It was a night of a diverse arrangement of metal at The Skyway Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the same time, I felt that this lineup was kind of thrown together as it lacked some cohesiveness and it just had that vibe to it, nonetheless, it was a pretty solid night of metal with several hits and misses.
The miss was that they didn’t have an updated guest list, and the staff was kind of rude about it. I was not in the mood to debate with them about the photo pass, although I had emails from publicists confirming the photo pass, I hastily got the ticket, which I am extremely grateful for. I am not coming across as a snot, but basically the venue tried to say I was lying about it, and then having to scramble to the parking garage to put my camera away. I wasn’t feeling good, and I’m one of those people when I’m not feeling good, it’s better to just leave me alone, cause I can get pretty snippy. That’s a character flaw that I’m really trying to correct with myself. I just wanted to get in there and enjoy some music.
Due to the early show, the crowd was pretty lacking. The Skyway Theater is pretty good about advertising, but I’ve noticed that Minneapolis is pretty hit and miss when it comes to supporting live music. I feel that the crowd makes up a good portion of the show and when the support isn’t necessarily there, it somewhat hinders the show. However, that wasn’t the case for Entheos.
I was supposed to be interviewing Entheos onsite after their set, but from my understanding, this festival has been hard to coordinate interviews, so if you plan on interviewing at Summer Slaughter, take the interviews when you can get them. I sent them some questions over, so hopefully they will answer them. I enjoyed Entheos brutal sound and the female vocalist was screaming her tail off. In this band, the bass player stuck out to me as I was watching him tap on the bass and his playing reminds me of John Myung of Dream Theater in a way. After about 20 minutes, Entheos was done. One thing I noticed was how quick the changeover was. The crew at Summer Slaughter didn’t mess around. Terror Universal was next to take the stage.
Again, was supposed to have an interview with this band, but things came up and we rescheduled it, so I just sent some questions over. Things happen, not a big deal to me. It was pretty cool seeing Shaping The Legacy guitarist Joe Dragich step in for this tour as he played the songs as if he was a permanent member of the band. Again, I wish there was a bigger crowd. I am not being sarcastic when I said there wasn’t a 100 people there during this time. I kind of dug the nu-metal vibe(think early Slipknot meets early Mudvayne) to their sound. Back when both of those bands were cool and had a real edge to them. I will have a rant about Slipknot in a future blog. Anyways, I liked the mystique behind the band with the masks and they sounded pretty tight overall. The crowd response was pretty decent, and I felt that they would have fared better on say Rockstar Mayhem Festival or Ozzfest as opposed to Summer Slaughter. That doesn’t take away Terror Universal from holding their own as they certainly did that. Allegaeon was the next to take the stage.
From a technical standpoint, I really was marveled by Allegaeon’s sound. This was my first time listening to Allegaeon and my first impression would be this: if Mozart and Bach made metal music today, that’s what it would sound like. There were ample amounts of crescendos and progressions in the metal, yet the band made it look completely easy. If this was a talent show, the band would’ve gotten a blue ribbon. They certainly captivated me enough to where I want to listen to more of their music. Be on the look out for an interview with Allegaeon in the future. Then, The Agony Scene was next.
I will have an interview with The Agony Scene on here in the near future. We had a great conversation about where they have been, religious fanaticism, and their music. The crowd started to file in more. Again, this is what happens when you have an early show on a weekday. I would’ve handled this differently. I would’ve had a separate side stage for some of the bands on the bill in order to bring about the relentlessness that is supposed to be The Summer Slaughter tour. The Agony Scene, out of Oklahoma, had a sense of humor when they played and I can tell that they really enjoy just being back. Their music sounds better live than in the studio as they brought the energy to the crowd. Lastly, I’m going to tell you about a band that stole the night and that band is Erra.
I have had people raving to me about Erra and I had no idea why. Maybe it’s because they were one of the greatest bands I’ve heard in years. Talk about an unbelievable band. They have an uncanny ability of mixing post-hardcore, metalcore, and even elements of tech metal to their body of work and they somehow create some of the most emotional music I’ve heard in a long time. The crowd was singing along to them, moshing, and we finally saw some crowdsurfing during their set. The trade off on the vocals was alarmingly astounding and Erra certainly had the crowd in the palm of their hand. Erra should write a manuscript on how to win fans over while playing live. Erra showed why they are one of the greatest bands you haven’t listened to yet. They even treated the crowd with new upcoming material that they are roadtesting.
After Alleageon interview, I checked out some of Veil Of Maya and left. Sorry Born Of Osiris and Between The Buried And Me, I didn’t get to you. Veil Of Maya had some cool lights and a neat stage set up, and their themes in their music were appealing to some, others it went over their head. I have said this about Veil Of Maya, they’re an acquired taste, but I think that’s how they want to be. I get their appeal, but they really didn’t cut it for me.
- How quick the set changes were
- Erra(stole the night)
- Alleagaeon blowing people away with their set
- The Skyway Theater, this is the third time I’ve been to a show where it’s not even close to being a sellout. ADVERTISE! If you want customers and a business, advertise! However, the acoustics in the venue were top notch.
- No photo pass. I’m whining here I know. I’m just appreciative of being able to experience this. I just like taking pictures 🙂
- The billing. This was a different lineup in comparison to other Summer Slaughter lineups. I would’ve had Terror Universal go on later in order to show the hometown kid Joe Dragich(Thrax) some love. Personally, I would have this festival be on weekends and through the week for large cities. You’re not going to get a crowd when you have an early show on a weekday in a smaller market like Minneapolis. If they want all these bands doing 25 minute sets, then have it be two stages outdoor festival. Just my opinion.
Overall: I would give this festival a 7/10. Just make those few changes and I would primarily stick with underground bands only.
Here is the tour dates for the remainder of Summer Slaughter:
Thursday, August 9th- Ace Of Spades in Sacramento, California
Friday, August 10th- The UC Theater in Berkeley, California
Saturday, August 11th- The Novo in Los Angeles, California
Sunday, August 12th- The Grove of Anaheim in Anaheim, California
Monday, August 13th- Soma in San Diego, California
Tuesday, August 14th- The Marquee in Tempe, Arizona
Wednesday, August 15th- Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Friday, August 17th- Gas Monkey Live! in Dallas, Texas
Saturday, August 18th- House Of Blues in Houston, Texas
Sunday, August 19th- Empire Garage in Austin, Texas
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.