to this song pumping us up and getting us in the mood. It was a great start. So the show consisted of the live band playing in front of a huge video screen that showed the animated band playing or their videos. It was a very good effect. And the band sounded excellent, so good that for a second I thought the singer was lip syncing to the CD. Not the case, it was actually Brendan Small who co-created Metalocalypse and voices the band (actually Toki and Murderface are voiced by co-creator Tommy Blacha but Brendan does a very good impression live. Very good). It is pretty weird hearing him slip from voice to voice with ease...even while singing. This is in part while Hatredcopter has become one of my new favorite songs by DK, I was very impressed with it live. Between songs were animated shorts bringing in the humor and many elements of the TV show.
I went in not knowing what to expect but was thrilled with what I was shown. It was a heavy, brutal show by a group of talented guys with a lot of humor mixed in. I would recommend to anyone who loves heavy metal, it is worth your time and your money. I was so impressed that I bought a concert t-shirt...I haven't bought at concert t-shirt (except as gifts) for over 12 years. I enjoyed the concert that much. I wasn't the only one...they ran out of Large size shirts very early in the night and after the show almost as many people headed to the merch booth as out the doors.
Here are Dethklok's official music videos for those not familiar (also check them out every weeknight at 11:45 central on Cartoon Network).
Picture By Ariy_Chan