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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Got some 'Head at the Dog

Mushroomhead is on the 'Devils Be Damned' Tour. Damned that we be, as they stopped in Austin at The Dirty Dog on 6th St.

The Dirty Dog ( sits on 6th street, Austin, Texas. Located only a few blocks to the west of IH35. As you walk into the Dog, there is a nice sized seating are with tables by the street side windows and access to the bar. The bar is a large 'U' shaped bar. As you continue to walk forward, deeper into the venue, you see a very nice size stage to the left in another, larger open area. Sometimes there are tables here, and some nights it is cleared out for a band. The venue continues farther back with bathrooms to the left behind the stage and an area for the bands to load in and out with their equipment. 

The staff has always been excellent. So, if one of your favorite rock bands is on tour and stops at this location in Austin, don't be afraid to buy your ticket and go. As far as local music or happy hour, it is still a great place to pull up a chair for an adult beverages and quite a few TVs with most sports on, most of the time.

I have already seen Mushroomhead and had the fantastic experience of interiewing J Mann and Skinny (look up the interviews on my Soundcloud page). So I somewhat knew what to expect from them, but this is how the rest of the night started.

Tonight was a touring stop for 5 bands and one local group opening, Call Me King ( These were the lucky guys to draw this opening slot. Though 6:45 on a week night is a tough time to pack a house, Call Me King took the stage and was not daunted by the small group of rock fans who had gathered early enough to enjoy this band. With a mixture of covers and some really kick ass originals, Call Me King wasted no time and had very little chatter.

The ominous task of opening for a national touring act and playing to the early crowd really didn't seem to faze these guys. At least it wasn't apparent, as we the crowd saw. There were a couple of cringe worthy moments for me, though. Doing cover songs sometimes is a must when you are in the lights, but own it, don't Karaoke it. I loved their cover of TOOL, but their System of A Down has got to go or needs a ton more work. I looked around as that song seemed to come apart and there were a few others in the crowd that seemed to wince at it as well. BUT THE ORIGINALS, killed! The phenomenal thing I took away from this show starting performance, was the high pitch screaming/gutturals from the lead singer played off really bad ass against the devilish gutturals of the bass player. I think there is an under used member of this group in the bass man. The whole 30ish minute spot was enough to make me look forward to seeing the name on another bill and look forward to what time and more experience will unfold for the band that is Call Me King!

Amerakin Overdose ( This was the stunner of the whole damn evening for me. Knowing what to expect from the headliner is one thing (because that is usually who you went to see), but sometimes you get REALLY lucky and discover something else bad ass and new. Amerakin Overdose was it. Yes! It was a combination of the costumed freaks that were onstage and the brilliant mix of rapcore/metal. I don't care if I am the last guy on the planet to hear of some band, but it is still good when I hear it.

The crowd apparently thought so as well. After being thoroughly warmed up and got our blood pumping by locals Call Me King, Amerakin Overdose came onstage and seemed to demand we spill that blood. It was a sonic punch to the eardrums and visual kick in the eyes. Every bit of their set was none stop insanity. As for a national tour opener, I don't know if it is pure brilliance that Mushroomhead has Amerakin Overdose in that spot or fear of the stacked bodies if Amerakin Overdose slotted right up against Mushroomhead. The Devils be Damned with this one.

Unsaid Fate ( I have always thought and believed and band shouldn't bring any of their shit to the stage. Because if the crowd doesn't know...we don't know. WAIT A DAMN MINUTE! The drop dead gorgeous lead singer of Unsaid Fate walks out onstage and rams the first song through our tiny little ear holes like she doesn't give a fuck. THEN, she goes on to tell us she is struggling with a cold that is killing her throat. In this circumstance it was such genius move to tells us, because that made the whole crowd appreciate every word she sang afterwards. IT WAS VICIOUS! Unsaid Fate brought an intensity that was just cold blooded. The crowd ate it up and I chalked up another new band on my belt as a "Oh Hell Yes!" the next time they roll through the central Texas area.

Weaving an intricate story with her music and her band, September Mourning appeared onstage as a vision in white. Okay! That was pretty corny, but you weren't there so shut up! September Mourning, as a band really put the 'Performance' in their part of the show. It seemed like a monumental task to take in both the music, the story, and the visual presentation, but it was a well played out well. September Mourning's set seemed to have the crowd eating out of her hand, like leading cattle to a musical slaughter. If you want a show with your metal music at a live performance, September Mourning has got to be put VERY high on your list.

MORTIIS ( came out on stage as the final performance before the headliner. Although the majority of the crowd was packing in and getting ready for the headliner, it seemed as if there was something missing with this performance onstage. Mortiis was definitely putting forward the passion in the performance, and the crowd was down with the sound. It simply came to this when their set was done. Several fans of Mortiis, who came to this show to see them, were disappointed, exclaiming "OH MY GOD! I really wish I would have stayed home and
watched their videos!" Ouch!

Mushroomhead ( You know, what more can be said about the complete and utterly explosive power of a head line band that comes out and blows the fuses in the first 5 seconds?! That's right! Just quit reading and go outside right now!

It was spectacular!

I have been around when bands have blown speakers, but not shut down the whole damn thing.

Well, the staff at The Dirty Dog had it fixed quick, within just a few short minutes, and Mushroomhead launched into the hugely successful single "QWERTY" (and it is very easy to type on the keyboard). The crowd went nuts. I was yelling. It became an insane asylum. Mushroomhead plowed through their set, minus the recently departed Waylon (and he wasn't missed musically), like they were damned and being chased by the devil himself.

With the floor a writhing pit of insanity, it seemed worth being sad to not be down in front for this performance. The crowd told the story of a crazy successful performance. Non stop from the band fed to the non stop crowd. Even reaching back in time to tracks from XX, the crowd was thoroughly satisfied with the entire performance. I saw fathers and sons in the audience cheering. Husbands and wives with their horns up in the air. There were even brothers in the pit, killing one another and all who dared enter. Mushroomhead has mastered the art of a theatrical metal performance for the new age!