The Summer Slaughter Tour at House of Blues, 7/27/2013
There's something incongruous about raw, dirty metal and hardcore punk taking place at a venue like House of Blues, a corporate, suit-and-tie restaurant/bar that boasts doctor's-office wallpaper, faux brass banisters, and a dining area in its middle as a selling point. Nevertheless, The Dillinger Escape Plan and the other half a million bands that played on Saturday tore the house down.
I mean that literally in the case of Dillinger, whose set was so wild it featured destruction, injury, and cops stationed in the pit to try to keep things under control. You read that right. A cop was sent in to try to stop some of the chaos going on and the numerous fights and knock-outs that were occurring, but even he decided to leave once flailing arms and legs started flying around him.
But that was at the end of the night and the Summer Slaughter Tour, which began at 3 p.m. sharp and ran a tight schedule after, had more than just that up its sleeve.
Things kicked off with short sets by local bands An Oath of Misdirection and Mara, who play Houston's usual flavor of death metal. Next up were Thy Art is Murder and Rings of Saturn, who played for the same amount of time as the locals and turned in fairly enjoyable, if forgettable, sets of solid breakdowns and circle pits.
These bands were aided in the fact that if you arrived at House of Blues right on time for the beginning of the show, you were stuck. Presumably so you have to buy the overpriced beer ($6 for Lone Star, $11 for PBR), food ($9 for a small portion of chicken strips and fries), and water ($5 for a 12-oz. Dasani), House of Blues offered no re-entry for the duration of the eight-plus hour show.
Not only that, but no one rested if he or she hadn't paid for balcony seating, with security running around the venue doing mostly nothing but waving flashlights at kids who were sitting, telling them they'd be kicked out if they didn't stand up. Ironically, anyone could sit down in the balcony without a bit of proof of their ticket.
This all made it a particularly exhausting show, especially in light of the type of music and the people who were dedicated to the pits the whole night. Maybe the under-18 crowd has it in them, but I was just thankful House of Blues at least features decent air conditioning.
Starting with Swedish death-metal band Aeon, the set times increased to 25 minutes each. The show ran rigorously on schedule, which was impressive for a metal show. Revocation and The Ocean breezed through their sets dutifully, amping up the audience and hoping to impress enough to sell some merch. Judging by the audience's reaction, they definitely more than achieved that. Either that, or the kids just want to mosh regardless of who's playing.