Jesus Piece Leaves Underground Music Venue Completely Shattered


There are absolutely some kids waking up in a lot of pain today. The amount of flying limbs and people crashing to the floor at the show on Sunday night at The Underground Music Venue was uncountable. It was one of those shows where, although I would have loved to get in the mess of things, I knew that the wrong kind of hit or kick would take me out, and, at my age, that’s not as much fun as it used to be. Long story short, things were insane, and it really set the stage for what would be a show that would not be forgotten soon.

Things got off to a rocky start. As the brutal death metal band Peeling Flesh started their set, everything went wrong. Although it took me a second to catch onto what was happening, my friend kept poking me and pointing at the ceiling. I didn’t see what she was trying to show me until it was too late. Just about two songs into the set, water had started pouring out of the ceiling and onto the stage. Obviously, this was concerning, and the set came to a halt. It was a moment of panic for the band, staff, and audience alike. It seemed as if the water wasn’t going to stop, so staff brought garbage cans to the stage to collect the falling water. The members of the band looked around, trying to figure out what to do. It was quick thinking, but they started moving to the floor as the sold-out audience chanted “floor show.” Although the thought of Sunday night being a floor show excited me, I knew that it would mean a more intense show than I had already been planning on. Part of me wanted a floor show, but the adult part of me said that it was going to be a complete disaster. It was as if time was standing still as pieces of the drum set were moved onto the floor, but they quickly moved back onto the stage. The water had stopped flowing from the ceiling, and the band and staff felt comfortable enough to keep the show on the stage. After a couple more minutes of stress and slight panic, Peeling Flesh kicked back into their set as if nothing had happened.

Although the hiccup at the beginning of the night meant that things had to move a bit faster and songs had to be cut, Peeling Flesh didn’t waste a single moment of what was left of their time. This band is brutal (which is something that could be said about all of the bands that performed on Sunday); there’s no other way to put it. Their death meets slam style of metal was as ear-catching as it was move-inducing. Instead of the audience warming up to the show and conserving some energy for what was to come, there were instantly divers jumping off the stage, and I instantly felt the thrill that one could only get from a good old-fashioned hardcore/ metal show at a very DIY-styled venue. I may not have been able to shout along to the words of Peeling Flesh, but their music hit me hard and was a perfect way to get Sunday night started.

Following Peeling Flesh was the more classic hardcore stylings of Gag. There were no frills when it came to this band. Their sound was heavy, intense, and almost threatening in the perfect way. I loved watching the vocalist storm across the stage with a sense of fury and slight intimidation as the audience did the same. Gag’s nods to the classic hardcore bands of years gone by set them apart from the rest of the line-up. Don’t get me wrong, I know that all of the bands that performed on Sunday know their roots, but there was just something about Gag that threw me back to the days of worshipping bands like The Germs. The intimidation I felt from the vocalist made me not want to miss a single beat of their set, and although it was a short set, I was left feeling satisfied and in love with this Washington state-based band.

I thought I knew what was coming next, having just seen the next band, , when they opened for Cattle Decapitation last December, but I don’t know if anything could have prepared me for the constant stream of divers and flailing limbs that ensued during Sanguisugabogg’s set. Like I said the last time I covered the, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say this band’s name, but that doesn’t matter. The intensity and brutality that they bring to the stage are all that matters, and it was flawless during their set on Sunday. With a sound that leans a bit more into the death metal scene than the previous bands, this band laid it all on the stage, and it was easy to see the crowd respond to that. There weren’t many people standing still during Sanguisugabogg’s set. Add the band’s signature game of “murderball,” where they throw a football into the audience, and whoever is left with it in their grip at the end of a song gets whatever they want from the merch table, and you were left with yet another set that left me completely out of breath and exhausted even though I spent my time glued against a wall and away from the falling bodies.

I had already seen my share of bloody noses, busted eyes, and people lying on the ground for a bit too long due to hitting their heads against the concrete or being on the wrong receiving end of a fist, but the night was not done, and we still have a personal favorite of mine – Jesus Piece- to go. Jesus Piece has really done a lot for the underground hardcore leaning metal scene, and they continue to do so as they can somehow do a show like the modest one on Sunday and then turn around and play a giant festival-styled show. They are shining a light on this scene that I find so intriguing and so welcoming, yet others find so dangerous and intimidating. Having seen Jesus Piece a couple of times already and once in this very room, I knew to brace myself for impact, but even with that, I feel like this band always ends up blowing me away. Whether it’s by their energy or the way the audience responds to their intensity, I always leave a Jesus Piece set exhausted and hurting, even if I’m just standing there and taking it all in.

Now that I sit here this morning trying to recall Sunday night’s show, I realize that I don’t remember much of anything, and, for fear of losing my phone in the madness, I didn’t pull it out for longer than a couple of seconds to snap a photo. Because of this, I feel like this review does nothing other than show how much I love these bands and this scene, but that’s okay, right? That’s the point of this blog. I do this because I love it, and I want you, the reader, to understand how powerful a live show can be. It can be subtle, like the power and beauty I felt on Saturday night, or it can be a bit more literal with the sweat and blood I saw on Sunday night. Either way, it’s an amazing way to spend an evening, and I hope reviews like this make you want to get out there and explore all kinds of live music.