There is a reason why I've always made it a point to never miss a Toxic Holocaust gig within a 2 hr driving distance from Philly. Actually there's several now that I'm thinking about it....but really it's because Joel, and now Phil & Nikki, have never failed to live up to our expectations; they've ALWAYS delivered that sonic wave of nuclear charged Thrash Metal that our eardrums need to be assaulted with. And their show at the Kung-Fu Necktie this time around wasn't any different.
For those of you that have never made it out here, the Kung-Fu Necktie is a pretty decent spot, it's more or less your average sized Kenzo/Fishtown corner bar. When you walk in you pass through a little vestibule which opens up to the bar area. Pool table directly in front of you hogging up the center of the room, several booths along the wall to your right and the bar stretching along the left hand side. The bar leads up to a back room which is a decent size, plenty of room to move around with the small stage tucked against the back wall. This place is also 'Mosh Friendly' so if you come out, don't just stand there like my grandparents.
Unfortunately this is not an All Age venue, it's a bar...obviously, so by playing here your just cutting out about half of your local following. Stop playing 21+ shows guys! I think the last All Age Toxic Holocaust show in Philly was at the Electric Factory with Gwar back in 2008....
I caught them the last time they came through here with some people I can't even recall. But this time around they've got a new album under their belt (which you should already own if your sitting here reading this!) and two other bands sharing the stage with them: Holy Grail and the Krum Bums.
I've seen Holy grail in the past and as much as I like what they're going for, they just lose me on the whole progressive/metalcore stuff they've sunk into. Sorry guys, just being honest here. And the Krum Bums, eh, whatever.
I got there just before Toxic Holocaust started setting up so we had a little time to mill around a bit and say what's up to friends etc. Once I heard the amps go on I pushed my way through the crowd (this place was packed) and made my way up to the front. From the second the first chord was struck to the last crack of the drums I don't think my head stopped moving once. I didn't really dig the track off their new album "I am Disease" when they played it the last time they came through, and I was a little worried about what else was gonna be on that album, but luckily Conjure & Command turned out to be a pretty strong album.
These guys have been around for well over 10 years now and have a crazy amount of material, so you'll always get a hit with a wide variety of stuff. They mixed it up with a good bit of new material off of C&C as well as the classics off their previous 3 studio albums as well as the Reapers Grave EP etc. I'm still waiting to hear Summon the Best....
And what kind of a Toxic Holocaust show would it be without shooting the shit with Joel afterwords? I don't think I've ever met a more humble, approachable and genuinely appreciative guy. I've seen a bit of mud slung his way online but this guy has his feet planted firmly on the ground and that's right where his head and his music is. Thanks again for authenticating/autographing my Critical Mass demo! See you guys next time!