Have you ever gone to a show where so many small things went wrong that they made the concert less fun? Destruction’s show on February 5 at Brooklyn’s Studio B is a good example of this sort of disappointment. Before the concert started, I thought I’d be seeing three bands in the company of a large group of fans. Instead, Destruction had five openers (in a club where getting bands on stage didn’t seem like a priority) playing on freezing night that kept most of those metalheads at home. Individually, all of these things were tolerable; together they created a small disaster.
Here’s how it all went down:
Sanitarius – Young Thrash Throwbacks
Up first was Sanitarius, the first of three bands from NYC, playing thrash in the vein of old Metallica or Testament with a sweet two-guitar attack and a vocalist who sounded like a nice mix of Chuck Billy of Testament
and Alex Laiho of Children of Bodom
. Although the band is young, they put on a strong, energetic performance – with the exception of guitarist Dave Cordero, who looked as bored as one of the Gallagher brothers
throughout the set.
Everything’s Ruined – Bronx Death Metal
Everything’s Ruined came next, with a standard package of Bronx death metal. Although the band featured one of the most aggressively emotional singers I’ve ever seen in a death metal band and put on a strong show, they were not particularly well-received by the sparse audience, underscoring one of the problems of the night: there were too few people (maybe 60 in a club that has a capacity of 550) to have the diverse and energetic crowd needed for a show of this size.
Magus Beast – Metal in the Old School
Coming third on the bill was Magus Beast, a Queens-based band with thrash chops, power-metal-influenced songs and a vocalist who gravitate between the two styles with ease. 21-plus years on New York’s metal scene have tightened their live show and they maintained a thorough command of the audience throughout their set.
Municipal Waste – When Thrash was Punk
Next was Municipal Waste, whose old school definition of thrash (a true mix of punk rock and heavy metal) I had first experienced with pleasure when they opened for GWAR in December
. While Municipal Waste played with a lot of energy, they came up against the same problem suffered by Everything’s Ruined: it’s hard to get a crowd into the idea of moshing if there aren’t enough people. Not that the band didn’t try: from the first song they had six people running around in a 25-foot circle pit, many of whom later climbed up on stage with the band and dove off into the fringe of people in front of the stage. I give Municipal Waste a lot of credit for making the best of tough situation, but they’re a lot more fun to watch with a bigger crowd.