Friday Night: That Big Metal Show At Bayou Music Center
Early in his band's set on Friday night, Downfall 2012 front man Danny Gil told the crowd to expect something special.
"Get ready for a metal show like you've never seen," he said.
Gill wasn't exaggerating -- Downfall 2012 delivered a dense spectacle that featured sexy stilt-walkers, a chainsaw artist, frenetic bucket drumming and even a didgeridoo.
The show had already taken on a special and unique flavor long before Gil and his bandmates hit the stage, however. The first thing that stood out about That Big Metal Show, the CD release party for Downfall 2012's latest album, Everyman for Himself (Issue 1), was the venue. If there's ever been a showcase of local metal bands presented inside Bayou Music Center (formerly Verizon Wireless Theater) before, I don't recall hearing about it.
The five groups that performed Friday didn't exactly fill the cavernous theater, but the crowd was mighty impressive nonetheless. There was a crackling energy in the audience derived not only from anticipation for the headliners, but from the novel experience of enjoying live, local metal inside the city's biggest venue.
Opening acts Adamantium and Machinatx got things off to a fun, bouncy start. Both groups employ a sound that owes more to bands like Papa Roach, Chevelle and Ill Niño that emerged from nu-metal's second wave than darker godfathers like Sabbath or Slayer.
There's no doubt that neither Adamantium of Machinatx had ever played on a stage as large as Bayou Music Center's, and their excitement radiated into the audience. There were a lot of smiles on stage as Machinatx's seven members tore through percussive numbers reminiscent of Slipknot, instigating spirited moshing from the mostly young fans.
"This is a special night for all of us," said Machinatx frontman Rob Cisneros, and his sincerity was plain.
The next two bands on the bill sped things up considerably. Decimation Theory broke out the first grimaces of the evening, whipping the crowd into a furious circle pit with thrashing originals like "Wolves" and a spot-on cover of Metallica's "Battery." Carry the Storm displayed some nifty shredding from guitarist Kelly FitzSimons and brought the house down with the band's version of Pantera's "A New Level."
Carry the Storm
Both groups displayed the chops that could land them their own headlining showcase gigs someday soon. But Downfall 2012 proved with its set that the other bands on the bill have a long way to go to match its theatrical stage presence.