Crowbar and Exhorder Play Together After 20 Years
Band Photo: Crowbar (?)
For the first time in over twenty years, two amazing metal bands from the sludge-covered city of New Orleans shared a stage. The crowds came out in droves for the show, bearing the freezing temperatures to see what will be considered a landmark show. There were many familiar faces in attendance, but the large amount of middle-aged non-metalheads was staggering. I can only speculate that these people came because Exhorder was one of their favorites as a kid, and even though they don’t like metal anymore, they wanted to see a band from their youth. It was similar to the crowd from their first show in years in November 2009 that had even less younger people. Regardless of the differences in the crowd, everyone had a great time watching the incredible event unfold.
Flesh Parade was lucky enough to open the show. The grindcore band is featured in Unearthing the Metal Underground: NOLA Part 2 if you want to know more about them. The shrieking of vocalist Scott Leger pierced ears and freaked out the yuppie crowd there to see Exhorder. Their grindcore blazed so fast, it was hard to hear the separate drums beats and guitar strums.
Crowbar slowly started their set; the delay caused by the absence of their “pot-smokin’ drummer,” as Kirk Windstein put it. When they began to play, the heaviness oozed from the speakers like…well, sludge, of course. For most Crowbar shows, the songs they play are the heaviest and slowest, but I was surprised at the song choices for this show. Among the heavily played songs like “The Lasting Dose” and “Self Inflicted” were the faster songs like “Planets Collide.” While the songs were mostly fast and furious, there were long melodic stretches, almost like jam sessions. The music was a mixture of chaos and calmness, instead of steady heaviness. Kirk tends to tell stories between songs. That night’s story was about how he bought a ridiculous amount of burgers at Arby’s and wrecked his car while trying to eat them, but it’s a lot more fun to hear Kirk tell it. He also remarked on how long it had been since Crowbar and Exhorder had shared a stage and guitarist Matthew Brunson told the audience that he was just 8 years old the last time they played together.
Legendary Exhorder quickly took the stage after Crowbar; immediately going into their set with such intensity that people who didn’t move so much as their finger before spontaneously burst into headbanging convulsions. Vocalist Kyle Thomas was a sight to see. He gyrated so quickly that you would think he was being electrocuted. His face grimaced as he sang high and low to the songs that made us love him. Bassist Frankie Sparcello bent crookedly over his bass to watch every move his fingers made. Both guitarists hands were flying to make the hectic music. Their set included songs like “Unforgiven,” but in honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of Black Sabbath’s first album the next day (Feb. 13th), Kyle Thomas dedicated “Into the Void” to the progenitors of metal. Exhorder proudly played the song “Exhorder” that they call their title song. It encompasses everything they represent. And if you want to know exactly what that is, go buy "Slaughter in the Vatican."
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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