When Charo told me about the Decimation of the Nation Tour, I was way more excited than I should have been. I have been dying to see Born of Osiris, and I love Cannibal Corpse, Unearth, and Hatebreed. The date rolled around and I headed over to The Rock in Maplewood – which is about as far from my place as you can get and still be considered in the Twin Cities Metro. It didn’t help it was all kinds of snowy and icy.
I’d never been there, so I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t expect the door guy giving people crap for wearing band shirts from the band they were going to see that night – one of the most hilarious things ever. Yes, it annoys me when people wear the shirt of the bands they are seeing. Apparently, this angered the door guy too. The show was a bit steep on cost, but I could justify it because I knew there would be solid acts.
Born of Osiris – Absolutely flawless. This is my first time seeing them and they didn’t disappoint. Best band of the night, honestly. The guitarists switched guitars occasionally from 7 to 6 strings, which shows they’re not a low-chug band all the time. I saw incredible drumming - REALLY. The keyboards weren’t annoying, but I would be totally bored if I wasn’t playing half of the time – that’s just me though. Amazingly heavy sound and excellent stage presence. I feel bad giving such a small review for this band since they were so amazing. However, there’s nothing this band could have done better. I would have paid the money just to see this band – and I’ll do it again.
Unearth – This was the biggest disappointment of the night. I’ve seen these guys two other times and they’ve been VERY tight. This time, there was painfully obvious sloppy guitar work – I was VERY surprised. I’m not sure if they were drunk or had an off night, but it was bad. The solos on the guitars were waaaay too loud in the mix and I blame the guitarists since they were controlling the volume with their enormous pedal boards. The bass player used a pick and played two strings and was boring – apparently, this might be a new bass player – still no excuse. The Chickenhawk guitar guy with shaved layers into the sides of his head sang all the fruity parts (not surprising). There was waaay too much kitchy and corny staged antics, like the guitarists pulling down these Mesa Boogie cabinets without speakers in them (and not plugged in), so they could climb on them like big blocks and pose like idiots. If you’re going to do that, don’t write “DUMMY” on the top of the cabinet in big letters. Yeah, swinging from the rafters of the venue could be fun, but not when it is totally staged with go-go boxes you’ve pretended to be playing through the whole set. The singer, who may have been a tad drunk, told people to try to get past the bouncers in front of the stage. The best part of the band tonight was the drummer – he’s a smasher, but is really good and solid. There are two kinds of drummers – those that break cymbals and those that don’t break cymbals – this drummer is in the earlier group, but at the same time, he’s got some finesse. That’s what I like to see. Also, I hate backwards hat-wearing push moshers in the crowd.
Cannibal Corpse – One of the best death metal acts EVER. They have never disappointed me. The band makes no eye contact, except for the singer. They wear standard metal outfits – black cargo pants with combat boots and black band shirts. Didn’t move at all from their designated spot, which is super death metal style. Everyone has long hair, even the one going bald. The drummer was flawless and looked like Yanni’s younger brother. The bass player (normally filler in metal bands) tapped various parts, soloed, mirrored the guitar parts, and played all of the strings on his bass. The guitarist in front of me banged his head and dripped enormous amounts of sweat. The guitarist had an Anal Blast shirt on – which is awesome because I know one of the guys from this Minnesota-based band – not QUITE hometown heroes… The singer, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, had eye contact, but normally these guys are all serious and scary – Corpsegrinder kept laughing at the crowd. He said we were the funniest crowd on tour. Every time the band would stop, someone in the crowd would yell something ridiculous or yell out a song and get it wrong or just do something retarded – it honestly was hilarious. It’s hard to be all tough and scary metal guy when the crowd is a bunch of morons. The singer’s neck is the size of my waist, probably because he spins his head and headbangs the entire show. They said they were going to finish with the crowd favorite Hammer Smashed Face, but they lied and played Stripped, Raped, and Strangled last – a much better finishing song – yes, I’m serious. Flawless except for some weird crackle in the speaker which I was standing right in front of (with ear plugs). These guys play through four Mesa Boogie cabinets per side, and all were functional and plugged in. SERIOUS volume.
Hatebreed – This is one of my favorite tough guy hardcore bands. Jamie Jasta got a rep for being a sell out because he got himself on MTV, but he’s still a good front man. He gets the crowd going and tries to get people on stage. At some point, some of the stage crew run across the stage and stage dives and he scores them, which I thought was pretty funny. He gave them a 7 and 9 for the night. At one point, Jamie even stopped the show when one of the bouncers got hurt. And he DID get hurt. It was pretty bad – EMTs and everything. Overall, great sound from the guitars. The bass player moved a hell of a lot, which is good for a bass player, since they’re generally playing one note at a time and have time to jump, kick people, and have fun. They all moved around all of the stage and interacted with the crowd, even though we were behind the barrier. The drummer is super solid and I like his style. He’s a solid hardcore drummer and puts in some interesting things, without being an over-the-top metal drummer. There was a young kid being smashed against the gate and one of the bouncers let him over to stand in the area in front to protect him. One of the stage guys asked the kid’s parents if they minded if he came up on the stage to watch from there and the kid got to watch the entire show from the stage. I’ll bet that kid is still smiling about that. He was having a great time.
All in all, a fantastic show that I’m glad I didn’t find some excuse for NOT going to. The sound quality at The Rock is really good and there’s plenty of room to stand without getting crowded or hit with things. Good area for merch to be sold and the bathrooms didn’t scare me to death. That’s a good thing.
Top 5 things about the Decimation of the Nation Tour
1. Born of Osiris
2. Cannibal Corpse
4. Awesome sound in the venue
5. Corpsegrinder cracking up at the crowd
Bottom 5 things
1. Unearth’s performance
2. Backwards-hat-wearing d-bags push-moshing
3. Coach wasn’t there to hang at this amazing show with me
4. Hate Eternal canceled and I was hoping to see them
5. There were shot girls walking around in whore-y clothes trying to get the d-bags to buy shots from them while they yelled “wooooo!” like morons