I would have posted about this earlier in the week, but I was too busy trying to pick my jaw up off the floor while slowly regaining my hearing. Anyway, there were a few things I was expecting on the evening of Decibel’s 100th Issue Celebration Show, including beer and awesome performances. I was particularly excited since the show was my first time seeing any of the bands on the bill, namely Pig Destroyer and Converge. What I was not expecting were the many announcements and surprise special guests for that evening.
Tombs was just getting on stage by the time I got there and were putting on a good show, but after their set one of the first exciting incidents of the night occured. After they finished, none other than Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates walked on stage and announced the lineup for the Decibel Magazine Tour 2013. Needless to say, the crowd got pretty excited. Actually, they were kind of ecstatic, as was I.
Next up was Municipal Waste and I’ll tell you right now that if you have never seen this band before, then you need to get yourself to the Metal Alliance Tour. The circle pit was pretty much instantaneous and the venue was just a straight up party during Municipal Waste’s set. Tony Foresta was in absolute top form, and funny as shit to boot. Without a doubt, the highlight was when Tomas Lindberg came back on stage and played a cover of “United Forces” by Stormtroopers of Death. Get that right: Municipal Waste and Tomas Lindberg covered STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH. Holy hell.
I’m not all that familiar with Repulsion and from the looks of the crowd it seemed like I wasn’t alone. Actually, it was the band’s first time playing in Philly. Their frontman/bassist Scott Carlson had some cool bass tones going on and they offered up some solid death metal. That said, some of the crowd’s initial reaction to the band was along the lines of “Who is this and why are they on after Municipal Waste?” I think that by the end of the end set, people were digging them.
It’s safe to say that many people were at the show to see Pig Destroyer, and with good reason. I don’t know if it was just me, but the set started off sounding odd. It got better over time though. The band plowed through their set complete with various sound bites. Plus, the band played two songs live for the first time: “Book Burner” and “The Diplomat”. Considering the band’s latest release was among the best albums from 2012, it was an absolute treat to hear their new material.
Finally Converge took the stage, but before they began, John Baizley of Baroness surprised everyone with an appearence and then delivered a moving speech concerning the band’s horrific bus accident and his feelings on Converge’s All We Love We Leave Behind. Here’s an excerpt:
I think it was about three-and-a-half weeks after the crash, I had the new Converge record and I was like, ‘Well, Emmylou is not doing it for me, let’s try the opposite.’ And that record brought me back into the fold. Thank you for writing music that truly inspires, and I mean this when I say this, that truly rehabilitates, not just offers me a release from aggressions or from bullshit, but something that helps me look forward to tomorrow when today is as tough as it gets.
With that, Converge plunged into their set. Now, let me make it known that people were stage diving (or flipping) most of the night. But Converge was the only band that night that had about 10+ people onstage ready to leap off at one time. I can say without a doubt that Converge are the most batshit crazy band that I have ever seen live. I swear Jacob Bannon was possessed or something. They even pulled out “Locust Reign” for the first time in years. Of course, the most memorable part of the night was when John Baizley came onstage again to play “Coral Blue” with the band.
To say that my expectations were exceeded would be an understatement of an understatement (if that makes any sense). Suffice it to say that, unless you were also at the show, my night was better than yours. Thankfully for those not in attendance, photographer Maclyn Bean was at the show and took some great shots of the entire evening. Check out a few of his photos from each set after the jump.
[check out more photos from the event here]