Back home at the Dirty Dog (https://dirtydogbar.com/) on 6th St in Austin, Texas. If you must travel to 6th St to get that Austin downtown vibe, you really should make this a stop. If it is a music night with a touring band (or bands) you may have to pay a steep cover to get in. However, there are plenty of nights during the week which allow you to just stroll in, sit in the dirty photo booth and take some scandalous shots. Most nights you can get lucky and listen to some local music at no charge, watch some sports on the many TVs or sit at the bar and have a good, old fashioned conversation with a real, down to earth bartender.
The layout of the Dirty Dog is pretty simple. Walk into the door to a street side lounge area, complete with a pole. The large "U" shaped bar curves around from the street side lounge area to the stage area on the opposite side. The Stage is a fairly decent size with an impressive sound system. Towards the back as you continue throughout the bar are the bathrooms to the left and another bar to the right.
This particular night featured 3 touring bands on the 'Winters Warriors' Tour - War of Ages, Wretched, and Battlecross. The show was kicked off by 2 local Texas bands, Imminent Descent - from San Antonio, Texas and Southern Front as the hometown boys from Austin, Texas.
Imminent Descent (http://www.imminentdescent.com/) from San Antonio, jumped right into their set with an energy and excitement that the already large crowd ate up. Putting out their originals and a lot of energy, this 5 piece did a masterful job at reigning in the restless crowd and entertaining the crap out of us. With good, solid music, and performance, this band could make a nice little comfortable spot for themselves out of the San Antonio metal scene. The stage has been set by others before them, and the ever growing popularity of one particular burning band, Imminent Descent needs only a little fine tuning to push on through. The crowd seemed to agree as these guys wrapped up their short set. My only cringe worthy moment was the lead singer trying to hit some of the squealing high notes....dude not your forte...don't do it. Trick us and use one of the lead guitars to fill in that register as you go for it.
Southern Front (http://www.southernfrontmetal.com/) was scary impressive. This band is fronted by a rather large and aggressive looking lead singer. Now he may be nice in person, but he was all business up onstage. Southern Front definitely played for the hometown crowd and played it up for the hometown crowd as well! As I stood to the side of the stage taking in the raving mosh pit that started, someone in the crowd behind me commented "Holy shit, these guys are fucking Awesome! This is why I came here." Hometown love and support in the house for sure. And it was a great performance. The crowd had grown larger and was definitely hungry for this as they ate this performance up. The lead singer did a very respectable job in thanking the headliners for the spot, the promoter, and the venue. This is definitely appreciated to hear a band working this hard onstage as an opener be so very grateful.
War of Ages (http://warofagesmetal.com/) was my shocker and surprise of the evening. This was not who brought me out to the show this evening, but this is who made me very happy I came out to rock out. War of Ages crossed over ever so slightly into the electronic medium, but had no bones about smashing our eardrums with the vocals and guitars. They got my blood pumping and had me screaming "Fuck yeah!" with everyone else in the crowd. War of Ages brought out a stunning live performance with all the bad-assery and gut-you-like-a-fish power that is what every metal fan wants and EVERY DAMN PARENT is scared of. Bravo for the Winter Warriors tour knocking it out of the park...and this was just the start.
Wretched (https://www.facebook.com/wretchednc/timeline) had some tough stage shoes to fill after that prior performance. The problem is that Wretched didn't just fill those shoes, they blew them out. What seems like a fairly benign group of guys onstage turned out to be a raging, cannibal when they started their set. With the lead singer shedding his shirt and pounding the audience with his ferocious vocals to the lead guitarist letting down his dreads and appearing like some type of beast trying with tentacles trying to rip your face off, Wretched was definitely feeding on the audiences energy and screams. At one point during the performance there was no safe place to stand in front of the stage, as the mosh pit became a writhing mass of limbs. Get to damn close and you get pulled in and pummeled just like the music and performance of Wretched. I was satisfied for now I am blessed with a 'Cranial Infesstation' of their music and performance in my head. That which I had missed at Mayhem 2014, had been redeemed.
Battlecross (http://battlecrossmetal.com/) capped off the night with a wicked performance. With the lead singer cursing Austin and Texas for our bullshit winter weather (it was shorts weather on 12/05/14 in Austin, Texas - and he was just kidding around), Battlecross launched into a stunning performance. Like I said earlier, this is such a well rounded and amazing line-up, it is beyond worth going to see...it's worth living, hearing, and doing it twice if you have the chance! The lead singer changed right before our very eyes. As the music started he became this shrieking like a banshee wrapped in a demonic growl that no one this evening had done before him. The entire band took center stage throughout this performance. Although there was a lead singer, everyone (save for the drummer locked beyond the massive kit) took turns being the front man and it was just mind blowing. Battlecross, ran through their set with such ease and commanded the audience so well, we were all stunned to see the performance end. And happy so that we could breathe.
Lena at Victory Records
Adam from Wretched - for taking a few moments to talk with me
and Ben and the staff of the Dirty Dog for hosting, yet again, another kick ass night.