Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clash of the Old & New School Titans: The Free Outdoor Thrash Show @ FDR: Phila, PA 10/1/11

One thing I've always noticed about most of the larger metal shows around here is the cross section of people you get in attendance when it comes to age. You can almost always count on the older, bigger name bands to bring the old school metalheads out of retirement and out of the woodwork in force, with the younger crowd bringing up the rear. I've also noticed that you pretty much get the exact opposite when you break things down on a local level with local bands. You can usually count the number of old school dudes on one hand that make it out to see any of the newer bands, local or touring. And you can probably use the same exact hand to count the younger guys making it out to see any of the local old school bands that are still pounding it out around here, not taking the exclusion of the underage kids into account thanks to the whole 21+ bar scene that plagues the area these days.

This is something that I think about a lot, whether I'm sitting around my house, at work or right in the middle of a show, and it always leads me to the same places; what causes it and what can be done about it. I'll spare you guys the lengthy details and my thoughts on it all but a lot of it stems from getting stuck in a certain routine, having the same circle of friends, a general lack of all age shows and the only end result that can come from all this: not really knowing what's taking place on each others side of the fence.

Luckily for me I've had a nice position up on top of that fence with a good view of both camps, and this more or less crippling dilemma got me thinking....what would happen if I got all of these people into the same room, with bands from both schools on the same bill. Would it be something of an awkward high school dance with people cliqueing up on either side watching curiously from a distance, or would there be a violent chain reaction from the exposure of these two devastating elements? This little thought has held my brain hostage for quite some time now until recently, when I just couldn't take it any longer, so I decided that it was time to unleash my little experiment on the unsuspecting people of Philadelphia....


There really is no better time to be outdoors than in the cool autumn weather, aka good jacket/hoodie wearing weather! It's definitely my favorite time of the year and it only seemed fitting to do an outdoor show around this time. I mean think about it, really....who actually enjoys being outdoors at these big shows in the sweltering heat? Sweating your brains out with your clothes stuck to your back...it's miserable. And the fact that it's free, all ages and at a skate park, I'm really not sure how you could possibly set up a better show than this. Not to mention the killer line up!

With this being my first show and all I really wanted to make a point of going all out to show people just what they can expect from Falloutzine shows, and I got a good bit of help from a lot of good people. For starters every single person that had a hand in this event from the bands and the sound guy to the DJ and even the guy grilling up food for the bands had donated their time and effort to us for free, in order to contribute to something worth supporting; our scene. We even had the guys from Possessor drive all the way up from Virgina just to play this show alongside the mighty Anvil Bitch! Now that's dedication.

Because of the restrictions involved with relying on the sun for light, there's no lights down in the wasteland of FDR park, we had to kick this show off pretty early and cut it off around 6pm, or at least that's what we tried to do. The early start time caused a lot of stragglers to miss the opening acts, God Sex Weapons and even the neck wrecking maniacs from NJ, Condition Critical, which sucks for you guys because they put on a killer set, as always. A head count at the end of the night ended at roughly 140 people, not bad for our first show considering the threat of rain that day huh?

But enough about all that, let's get to the music!Kicking things off we had God Sex Weapons, a newer band that was recently brought to my attention by Jason Carr, the guitarist from the local old school thrash band Citadel. I wasn't really sure what to expect from these guys when he first told me about them, but it sounded pretty promising. And after taking the time to look into these guys I knew they'd fit right in on this bill.

Hailing from the outskirts of Philly, these guys from the Levittown/Croydon PA area are a group of younger/teenage metalheads that have been hammering away for a little over a year now with their current line up. They've got a pretty tight sound and I definitely look forward to having them play some more gigs with us in the future.

I've always said that it must be pretty rough for the opening band whose got to break the ice for a bunch of people that aren't too familiar with their music but these guys did a pretty damn good job of it, so I'll just let their performance speak for itself.

Be sure to show those guys some support, you can find them on Facebook and all the other usual places.

Next up was Condition Critical, a band who should need no introduction at this point. Originally scheduled to play 3rd I had to switch their spot out with Bitchslicer due to some scheduling issues that had come up. But nevertheless, your gonna need some serious force to try and slow these guys down. We've been passing their demo around like crazy so it shouldn't come as a surprise that everyone who came out was psyched to finally catch these guys at their very first gig here in Philly.

Tearing open their set with the first song off their demo 'Bred to Kill', and quickly followed up by the second song off that demo 'S.M.R.' (Self Mutilation Ritual) you could tell that people in the crowd were standing there in total shock trying to figure out what the hell they had witnessed just from the looks on their faces. You obviously can't judge a book by it's cover but I don't think these people really expected that kind of sonic force to come blasting from the fingertips of these four younger dudes from Jersey. Let that be a lesson; Condition Critical does not fuck around.

In an attempt to try and prevent any heart attacks from taking place in the crowd, or from blowing up their equipment from what was about to come next, Sam Agnew, the latest edition to the band, took it easy on us with a brief intermission consisting of a solo of classical proportions.

And just when these guys made you think it was safe to relax for a minute, they bring up Tyler Van Osten, bassist for the South Jersey thrash band Cerebral Decay, to take over on vocals for a cover of Demolition Hammer's '45. Caliber Brain Surgery'. The name Demolition Hammer Jr. has been thrown around a lot to describe Condition Critical, and after this video was posted to their FB page they were paid the ultimate compliment by the band themselves!

And to close out this awesome set, with a favorite of Warbringer's vocalist John Kevill (watch this video) is the last song off their demo, Time Wave Zero. Do yourself a favor and make sure your at the next gig these guys play because your only depriving yourself here.

Next up was the OBSCENE Philly band known as Bitchslicer!

