Friday, September 12, 2008

An evening with Carcass

A few days ago, my friend Angela, who was totally unfamiliar with grindcore, asked me to describe Carcass to her. I told her they were the Led Zeppelin of grindcore/death metal, and their current tour is inspiring the same emotions in long time fans as Zep's recent reunion. I know that to be personally true. Seriously, I don't know anyone who went to their show last night at Volume 11 who didn't come away absolutely ecstatic at having seen them. So, for those of you who didn't want to spend the $30 to see the show, well, I'm sorry to say, that was a really bad move on your part. I've seen a lot of bands, and some amazing concerts, and I will say last night's show was easily in the 10 ten shows (maybe even the top 5 -- still working that out in my head) I've ever seen in my life. If they come around again, redeem yourself and spend whatever you need to spend to see them.

The evening began auspiciously when we found a parking space RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CLUB! Seriously, it was as if the Metal Gods were smiling down, holding that space just for us. Anyway, once again I got to the show a little late, which was really OK with me because I actually didn't want to wait through four other bands to see Carcass. Unfortunately one of the bands I missed was Black Metallers 1349, whom I'd heard great things about from Wolf. Wolf was indeed there and chided me for missing them. Cy Rawls was also there (actually about 99 percent of all the metal heads I know were there), and it was great to see him out enjoying a show. Suffocation came on right after we arrived, and were about three songs into their set when suddenly the singer stopped everything and said something was smoking on stage. The words "Great White" immediately popped into my mind and I immediately looked around to find the emergency exit (luckily I was standing right in front of it). As it turned out, some sort of fan had broken and started smoking (not sure if this was an actual air fan or some sort of motorized part). After everything was cleared up, they continued with their show. After what seemed like four years worth of guitar tuning and mic checking, Carcass hit the stage and opened with "Impropagation." I was pretty far in the back (no way I was going to brave that pit), and had to record the video with my arms straight above my head. Try doing that for six minutes straight. It's not fun. I also had a mild panic attack when some girl jumped on her boyfriend's shoulders right infront of me, thus blocking my view, but luckily she didn't stay up there very long. I was going to cut it off as soon as the song ended, but they immediately went into my second favorite song, "Buried Dreams," so I recorded that one as well. My absolute favorite Carcass song, "Corporeal Jigsore Quandary," was next, but my arms were literally tingling at that point, so I decided to just enjoy the moment. I've uploaded high-res versions of both videos, and linked to them both below the embed versions. They're significantly better than the embedded versions, but take about 30 minutes each to download. I was personally very happy with the set, which also included personal favorites "Incarnated Solvent Abuse," "Exhume to Consume" and "Heartwork." There was no encore, but they did do a little tribute to original drummer Ken Owen, who was left unable to play following a brain hemmorage in 1999, but is obviously still a major part of the band. Jeff Walker name-checked former tour-mates and Raleigh legends Confessor. He also, thankfully, asked to turn up the AC, which was great because it was seriously about 110 degrees in the club. Even the moshers eventually seemed to wilt. See more photos.

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