Summer’s Laughter 2k14: a First-Person Review

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What up lifelovers (TM)? Now that my neck pain is gone, I’m ready to review my night at the Summer Slaughter Tour in Philadelphia last Sunday. By the time you read this the tour will be over; if you didn’t get to go and you were a fan of any of the bands that played, you missed out.

Not 48 hours after getting off the plane (from Spain, what a pain), I found myself at the Trocadero Theater with a bunch of other smelly people waiting to be entertained. 8 hours and 11 bands later I was tired, hungry, sore, wet and smellier, but it was well worth it.

Opening Band (I don’t even know their name): the singer sounded like Randy Blythe, the guitarist had a Confederate Flag Dean Dime, and they closed with a Lamb of God cover. Those are the facts.

Boreworm played prog-ish DM with a few breakdowns sprinkled here and there. I’d never heard of them, but they were good.

Fallujah were the first band I was really looking forward to, and they did not let me down. I’d read people saying that they were boring because it sounded exactly like on the albums. How the shit is that a bad thing? The bass player (who took Bass Tone of the Night, IMO) was constantly doing a ridiculously fast windmill and I was seriously worried about his neck. They were spot on, had good stage presence, and convinced me to buy a shirt.

 

Within the Ruins… played. Not much more to say here.

Decrepit Birth were alright. Their sound was kinda muddy, weed in the air and all. I don’t know who their bassist is, but he was pretty damn good (it used to be the dude from Suffocation, apparently not anymore). I have a ton of respect for Chase Fraser, he makes stuff look really effortless.

 

Origin killed it really hard, no doubt due to the fact that Jason Keyser is one hell of a frontman. He made the people in the pit do a silent wall of death before starting a song, just because. Then he jumped into the crowd, sang in people’s faces and crowd-surfed while screaming his ass off. And the other three dudes nailed the songs at breakneck speeds, so yeah. Origin stole the show for sure.

 

I’m not that familiar with Goatwhore’s material, but they were solid on stage and sounded good. My only complaint is that they had a shirt design for sale with a back print that read “Less White Chapel and More Haunting the Chapel”. Sigh.

Thy Art Is Murder really didn’t do much for me, but they were very tight and got the crowd really pumped. Lots of earth-shattering bass drops. I think if I ever heard them on the radio I wouldn’t mind, but I wouldn’t listen to it given a choice either.

 

The Faceless were tight (via click track), and it seems like the never-ending member changes haven’t made them skip a beat. Michael Kleene’s vocals were better than I expected, and everything else was exactly like on the albums (again, not something I’m against).

 

Dying Fetus tore stuff up, and didn’t even need to move around stage to do so. They aren’t the most engaging live band on the planet, but THOSE SLAMS MAN. The pit didn’t stop moving for 90% of the show. They played a shorter set than what I was expecting (given that they were second billed), but they played “Intentional Manslaughter” and “Justifiable Homicide” as I bid my neck farewell, so who cares.

 

Morbid Angel were good. They played a pretty A-B-C heavy set, and surprised the crap out of me by playing “Ageless, Still I Am” and a couple other songs from the Steve Tucker era (something I never thought would happen, let alone get to see). Sounded really on point (read: Tim Yeoung), my only gripe is I found PVC Vincent’s banter pretty annoying (“Hello, Philthydelphia!”).

 

All in all, it was a really fun night. When I got to the venue I bought an Origin shirt from Paul Ryan and it took a lot of effort not to fanboy all over the place. By the end of the night there were people from a bunch of the bands hanging around in the non-backstage area (including the dudes from Rivers of Nihil), really good all-around vibe. The Trocadero is a cool venue, so check it out if you’re in Philly and get the chance to.

That’s it from me, thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to doing this again next year If I can.

 

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