These guys have been tearing it up around the city since 2001 and just kick ass in general. There wasn't a single band on this bill that wasn't a pleasure to work with but these guys were really great. Willing to lend a hand with anything that was needed and just all around awesome. And we didn't even get to their music yet! Unfortunately my girlfriend ran off to the store (to pick up more food) with my camera just before their set started and didn't get back in time, so we were unable to film it! I'm kicking myself in the ass for not grabbing the camera off her but I'll just have to make it up to them next time wont I? Sorry guys!

In case your not familiar with these guys, you can dig them up on Facebook, Youtube and all the other usual places that you creeps listen to music at. But in the meantime, check out some live footage of them ripping it up in New York recently with Possessor, Hellcannon & Deceased! A kick ass show I couldn't make but keep hearing about!

One of the things people kept asking me about leading up to the show, and afterwords, was how did I get so many great bands to play for free. Well, the answer is pretty simple. It's because all of these guys genuinely care about the local scene and helping to build it up. Between the oldschool guys that remember what things were like back in the day to the new school kids that are hell bent to rebuild it, there is a real force to be reckoned with here and this is just the beginning of it.

DJ GR/EG spinning vinyl and quite a few heads between sets!

So far we've gotten a pretty lethal dose of the new school, but now it was time to clobber you over the head with a heavy handed dose of the old school force known as Citadel, a band that needs no introduction around here.

If you don't know who they are...you'd better change that. I was lucky enough to shoot an interview with these guys a few days before the show at one of their practices and hear the very first song they've written since they reformed. It seriously blew me away and I was psyched to hear it again live at FDR.

One of the many things I love about these guys is the power behind their vocals, Will Shull has a voice that will grab your attention and he knows just how to use it. This is something I got a lot of feedback about from people after the show, including John Gaffeny, bassist of the great Allentown Heavy Metal band Sinister Realm. (Check them out as well!!!)

Not content to just let the crowd stand back, Will got everyone moving and pulled them up front to unleash one of my favorite cover songs they do, Lethal Tendencies from Hallows Eve. A song that always gets a reaction from the crowd no matter where they're at.

Citadel always gives it their 100% and I recommend checking them out live if you haven't already done so. You can watch the rest of their set on our Youtube channel

Next up was Possessor! The Virgina based bangers whose loyalty to the dark gods of old comes crashing through your eardrums like a flaming car wreck. These guys drove all the way up to Philly just to play this show and we're definitely glad that they did. I've had their City Built with Skulls demo since it came out last year so I knew just what we were in for.

Opening up with the first song 'Hammer and Nails' off of that demo, they wasted no time setting the tone for anyone who wasn't already familiar with them. This got the crowd moving a bit but not like it should have...and we all know there is nothing worse then a bunch of metalheads just standing around like they're at a parade. Come on guys....I know Philly knows how to dance.

Blasting through the rest of the song's off their Demo they busted out some of their latest stuff, which included a song called Champions of Chaos. I really dug it but thought it was just a little bit too long, something I had also heard from a few other people as well. Another new one they pulled out was 'Reaper of Death' which I thought was great! Check it out for yourself:

These guys put on a great show, lots of energy and you can tell they really put a lot of effort into everything they're doing. From their imagery and merch down to their old school studs & leather (and chains & nails!) stage armor, these guys do more then just play music, they put on a show! I'd like to throw out another thanks to them for coming up and especially to their drummer Chris for making such an awesome show flier! Cheers guys!

And now, finally! The old school kings of Philadelphia Thrash, still reigning supreme after all these years; the almighty Anvil Bitch!

I originally didn't think I'd be able to get these guys on the bill, but when that phone call came in saying everything was good I swear to god I was going out of my mind. Fucking Anvil Bitch! Here is a band, basically from my neighborhood, that has been holding it down in Philly since 1985. Still out there hammering away and playing shows but not getting the local support they truly deserve. I can tell you that for all this attention thrash has gotten over recent years, and the people I see popping up at other shows, that there is not enough younger faces showing up at their gigs around the Philly area, and that is something I'm hoping to help change.

Opening it up with a new one off their Sanctify EP, First Act of Violence, and following it up with one of my personal favorites, Vengeance of the Sword, these guys wasted no time making it known that time hasn't slowed them down one bit! Eviction, Gods of Fire, which is another new one that sounds anything but new and it's great!

Now, I'm not too sure if these guys were trying to actually kill the audience here or what but they pulled out the almighty Neckbreaker and then followed it up with a fist pounding cover of Slayer's Black Magic! Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure they were trying to kill us, or make us kill each other!

Next up was Sanctify and Creation with a lethal dose of Shark Attack thrown in on top! My memory really isn't the greatest here so I can't remember the exact order but somewhere in there was a cover of Exciter's 'Pounding Metal' and Motorhead's 'Ace of Spades' with guitarist John Plumley taking over on vocals.

There was talk of some people bringing rice to throw during Maggots but someone forgot the rice! We should have ordered take out. Nevertheless, these guys unfortunately had to bring the show to an end and there really was no better way to do it then with the skin crawling crowd pleasing Maggot Infestation!

All in all it was a great show, and an especially great first show for us. I'd like to thank everyone again that came out, helped out and that we hope to see you all of you again at or our future shows. We've got some great things in the works, you'll see.


1 comment:

  1. Keith, hats off to you bro! You did something that soo many promoters cant do..you got people there! You handled everthing like a pro and kept things moving smoothly. The crazies is attendance were a great crowd, no fights or other bullshit that would have given us all a collective black eye. I like what i see with the rebirth of the philly metal scene...it feels good to this old head to see something that meant soo much to me, something that I thought would only live memory, come back to life. YOU ROCK BROTHA!\m/