GIG REVIEW: Napalm Death, TBDM, Power Trip & Abnormality Live at Gas Monkey, Dallas
When a band is as politically driven and full of aggression Napam Death is, one is forced to come to terms with the issues plaguing our society and inspired to take action. The night of the 21st was such an event at Gas Monkey, Dallas.
I missed the first band, which was Abnormality, as I was misdirected by the official website venue listing. I arrived late, but caught the last couple of songs by Power Trip, which from what little I could gather, seemed like a very well knit thrash metal unit. Great sustained tremolo guitar playing and some interesting crowd interaction from singer Riley Gale warmed the crowd very well for the next act to grace the stage, which was The Black Dahlia Murder.
I have been a Black Dahlia Murder fan since they put out ‘Nocturnal’ and I had seen them earlier in the year so it was nice to revisit those tunes live. They started out with the bone crunching “What A Horrible Night To Have a Curse” which opened the pit nice and good. They followed up with “Statutory Ape” and “Abysmal” which saw the crowd a bit deflated as many people seemed to be paying attention to the musicianship on stage rather than the carnage in the pit.
All of that soon changed when they played “Nocturnal” and “Vlad, Son of the Dragon” as the pit saw open up and roar. I entered the mix with my brethren when they played “Miasma” and almost tripped, only to be picked up by my fellow moshers. It was one of the most joyful and warm hearted mosh pits I have had the pleasure to be a part of.
The mood turned a bit melancholic with “Deathmask Devine” and they ended their set with “I Will Return”. It was very nice to hear them play older material and to see that they still have the chops. They have never been disappointing to begin with. The post-set stage tear down and setup took some time, after which Napalm Death began doing their own sound check. It was humbling to see a band of their caliber and achievements not have a crew do their sound check. It was very nice to see the DIY approach and I adore it with all its honesty.
Formed in the early 1980s in Meriden, England, Napalm Deathhave been at the forefront the grindcore subgenre mixing socio-political commentary with hardcore infused punk metal. It was their last show of the tour supporting their most recent release ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’. Since it was a grindcore show, the length of the songs were shorter but the intensity was off the charts. They kept pelting great hits like “It’s a M.A.N.S World!” , “Stunt Your Growth”, “Scum”, “Suffer The Children” and the beloved shortest song on the planet “You Suffer”.
They also played cover songs, featuring “Face Down In The Dirt” by Offenders, “Hate, Fear and Power” by Hirax and “Nazi Punks F*** Off” by Dead Kennedys. What I found quite genuine is the fact that Mark Greenway, lovingly known as Barney, gave a little monologue after every song, to segue into the new track. They were his own worlds, spoken from the heart. It was emotion pouring out with utmost concern and disillusionment for the status quo. He is, by far, the most genuine performer I have seen in all my concert going experience. It was wonderful. At the end of the concert, I shook his hands and hugged him.
Not many concerts leave you pondering, not many concerts leave you empty.