Great Falls Gets A Dose Of Evil Disco With Static-X, Skumlove, And Seventh Void
Band Photo: Skumlove (?)
It isn’t often that a town like Great Falls gets a big name band playing anything even remotely close to metal, with country and contemporary being the dominant musical genres in the area. The metal fans of Montana arrived in force on May 11th at the Civic Center Mansfeld Convention building to show their support of the scene and let Static-X know that Great Falls can be just as valid a tour stop as any bigger city. Playing alongside the kings of “evil disco” were Skumlove, My Evolution, and the newly formed Seventh Void, which features two Type O Negative members.
All of the various news outlets, from the band’s MySpace pages to the record label press releases, stated that the show started at 8:00 PM. Inexplicably they decided to start up a half an hour early so unfortunately openers Skumlove only got a fraction of the crowd to play for. Despite the setback they still played their blend of rock, industrial, and punk with gusto. For those who couldn’t be there, or happened to show up as their set was ending, Skumlove has premiered the new song "Anti-American Idol" exclusively on the Metalunderground MySpace music player.
After a brief rest Hollywood’s My Evolution took the stage. Savvy readers may have noted that Metalunderground does not in fact have an entry for the band, and those readers can feel free to read anything into that statement that they’d like. Different strokes for different folks and all, but let’s just say that anyone who feels that AFI and My Chemical Romance are valid bands were probably having the time of their lives. Metal fans who regularly listen to Emperor or Amon Amarth on the other hand suddenly found themselves with a good deal of extra time to go buy an overpriced beer. My Evolution definitely didn’t help their case with the more extreme crowd when they announced that they would be playing a cover of “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran.
Seventh Void took over next to prep the crowd for the main event. Touring in support of their recently released debut album “Heaven is Gone,” they showed the audience what Kenny Hickey meant when he told Metalunderground in an interview that the band sounds like an evil Led Zeppelin. Even the title track of the album played off the Zeppelin theme, taking the “Stairway to Heaven” idea in a different direction. Their music was surprisingly slower paced and much more atmospheric than the previous bands, which left the jumping around and head banging to a minimum. The lack of frantic energy wasn’t a detraction in any way though, as the change was welcome after the over the top nature of the previous band. The music washed over the crowd in undulating waves and everyone seemed to be enjoying the show, even if they weren’t trying to mosh to it. Some of the big name bands who have been in the news recently for flipping out on their fans should have been in attendance for the show to see how a real front man handles a crowd. The vocalist got pelted with not one but two water bottles in rapid succession and didn’t stop the show to whine about it, but rather kept on going and even threw them back out to the fans.
At some point during the early sets a bum managed to sneak his way into the venue and proceeded to pick up all the cast off beer cups and drink what was left out of them. Eventually he worked his courage up enough to start outright asking people to just give him booze, and apparently it worked. Whether the fans felt sorry for him or thought an old homeless guy sneaking into a concert to get wasted was pretty metal isn’t clear, but his tactics were unquestionably successful. By the time Static-X was getting their gear setup he was so smashed he had no idea where he was. Hats off to the drunk bum for his ingenuity.
The excitement in the venue was palpable as Static-X took the stage. While the crowd had been responsive to the other bands they positively went wild as soon as Wayne Static showed up in his iconic skull t-shirt and standing straight up hair. A mosh pit instantly formed the moment the first guitar chord was struck, which turned out to be an exceedingly bad idea. Apparently the venue decided to institute a no moshing policy, but didn’t bother to announce that fact prior to the show or in between the sets. Within the first minute of the first song two bewildered fans were tackled and dragged off in choke holds without any sort of warning. If physically tackling a metal head in full mosh mode and attempting to drag him away by his throat seems like a bad idea, that’s because it is. What could have been an easy fix by simply telling the people to break it up turned into a serious problem when moshers threw punches at their assailants as they didn’t realize it was security guards attacking them.
Once that debacle was over the crowd did their best to flip out as much as possible without actually breaking the rules, constantly being egged on by Wayne Static announcing it was time to take more shots. They played quite a few of their iconic songs like “Push It,” “Black and White,” and “I’m With Stupid.” The majority of the rest of the set was composed of songs from their latest album “Cult of Static,” which they are currently touring in support of. As would be expected they had a ridiculous amount of energy and stage presence and gave the crowd their money’s worth. Drummer Nick Oshiro stole the show however, frequently juggling his sticks and jumping around while still playing on time.
All in all the Static-X show was a great time for the metal fans in Great Falls to come together and bang their heads, even if there were a few hiccups from security and one less than heavy band.
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