Tour Guides From Hell: Mutilation Rites’ Top Ten Show Stories
1. The Juggernaut (Gallup, NM)
This show ended up being the stop between West Texas and Albuquerque in the reservation town of Gallup, New Mexico. The Juggernaut is a graffiti-laden rock venue where you can get tattooed and buy a bong while watching your favorite band. The people at the Juggernaut also care about your safety and installed a four-foot barricade in front of the stage. The barricade also happens to be three feet away from the ceiling. Obviously this gives the viewer a really cool panoramic effect. But in all seriousness the show was especially awesome because everyone there was super stoked and partied hard. They party with snakes too! Except Navajo people, they don’t fuck with snakes.
2. Medusa (Minneapolis, MN)
This show was at a filthy DIY warehouse in Minneapolis that used to be right around the corner from the Triple Rock. We’ve played great shows here and some terrible ones as well. We were there in the middle of winter and it was one of the coldest shows we’ve ever played. They always had free beer for bands, though, which is rad. We also got to hang out with that sexual deviant alien who plays guitar for False, Scorpiain.
3. The Funeral Home (Buffalo, NY)
This ain’t your grandmother’s funeral home. This was the very first show that Ryan [Jones, bass] played with Mutilation Rites. The walls were adorned with photos of previous shows that took place at the venue over the years. If you are in a DIY band, you’ve probably played there. We blew the power three times during the set because we used an old tube bass amp off Craigslist along with five other heads; it was rough. Aside from technical difficulties, the people at the show were great and we had LOTS of fun. What’s more metal than playing a show in the viewing room at a funeral home?
4. The Cork Town Tavern (Detroit, MI)
Parts of Detroit ARE as bad as you hear. The once popular pre-game spot for Detroit Tigers fans located in the shadow of the old stadium is one of the last standing buildings on the city block and the rubble of the stadium is in the tavern’s shadow. Immediately upon arriving we met the owner of the establishment who looked like Captain Spaulding, visibly sporting two hand guns and a wily disposition. We inquired about parking and he points to broken glass on the ground around our van. It was leftover from last night when he had a shoot out with some “locals”… He proudly instructed us to park in front of the establishment where he could personally keep an eye on it. He had a dude in a pickup truck with a hazard light on top and a gun rack patrolling the perimeter during their hours of operation. The show was a ripper! Really good bands played and the sound guy said he made sure no one played over 100db! He did a great job since his iPhone db meter wasn’t capable of breaching 99.
5. The Orphanage (Chicago, IL)
In the Southside of Chicago we played a huge room on the second level of a church. We had to hide our beer from the AA meeting downstairs that went on until the first band played. The show was one of the best we have played on the DIY route — our great friend Karlos from Shaman Records booked it for us and showed us the best time. He had the entire “Satanic Hispanic” scene out for the show and I don’t think we would ever see those dudes unless we played a place like this.
6. Golden Tea House (Philadelphia, PA)
This ain’t your grandma’s tea party. A punk house with a mezzanine??? This was a really weird and fun place to play. It was like playing in a kitchen and an arena at the same time! Philly always has a great scene and after a few Old Englishes, all I remember was playing the show. Eventually we made it over to our friend Spencer’s house in South Philly and kept getting wasted and played dress up with his armor and chain mail.
7. Detto’s Barn (Liberty, MO)
Our teenage peachfuzz-having buddy Detto invited us to play a show in his old man’s barn in the outskirts of Liberty, Missouri. We had never been there before and we arrived late as per usual. We drove for a long time on a long and winding country road in the dark and when we initially arrived we thought the show was a bust. Turns out that we drove up to the neighbor’s place instead. We finally found the right residence but got the van stuck in the mud several times before reaching the barn. We were greeted by over 100 black metal enthusiasts and proceeded to play what became known as a legendary show in those parts. There were tons of hillbilly kids moshing in that barn WWE style and we successfully established a loyal following in the KC/Missouri scene. After crashing there, Justin woke up oozing yellow pus out of his forehead. It turns out he had gotten a staph infection from the pigs’ heads on stakes that were thrown around the show the night before in Omaha. Grim.
8. The Alley (Sparks, NV)
We got to play in Sparks (aka Reno), Nevada caddy corner to the Nugget Hotel. It was a tough gig trying to cut into Dana Carvey’s crowd, but the show went on! We weren’t allowed to drink in the show area so we had to hide in the gear room behind the stage. The eponymous alley behind the club featured some excellent homeless people who hung out with us and made sure our gear got into the van. One dude, the alpha bum, made us feel more at home and filled the air with fragrance by SHITTING HIS PANTS! He then passed out in — you guessed it — The Alley. Even better about playing in Sparks: casino and steak and eggs at 5am!
9. Topeka, Kansas
Topeka: The home of our beloved guitar player Michael Dimmitt and his charming neighbor the late Reverend Fred Phelps! I can’t even remember what the name of this place was. The sound guy was your stereotypical ding dong, complete with a ponytail, utility belt and a commanding pushbroom mustache. His claim to fame was that Disturbed once told him to turn the monitors down. Impressive! I told him I didn’t want anything in the monitors and to turn the lights off. The look of disappointment on this old geezer’s face was reminiscent of a six year old boy opening a gift on Christmas morning only to find out he received a wool sweater instead of a shiny fire engine. He also asked us what we tuned to so he could adjust the crossover accordingly. Alright, weirdo. What a dump.
10. Gilead Media Sausage Fest 2014
Before I begin, Adam Bartlet is the greatest dude ever. The venue for the fest was a Masonic temple and there was FREE water for everybody, which is unreal. Plus, there was a wide selection of beers that were only $3. But let’s get to the best part of the festival, the after-party. It seemed like every band that played came to the hotel afterwards. There were at least forty creepy, fat, ugly, tattooed socially awkward metal freaks playing grab-ass in the pool and jacuzzi at the Best Western. Notorious wimp Chris Bruni was being a Profound Bore, fully-clothed on a chair next to the pool and scowling like a dejected toddler. Apparently he left his daisy dukes back in Nova Scotia. After the friendliest hotel employee ever kindly herded a gaggle of blacked-out black metal nerds out of the pool at 2:30am, the shenanigans continued in, of all places, the hotel parking lot. Joints were smoked, a handle of Evan Williams was passed around, asses were grabbed, towels removed, and full-on naked wrestling ensued, much to the horror of the only two women at the festival: Grim Kim and Rachel of False.