Show Reviews


  • Corey Mitchell

sxsw - black tide[Better late than never. This is the 6th and final installment of new MetalSucks contributor Corey Mitchell’s reporting from South by Southwest 2008 in Austin, TX. Be on the lookout for more show reviews in the future from Corey. – Ed.]

BLACK TIDE/AT ALL COST/IN THIS MOMENT/JASTA @ RED 7 PATIO – Saturday, March 15, 2008 – 2:20 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.

Not feeling any older despite tossing back a few too many rum ‘n Cokes the night before, I ventured out one last time for my final metal fix of the 2008 SXSW Music Conference. Once again, I was headed toward another free show over at Red 7. The sun was scorching hot, not a cloud in the sky, and I was semi-interested in seeing teenage sensations…

Okay, I’m sure you know all the hype. Every band member under the age of twenty, ridiculously good looking, led by frontman 14-year-old Gabriel, and signed to Interscope Records. It all sounds a little too Light of Doom-ish for my taste. In fact, it’s enough to make you wanna puke. But, again, I approached their set with an open mind, and again, I was pleasantly surprised.

The 2:20 p.m. set time found their crowd a little on the sleepy side as they opened up with “Warriors of Time,” so I was able to walk right up to the front of the stage and snap several pictures of the band. I was impressed with their guitar playing skills and found drummer, Steven, to be a powerful force behind the skins.

sxsw - black tideBy the third song, guitarist Alex beckoned the crowd to rise and come forth, which they did. It was then I realized I had forgotten my notepad, so I decided to head back out to my secret parking space and retrieve my tools of the trade. I obviously hadn’t shaken off all the cobwebs from the preceding night’s Scandinavian Metal extravaganza.

As I returned from my car, I stopped by the Austin Police Department Headquarters to see if I could take another look at the gun that was used to kill University of Texas tower sniper Charles Whitman. APD keeps it in a basement at HQ. In the past, it was open to the public. Not anymore. Probably some stupid terrorist bullshit.

So, missing out on a little morbid Texas history, I headed back to Red 7. As I walked inside the club that leads out to the patio, I heard a pretty cool Nitzer Ebb sounding two-piece dance industrial band on-stage. Quite cool, unfortunately I did not catch the act’s name. I then made my way to the patio to literally walk in just as Black Tide ended their set. The crowd roared approvingly, so I assumed they kept up the momentum while I was away. Good for them.

In between acts, a highly self-satisfied rapper, whose name I eagerly forget, “entertained” the crowd. Having been groomed on the likes of Chuck D and Eric B., I was none too impressed. Especially when he introduced the next band as, one “with a chick in it. This is In This Moment, yo, yo.” Actually, it was Austin’s own Century Media recording artists and friends of MetalSucks…

sxsw - at all costAT ALL COST
Led by the manic singer/keyboardist Andrew Collins, At All Cost had the heavily-female loaded audience eating out of their hands from the first chord. I don’t really remember many specifics about the set as I was planted directly in front of Collins, who, I believe, was on a mission to destroy me. He would get all Bruce Dickinsonian on me with one foot one the monitor and then proceed to thrash his unclean hair all over my face. I submitted and enjoyed the ride.

The crowd swirled in a weird frenzy of pogo-ing teenage girls near the front, a couple of mook dudes behind them pushing the girls into people, and the prerequisite circle pit. The crowd devoured the band’s take on “Circle of Demons” and the incredibly melodic song, “The Message.”

sxsw - at all costAt All Cost’s set was a whirling-dervish blur that I thoroughly enjoyed. Next time, I’ll be sure to stand away from the stage so I know what the hell is going on.

By the way, someone at Mercenary Management needs to hook these guys up with Genghis Tron for a full-ledged electro-melodo-death tour, stat!

I have to admit I was not expecting much from Hollywood metalcore five-piece In This Moment. I had seen the video for “Beautiful Tragedy” and thought, “meh.” I listened to the full-length and wasn’t much more impressed. What won me over though was seeing lead singer Maria Brink shred with the guys from Talking Metal on the Pantera track “I’m Broken.” Not only could she scream, but she seemed truly passionate about what she was screaming about.

With this positive reference in mind, I was actually looking forward to seeing In This Moment. I was not let down.

sxsw - in this moomentThe first thing I noticed before the band came out on stage was the number of women in the audience, particularly against the stage. Of the twelve people up front, ten of them were women. This was a nice change of pace after three longs days of uptight sausage fests. My decrepit and aging body was appreciative.

Brink and the boys came out onto the stage to overwhelming applause from the Austin crowd. Brink sauntered forward in her Alice in Wonderland powder blue bodice mini-dress, which seemed worse for the wear due to the tens of thousands of miles of travel it has endured promoting their last album. She quietly walked up to the mic, clapped a little golf clap for the audience, and directed her incredibly stoned-looking red eyes toward the audience, and they were off.

The crowd lapped up every song including “Daddy’s Falling Angel,” “Circles,” and the hit, “Beautiful Tragedy.” I found myself directly in front of the petite Brink, feeling a bit like a perv with my face buried in her crotch, but, I swear, I was being a good boy. I am married after all. Let’s just say that I could clearly see her EVE tattoos and her pink Chucks.

sxsw - in this momentI was impressed with the band and especially Brink. She is the quintessential front-woman: screaming bloody murder one second, and then performing a coquettish pirouette the next. Not your usual metal fare…and it all worked.

She was, quite frankly, mesmerizing. And the music, for metalcore, wasn’t half band.

At that moment, I was spent. I decided to opt out of seeing Jasta, even though I found him to be an extremely cool guy when we spoke on Thursday night over at Emo’s Annex. I am looking forward to his book on his exit from Headbangers Ball which we spoke about.

It was also nice to learn that he is a fan of MetalSucks. The man has good taste.

Not a bad weekend for only $23. Maybe I should write a book on how to attend these mega-conferences on the cheap.

-I wonder if Motorhead knows that a corporation is using their logo on a spiffy little SUV?

-How many people really got high with Enslaved this weekend?

-I could make a fortune by selling smear-proof corpsepaint for black metal bands who travel through Texas.

-Why does Lemmy’s mole remind me of that talking nipple on Headbangers Ball?

-When did Billy Milano lose all that weight?

-Will there ever be another unsigned metal band showcasing at SXSW who will actually get signed? And, will they even want to?

-My only regret is that I missed the documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad during the concurrent SXSW film festival.

-There are hella good drummers in metal today.

-How old is too old to thrash like a maniac?


To learn more about best-selling author Corey Mitchell please visit his website;
Discovery Channel “Hollywood on Trial” blog; and In Cold Blog.

Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits