After a couple of days away from shows and a couple of weeks away from metal shows, it felt super nice to walk into the Amsterdam last night and be greeted with familiar faces and the sweet sound of aggression. Some people think that metal music makes people angry but I think just the opposite. There’s something calming and soothing about stellar guitar riffs and sinister growls. It’s a sense of comfort that I need to keep sane and it was exactly what I needed last night while I come to the realization that Riot Fest is in a week and that signals the true end of summer.
Pursuit of Cash got things started. I was stoked to catch these guys again. I caught them in May when I traveled out to Alexandria, MN for the Mosh Out Suicide event and instantly fell in love. Although it had only been a couple of months, I completely forgot about just how unique their sound is. The blend of hardcore, street punk, thrash and metal all come together to form a sound of perfection and although they seem to just be inching into the Twin Cities metal scene, I see a long and very prosperous future for these kids.
Speaking of kids, the next band up is one of the best in the scene right now but also one of the youngest. I can’t help but laugh at the fact that I just recently saw one of the members post about his graduation party on Facebook. Not college graduation… high school graduation. This band proves that you’re never too young to thrash and never too young to be one of the best bands in a particular scene. Having only been around for two years now, it’s a bit surprising just how big this young band has gotten but, when you see them perform, there’s no question as to why they are the most buzzing name in the scene. Agony Reigns has more energy on stage than some bands that have been doing this for decades and they have sound to match. If you were to just listen to the music and watch the crowd, you would never suspect that there are teenagers behind the instruments. Their music is thrashy, loud, make you want to move, and, most importantly, well rehearsed. I’ve seen Agony Reigns over a dozen times now and they have yet to have an “off show”. Seriously, keep your eye on this band. They are going to be the next ones to break out of this scene and move onto bigger and greater things. Mark my words.
Daigoro took the stage right after Agony Reigns and replaced the thrash sound with a more brutal and sinister death metal vibe. They kept the energy high and kept the audience moving throughout their half an hour long set. With not much to say between songs other than a quick bash on Tool’s new album, Daigoro let their music do the talking and honestly that was more than enough. Although it was short and sweet, Daigoro’s set packed a punch and it was a punch that majority of the audience was still reeling from as Deathwish took the stage.
Deathwish is one of those bands that I swear I’ve seen live but just can’t seem to place the where and the when. Regardless, I was instantly reminded of just how great this group is. Acting as direct support for headliner D.R.I for a couple of dates on this current tour (last night was their first night on the tour), Deathwish is more than deserving of the slot. Much like the other bands of the night, Deathwish has their own unique sound that takes elements of various other genres, swirls them around, and makes something new. One of the elements that stood out for me was this tinge of southern rock (and yes, there was more to give their set that vibe than the vocalist’s cowboy hat). Less sinister and more in your face metal, I loved the fact that although Deathwish was different than the bands before them and the band to come, the audience didn’t hold back and their set was greeted with a sense of energy and admiration from the audience.
Closing out the night was the one and only DRI (stands for Dirty Rotten Imbeciles). Where to even begin with this legendary group? Since the early 1980’s, DRI has been putting out their trashy and aggressive music for an audience that is truly ride or die for this band. There’s something almost cult like about their following but that’s for good reason. DRI is one of those bands that, although not a household name like some of the other greats in the scene, are truly the reason for a lot of the music we have in this day and age. Although times have changed and the years have passed, vocalist Kurt Brecht and guitarist Spike Cassidy are still in the band and have been since day one which I think says a lot about the accomplishments of this band. (And yes, Kurt was still working the merch table which is something that I have always truly admired.)
DRI’s songs are quick and dirty so I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they played over two dozen songs last night. I lost count after the tenth and between trying to not miss a single thing happening on stage while keeping my eye on the growing pit in front of me, the show flew by in the blink of an eye. The energy on stage was immeasurable as was the energy from the audience. It may not have been a sold out show but it truly felt like one just when it came to the vibe and energy throughout those who had chosen to spend their Tuesday night at a show instead of just at home.
There were five bands last night but somehow Tuesday night’s show flew by. My nearly five hours spent at Amsterdam felt more like a couple of minutes which was a bit of a bummer but also a sign of a damn good show.