Music as a Weapon 4 Tour Report From New Orleans
Band Photo: Killswitch Engage (?)
The Music as a Weapon 4 Tour is not just a couple of bands tagging along with Disturbed for a romp around the states. It is an all day festival of skin art, extreme sports, and music in addition to the headliner bands that draw the crowds in the first place. It all sounded wonderful to me when I bought my tickets. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way.
It was a hot Louisiana spring day. The sun was in full flesh-baking mode and the beer and water were over-priced, but we braved the hardships to see the sights and hear the notes of the Music as a Weapon 4 show in New Orleans. Hoping for the best, we tromped through the gate promptly at 2:30. There was a band already on stage, but I must confess that I was too busy looking for the other festivities to catch any names. I only know that the best known of the outside bands, Suicide Silence, was M.I.A. Anyway, I searched high and low for the festival. The only things I could find were the small-time bands' merchandise and a Sprint truck set up with all of their latest cellular devices. Where were the amazing things I was promised? I wanted to see back flips off ramps and hear the buzz of tattoo guns. I had to know what was the cause of the non-madness. It turns out that some busses had broken-down in Little Rock, and the rest of the fest would not be coming.
Well after this slight disappointment, I settled down to enjoy the music, but (even though I'm Cajun) 90 degrees of heat forced me to seek shelter in the parking lot under the cover of a car's roof as it was only three o'clock and the doors wouldn't open until six o'clock. The tailgating was actually quite fun, though. Has anyone seen Heavy Metal Parking Lot? Well, I have. And I felt like I was reliving the glory days of getting wasted in the parking lot before the show with your best buds blaring your favorite mix of metal to rev everyone up for the coming mayhem that is the concert.
Eventually, the doors opened and the show started. The floor of the small arena was packed and most of the seats were sat in. Lacuna Coil opened the show...and did an amazing job. It was my first time seeing two singers on stage; Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. That in itself was different and intriguing, the way the two had to interact with the audience directly while the other was singing. Their playing was superb and beautiful. The most haunting song was one from the new album called "Spellbound." Unfortunately, they only played for 30 minutes which included 6 songs. I was hungry for more of the darkly enticing musical aroma that Lacuna Coil creates.
Next up was Chimaira. They might as well have been the last band of the night because they brought the house down. The agression they brought to the stage completely made me forget that I was surrounded by teenyboppers (it was an all-ages event). I felt like I was in a smoky, sweaty, bar in a seedy part of town hoping my ears don't start bleeding from the ridiculously loud volume. I was headbanging along as were all to the awesome tunes they ripped from their instruments. They also played for only thirty minutes, coming in under ten songs, two from the newest album "The Infection." They were fucking great!
The last two bands of the night, Killswitch Engage and Disturbed, respectively, played well. That's it. Killswitch had some moments of metal, but were mostly singing ballads for the ladies. The vocals were clean and soft like a freshly washed teddy bear. The music was ambient, yet upbeat. It was lovely; not heavy. Disturbed brought back some heaviness, at least. This was a rock concert, right? Frontman David Draiman arrived onstage on a huge spinning band logo in the air. He immediately went into song rather than soaking up the applause like a pompous ass. He paced the stage like a lion singing and growling his heart out. I'm no fan of ballady-clean vocals, but when David does it, it still sounds cool. I loved all of the songs and was dancing and headbanging along the whole time. The indoor festivities were no let-down.
All-in-all the Music as a Weapon 4 show was fun. I was expecting more, but shit happens and busses break down. All the bands did an awesome job! I definitely recommend seeing the show if they come to your town if you can afford a popular concert price.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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