This show was a shining moment for live underground extreme music in Kingston. I've seen some great shows in town but we're talking about NAPALM FUCKING DEATH here people!! It doesn't get much more legendary for club shows in towns the size of Kingston.
But first, the openers.
Severance were the first band to hit b the stage this night. However, I was sitting in my car scarfing a veggie sub trying to satiate my munchies and letting my pupils return to a somewhat normal state. They are opening for Bison b.c. next week so maybe I will catch them then. I'll try and show up earlier and get my "veggie sub" out of the way before the doors open.
No Russian followed up. I believe I only missed one tune if any. And this is really all I have to say: Performing deathcore must be more fun than listening to deathcore. And I was stoned. They looked and sounded like a bunch of apes. Especially the vokillist. (That's how the kids spell it nowadays, right?)
Direct support came from a band called the Polidicks. This is the perfect band to play before Napalm Death. While a little more punk than grindcore, they held to the same ideals like anti-violence, human rights etc. At least from what I could gather from the between song banter. He was screaming enough I couldn't make out much else. And, I was still stoned. They said they hadn't been on stage together in two years but you'd never know. They were really tight. I think opening for Napalm might have brought out the best in them. The vocalist said at one point, "If you had told me 10 years ago when we started this band that we'd be opening for Napalm Death, I'd have slapped you." I am sure it was an honour and a privilege to share the stage with such a legendary band and obviously big influence on them.
Now what we paid for. Grindcore legends, pioneers and gods, Napalm Death. Would the extreme music landscape look anything like what it does without Napalm Death? I highly fucking doubt it. If you do doubt it, read Albert Mudrian's amazing book Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore. Then we'll talk. Speaking of history, Napalm's set ran the gamut of their discography and beyond. Barney Greenway (whom I will fawn over momentarily) told us they were going to play "some really old shit, some really new shit and a bunch of shit from in between." During a quite extensive set, they played classics such as "Scum", "Suffer The Children" and "Nazi Punks, Fuck Off!" up to newer songs like "Life and Limb" all the while never showing their age at all. But wait! In addition to the songs we know and love, we were treat to two covers! The first was a Cryptic Slaughter cover and the second was a Siege cover. When Greenway said they were covering Siege, some kid who looked young enough he couldn't even vote, just about lost his shit with excitement. Good on ya, kid. But that's not all! According to Mr. Greenway himself, we were given a special treat. Being the first stop on the tour, they played "a brand new song, for the first time. Ever. Anywhere." The song was called "Quarantine" and if it is any indication of what the new album (that he said they just finished up) will sound like,it's gonna be bloody brilliant!
Having never seen Napalm Death live, I was amazed by Greenway. His signature bark was even more intense live. He performed like a man possessed. I loved it. He embodied the hardcore punk aesthetic and channeled his frustrations with the world into his screams. All the while pointing his finger so we knew we'd best be paying attention. At one point, while trying to think of how to describe his sort of build-and-release stage presence, I couldn't help but liken him to that neighbour that the kids used to torment. And you could see him getting more and more physically angry and frustrated. Holding it in, because they're just kids. But he just can't take it anymore and explodes into a tirade. The difference here is, Greenway's pressure buildup=>explosion was full-on right from the opening bell and happened between every line he sang. Glorious.
As electrifying as he was, we musn't forget the living legend himself, bassist Shane Embury. After watching him play, (and hearing him on countless recordings) I should just give up now. I'll never be that good. Nor would I ever be as good as drummer Danny Herrera or guitarist/backing screecher Mitch Harris. (Who looks a lot like my parent's old neighbour who works at Costco but shorter and with longer hair. Weird.) None of those guys let up the whole time. The whole band just clicks and delivers. I mean seriously, when Scum was released, I was still a few months away from turning 9 and I wouldn't be able to play with the kind of sustained intensity that these guys do. If you have the chance to take in this experience, fucking do it. They're touring across Canada RIGHT NOW! Get out to a show!
Legen.....(wait for it)......dary!
And yes. The played "You Suffer".
And yes. The played "You Suffer".