Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Slammin' Saturday Roundup XXXTreme--Immortal Live in San Antonio

It's not very often that I actually get down with something that is tr00 and kvlt.  Black metal is one of the genres of music from which I cull very little of my musical taste, though it has become more and more frequent that I am able to find something in that darkest category to enjoy and identify with on a deeper level.  But this past Saturday, something amazing happened.  The mighty Immortal swooped in on giant, ice-covered pterodactyls and brought the frostbite and frowns to San Antonio, TX.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Out of anywhere in Texas that Immortal could do their sole Texas show, why in the holy hell would they choose San Antonio?"

That is not for us to ask.

On this most grim day, my crustiest and cakiest bro Van Damned was kind enough to open up his apartment to an elite group of people for pre-show partying and general good times, and good times were indeed had.  Among the group were other crusty, cake-y bros Andy Wilhelm (with his girlfriend Amanda in tow) and the Artist Formerly Known as the WZA'd, who this time didn't say anything that would piss off somebody in a band that I like.  The Farinellis were in attendance and regaled us with stories of Gaahl's creepy tastes, which are more horrifying than you'd think even if you know who he is, while latecomers Daine Vineyard, Josh Dawkins, and a fellow I only know as Adrian rounded out the evening with beards and band notoriety.  Our motley crew looked like this:

Getting pumped...

But quickly devolved as I drank all of Van Damned's whiskey into this:
Thug life is for chumps.  We live the Chug Life.

and finally pictures started to resemble mugshots shown on the Megan's Law website
Photographic evidence of why I'm an embarrassment to my family and friends

and we knew that we were ready for action.

We showed up to the show and got through will call without any issue.  We were pumped and ready, and there were a great many people in full corpse paint that were similarly ready for such a wonderously grim event.  Absu opened up the show and played a great set that I remember hazily at best, and since I know very little about Absu I can't name any of their hot cuts that got jammed out, but the air was thick with anticipation.  And also pot smoke.


 Gratuitous drummer action shot.

Absu finished their set, and Immortal started setting up.  It took forever, but I took the opportunity to wander around in a confused haze, find Van Damned, get punched in the stomach by Van Damned for some reason and get lost again.  Then the show started.

It was glorious.
It looks like they have smoke machines, but that's just the crowd's collective smoke adding ambiance.
Immortal giving shout outs to the people in the crowd wearing Immortal corpse paint.

The music was tight and hateful, a pumping, squealing hot mess of ultimate grim power and scowls.  I was floored; and by that I mean that a mosh pit broke out right in front of me, and the guy behind me made an executive decision that I should be a part of it.  He shoved me from behind, and my drastically compromised sense of balance coupled with the slippery floor caused me to immediately fall flat on my back.  I was lifted up by the crowd, and no sooner than 5 seconds later, a dude in the pit came at me and the exact same thing happened.  Laying on my back, gazing up at the sparse lighting and the faces of the people who thought I should be moshing, allowed me a short moment of repose to realize that I probably wasn't going to drive home to Austin that night.  Shortly thereafter, I was mercifully allowed to leave the pit.  I wandered to a better lighted section of the venue to find that I was filthy and had acquired a smattering of mystery blood on my hands, which was unsettling in a way that was appropriate for the show.  I took a quick hobo shower in the bathroom and charged back out to see more of the spectacle.

 Here's a picture of Immortal's setlist via Brooklyn Vegan.  Since I've never been good at retaining song titles, I figured you might like to look at what got played so that you may burn with jealousy that I was there:
The show ended and we headed out to eat and hang at Van Damned's grim and frostbitten apartment.  I then realized that I was going to have to explain to my wife why I had "Chug Life" written across my belly in permanent marker.

But she's seen worse things written on me.

Thanks to Stephanie Farinelli for the pictures, and for being so nice.  Also, thanks to everybody for putting up with my gloriously drunken antics.

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