Friday Night Extreme Energy at The Cabooze For Despised Icon, Carnifex, Fallujah, Rings of Saturn, and Lorna Shore


Photos by David Rubene

It has been a week of non-stop shows. Each one seemed to be a bit better than the last and I even found a new love for bluegrass and jam band music. Even with all of the amazing shows that I’ve seen in the past couple of days, last night was the highlight of my week. It wasn’t because of the music, more because of the crowd. I know that I’m literally living the dream but it can get a bit rough when I can’t find time to hang out with friends. That’s why nights like last night are so important to me. Sure, the show was great but being able to see all of my friends was better. After doing the rounds and saying hi to everyone I could find, I grabbed my drink and staked my spot out in the venue.

Lorna Shore was the first band to take the stage and the main reason I was stoked for the show. These guys have always impressed me with their shear brutality and how they can find a breakdown in the breakdown. Even though I’ve seen these guys nearly half a dozen times, last night was the best. Their set was short which was a bit of a bummer but they easily packed a punch in the twenty five minutes that they spent on stage. There are times in Lorna Shore’s music where the breakdowns are so heavy and so slow that you can’t help but look at your friends with that “Is this even real?” face. Even though they were the first band to take the stage, Lorna Shore’s energy had the crowd moving within the first song. There was no need for a warm up or anything else. Within the first couple of notes, the pit was made and bodies were flying. Lorna Shore had set the bar high and I wondered if the other bands would be able to even come close.

The next band to take the stage was Rings of Saturn from California. As soon as they took the stage, I was struck by the sheer technicality of the sweeping guitars going on. Their mix of death metal and metalcore was on point. It was as if they new my favorite parts of both of those genres and blended those together. Much like Lorna Shore and the other bands that would take the stage later on in the night, Rings of Saturn had a sense of viciousness that the crowd instantly picked up on. You could feel the aggression throughout the room but you could also feel the love and that made for a beautiful show.

San Francisco metal band Fallujah was the next band to take the stage and it was easy to tell that they were one of the more anticipated bands of the night for majority of the crowd. They took the stage with the same sense of ferocity of the other bands. The crowd’s energy was still just as high as it was during Lorna Shore’s set and I wondered if the audience would have any juice left for the two last bands. There were no breakdowns in breakdowns like Lorna Shore and I didn’t notice any sweeping guitar solos that had me with my jaw on the ground but they still held their own with their intense sound. I quickly figured out why there had been so much hype about this band throughout my group of friends. The cohesiveness of the group was impossible to ignore and they ended up being one of the more solid bands of the night.

With two bands left, I was starting to feel the exhaustion I had been trying to suppress with vodka Red Bulls and I was starting to realize that the tickle in my throat may be more than just a tickle. I was worried if I would make it through the rest of the show but then Carnifex took the stage and I instantly forgot about how tired I was or how sick I felt. 

Hailing from San Diego, Carnifex is one of those bands that, although I don’t particularly love their music on recordings, I refuse to miss a chance to see them live. Carnifex’s music is the epitome of deathcore and to say they do it right would be an understatement. These guys had a very crisp feeling to the music that was lost among the other bands and typically lost in the genre. Even with a crisp and clean sound to their music, these guys kept the energy high and had a sense of aggression and brutality that had reigned supreme throughout the night.

It’s hard to put Carnifex’s energy into words. The crowd seems to feed off of the band’s energy and vice versa. There was no shortage of pushing and shoving throughout the crowd and the pit that seemed to have stayed in the same spot throughout the night quickly grew and took over majority of the packed venue. Singer Scott Lewis may have a voice that screams brutality but the way he would smile at the crowd surfers was more sincere than anything else. You could tell the band truly appreciated the crowd participation and it was easy to notice that these guys knew they would be nothing without the fans.

With six studio albums out, Carnifex was able to pick a set list that the whole audience could enjoy. Whether you had been a fan since day one and had worshiped their first album “Dead In My Arms” back in 2007 or you were a newcomer who loved their newest album “Slow Death” that came out last year, they played a song for you. Regardless of what song they were playing or what era the song was from, the crowd was eating it up. Having seen these guys multiple times, it’s easy for me to say that last night was the best set I’ve ever seen them play and, for such a seasoned band, it was nice to see them only get better with age and not become complacent with what they have been doing.

Rounding out the already amazing night of music was Despised Icon. It had been years since this Canadian deathcore group had played Minnesota and it was clear that the crowd had been craving a live show from these guys. There was a new sense of tension in the air that hadn’t been there throughout the night. The intensity of the crowd seemed a bit more extreme while still keeping the Minnesota nice mentality. The crowd erupted each time Despised Icon started a song and would use the couple of seconds between songs to take a breather. Within just a couple of songs, singer Steve Marois addressed the crowd and said that this was by far the best show of the tour. Sure, I hear that at almost every show I go to but I truly felt Steve meant it last night and I hope that means they won’t wait another seven years to come back (although I do understand there was a hiatus in there somewhere but still). 

All in all, last night was an amazing night filled with amazing music and great friends. It was one of those nights where, regardless of how tired I was, I had an amazing time and was able to feed off the energy of the bands and crowd and literally forget about the exhaustion that comes with a week full of shows.