Hipsters Out Of Metal!

DUDE THE FORBIDDEN TOUR IS AWESOME!

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Photos by Brian Schroeter

Has anybody else been to a show that was extra awesome cuz the turnout sucked? Low sales suck for the bands, and that sucks suckbags. However, under-attendance creates gigs that feel more like parties: The room is easily navigated and the few faces are soon familiar to you; at first, there’s a chill — in the case of the Forbidden, Revocation, White Wizzard, and Havok mega-jam this weekend, I overheard two pre-show conversations about how the show wouldn’t be worth it for the bands — but that chill passes, and is replaced with the “hey there you are let’s headbang” vibe; by end of show, there’s a bit of fondness for the others in the room, except for the one guy who barfed on something important and the tipsy chick blabbing to/about her scenebro bf. Totally like a party. I love parties.

Stage banter even sounds different, with a tone like “Wow, so you guys are cool but what’s with the rest of your town? Do you all get enough jam time around here?” I would guess that I’ve been to five shows like this; like, one every five years? There was Stuck Mojo in Minneapolis (at The Quest?) on the Rising tour; my stop on the Thought Industry and Agent Orange tour in 1996 was heroic; Overkill smashed that place in St. Paul for Necroshine. These are all in the ’90s, when metal wasn’t ahem cool.

Those were killer gigs for few but so appreciative fans, and I notched another small-crowd score last weekend at Forbidden and friends. Dudes were rocking the fuck out; it was awesome. I arrived a song into Havok’s show-opening set, didn’t get in until a song into Revocation. (Cheers to David Davidson for the great save!) But even from the wrong side of the door, Havok and White Wizzard sounded awesome. Reports from concertgoers pointed to face-fuckage throughout.

But I was admitted for nearly all of Revocation, and their new stuff-centric set slayed. Those two young, attractive jerks rule at guitar, but at moments seem absorbed by playing; we end up watching them watch themselves. I sympathize: A guitar being played is beauty; a sparse, listening-attentively-to-your-new-shit crowd might appear disinterested. This wouldn’t be an issue for Forbidden, the place was rocking cuz dudes are pros. Because of Forbidden horsepower, there was um like an excess of potential energy in the room and too few people to consume it. Their set started with two new Omega Wave jamz to start, and had a pocket of three (including uber-jam “Dragging My Casket”) in the middle. Elsewhere, lots from Forbidden Evil but only two representatives of the tasty Twisted Into Form album (title track, “Step By Step”). My exit required passing through the abovementioned electricity cloud, but not through a huge throng of gross concertgoers with whom I don’t wish to exchange sweat. So, yeah thanks for the awesome party, guys! I barfed on your sofa a little!

-ADF

The kick-ass and heartily-attended-in-non-lame-cities Forbidden tour with fucking Revocation, White Wizzard, and Havok continues tonight in Rochester, NY, then Trenton, Columbus, and St. Louis. And a bunch more places listed here.

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