GIG REVIEW: Summer Slaughter Tour Live at The Summit Music Hall, Denver
Originating in 2007 here in the United States, the Summer Slaughter Tour has consistently delivered the most brutal lineup found roaming around North American soil. In a country that can’t hold a candle to the massive open air festivals and constant tours that Europe sees, the SST has really taken off, and turned into a must-see every summer. This year is no exception, with bands Enterprise Earth, Slaughter to Prevail, Slaughter To Prevail, Krisiun, Revocation, Carnifex, Suffocation, After the Burial, (no we’re not done yet) Nile, AND Cannibal Corpse, really, who out there would complain? I was lucky enough to catch their stop here in Denver, CO at the Summit Music Hall – one of my favorite venues – and had a total blast. From the amazingly friendly security guard who actually loved the bands on stage, to the friendly bartenders that remembered the beer I kept ordering, to the social crowd that helped me feel right at home in a death metal setting I am not used to – it was a perfect 10/10 night. My only complaint was that I totally forgot the Colorado Rockies were playing downtown, and well, parking and traffic was a nightmare.
I remember when the first Summer Slaughter Tour was announced, way back in 2007. I was living in Omaha, NE at the time and they never bothered to stop there. We were however, lucky enough to catch some side dates by the lesser known bands, or sometimes by the headliners, like the Black Dahlia Murder and Necrophagist. Even though this style of music has never really been my thing, it was always a blast to catch these side shows. So needless to say, I was pretty excited to finally live in a city where the tour stops, and have the opportunity to shoot it. Most of my friends know that I am a power metal and heavy metal fiend. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy some death metal; like Nile was one of the bands that got me through high school, but I definitely have lost touch with death metal over the years.
Unfortunately, because of my work schedule and crazy downtown traffic, I missed Enterprise Earth and Slaughter to Prevail. I was able to catch the Slaughter To Prevail right on time and made my way to the photo pit. The vocalist came out in this crazy demon mask and was one of the most energetic frontmen I have ever seen. And well, he looked like a body builder, so I can see why all the ladies enjoyed it so much. Brazil’s brothers, Krisiun came out next and dominated; though the energy on stage wasn’t as high, they still brought the place down with their old school, satanic death metal style. One of the bands I was most excited to see was Revocation, thanks to the release of their killer new album, ‘Great is Our Sin’. Not surprisingly, they were one of my favorite sets of the night.
Suffocation, Carnifex, Nile, and Cannibal Corpse is like the lineup of my high school self’s dream. They all put on a killer show, but to be honest, I was really blown away by After the Burial. I knew nothing about the band, but judging from the name and the text of the logo I assumed I wouldn’t like them. I haven’t been into the deathcore scene since I was like fifteen, but their energy was pretty awesome. They had the best light show, the best and strongest stage presence, and to be honest, sounded pretty great.
I think the best thing about the night is that all of the bands had a relatively similar fan base, but each had a uniquely individual sound. Even though it was a full day and evening of death metal, it never once got boring or repetitive. The crowd was great, I met some remarkably friendly people, and really – for a show called the Summer Slaughter Tour – that was pretty unexpected. This tour is still kickin’ until August 21st where it ends in Atlanta, GA, so if you’re still debating making your local show – go! The tickets are incredibly reasonable, and the bands are great. I had a total fucking blast.