Summer Slaughter Tour
With the Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Darkest Hour, Six Feet Under, Dying Fetus, As Blood Runs Black, Oceano, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Within Ruins, and Powerglove.
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
August 17, 2011
Better than: Autumn Assassination Tour.
Metal tours seem to be diversifying themselves these days, as was the case with last night's Fort Lauderdale stop of the Summer Slaughter Tour -- in which Dying Fetus was preceded by a band named after a failed Nintendo accessory that spent a good portion of its set throwing candy and inflatable objects into the crowd.
The headliners of the show were Whitechapel and the Black Dahlia Murder, although for the older metal enthusiasts, the draw to this show was the presence of a few legends in the Florida-raised cacophony known as death metal.
After Powerglove -- the mega-nerdy power-metal band that threw the aforementioned candy into the crowd -- left the stage, things turned pro. Dying Fetus took over for a short set, with the trademark blast beats that have been recognizable over the band's 20-year existence.
Then the proverbial shit got real, as Six Feet Under -- led by former Cannibal Corpse front-man Chris Barnes -- absolutely tore things apart. There seemed to be audio problems for several of the bands' vocalists, but no matter, Barnes' guttural growls were delivered ever-so-sweetly to our ears, and his four-ish foot dreadlocks were still a-swingin'.
"Revenge of the Zombie" and "Feasting on the Blood of the Insane" were spot on, and Barnes left us with a gem to finish Six Feet Under's set -- a song he wrote in 1993, before many of the kids in the audience were born (or "shit out" by their mothers, as Barnes said).
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That was "Hammer Smashed Face," the legendary Cannibal Corpse tune that you may recognize from the infamous Ace Ventura: Pet Detective scene -- and it was wild, especially for the many of us who've only seen Cannibal Corpse since "Corpsegrinder" Fisher took over the vocals in 1995.
Darkest Hour went on after that, and eventually came to a smashing end with the band destroying a few pieces of equipment on stage, which may or may not have been the most exciting part of that set.
That led to the first of the two headliners, Whitechapel, which seems to have a revamped stage presence compared their method of performance in previous tours. Vocalist Phil Bozeman is still the center of attention (rightfully so), and that three-headed monster known as the Whitechapel guitarists still shreds, but the show seemed like more of a deathcore opera -- if such a thing exists -- instead of the traditional smash-and-stop style of live metal shows, and it worked.
Black Dahlia Murder, on the other hand, hasn't changed much -- which isn't bad, because they manage to make their shows run like it's a party. This time, said party included a guy in a giant gorilla costume running around the stage.
At that point, we considered ourselves Summer-ly Slaughtered.
The crowd: Mostly teenagers due to the headliners, but the grungy old death metal dudes became noticeable when Dying Fetus took the stage. The heavy-metal hotties also came out to play, who were markedly absent from Sunday's Mayhem Festival stop.
Overheard: A teenager who was watching the guys from Powerglove suit up backstage in their pseudo viking-wear: "Do you know when GWAR is going on?"
Random Detail: The gorilla outfit on stage with Black Dahlia Murder was absolutely terrifying.
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Gripe: As a lesson to the youngsters out there, mosh pits at death metal shows are for moshing, not for flailing uncontrollably. Some kids ended up learning that the hard way.