Show Review: Winter Warriors Tour 2016

Co-written by Vick Sacha and Mike Marlinski (but mostly Vick)

Eareckson Murray posted something last night about how there were four shows relevant to our mutual interests in Buffalo last night. Yet, Mike and myself found ourselves making the trek to Webster, NY for night two of Battlecross‘s Winter Warriors Tour. Which was actually our second night in a row too. It sounds a bit crazy, but the back to back hour and a half drives to Erie, PA and then a suburb of Rochester were both absolutely worth it.  It’s been a bit since the area got a national touring package that the two of us actively gave any shits about, nonetheless one where we can say that any of the three bands were some of our favourites.

Battlecross even allows military veterans into their shows for free. FREE! If that isn’t incentive enough for you to go, hopefully this article will convince you to not miss out on a date near you. For more information click here.

We got kind of nervous both nights because of the lack of support on Facebook event pages, as if Facebook event page information is the only way to predict a turnout.  Erie, you were disappointing. A good chunk of kids left after the third local, and there weren’t a lot of kids there to begin with. The nationals played for a pretty empty room, and though they had technical issues most of the night (which made some of them cranky), they all made the best of it.  The turnout at Webster made me feel a lot better about going the second night. The room was almost totally packed, there was an actual bar (unlike the venue in Erie), an actual mosh pit, and no technical difficulties.

I do suppose, I (Vick) am going to briefly whine about the locals on these two shows. Narwhal Bloodbath was fucking dope as shit; Devin, without question, stole their set. But all of the other locals were “meh” in my opinion. Mike thought Primal Scream Therapy and Amavasya were good too. But the remaining locals, who will remain unnamed, were really sub-par in my opinion. And to me, they and their music made no sense opening for a newer thrash band, a tech-death band, and a power metal band. Also, nu-metal doesn’t equal metal. And three locals added to a national package is just one too many. And stop playing nu-metal in between sets at metal shows. For fuck’s sake. Sorry, just throwing that out there.

Now that that’s out of the way… Battlecross’s Winter Warriors will be hitting up the east coast and the mid-west the next few weeks with tech-death metallers, Allegaeon and power metal super-group, Necromancing the Stone.

We knew the rest of the show was going to be epic as fuck when Necromancing opened with a cover of that cheesy yet amazing David Hasselhoff song, “True Survivor“.  Going into their set, I knew they were an amalgamation of Arsis, The Black Dahlia Murder and The Absence, and though I have heard of this project for some time now, I hadn’t listened to their music until Friday night. Seeing as who was in the band, I already had this preconceived notion that what I was going to hear was going to be a sexy lovechild of those three bands. I was absolutely not ready for a power metal project. And I was even less prepared for a David Hasselhoff cover.

Earlier this year, I got screwed out of seeing my beloved Allegaeon, due to double-booking mistakes, the tour they were on picking up a different city with better possible income and the agent/tour manager not bothering to tell them that they didn’t have a show anymore.  This was my primary reason for going both nights, because no one fucks Vick Sacha out of seeing one of her favourite bands *shakes fist*.  I do suppose I was a weeeeee bit disappointed that they played mostly new stuff, but I should’ve expected that since their newest release, Proponent for Sentience just came out two months ago.  They ended their set with that fucking amazing Rush cover (“Subdivisions”), and I don’t think there is anything in their arsenal (other than “Genocide for Praise”) that could’ve ended their set better. Regardless, Allegaeon blows my mind. You can shit on their Patreon page all you want, but that doesn’t change the incredible quality of their music and the immense amount of talent these guys possess.

Let me start off my Battlecross tangent by saying that these guys are some of the most personable, relatable, and approachable guys I have probably ever met on a national tour. I have met so many guys that can only really do small talk and autographs, and maybe a photo, and that’s about it, whether they’re too anxious or antisocial for more interaction, or their egos don’t allow for more than a few minutes with us plebiscite fans.  And they always bring their A-game.  Whether they’re playing for a handful of kids like in Erie, or a full house like in Webster, their stage presence never, ever, ever falters. But at the same time, you can’t play those catchy, thrash-y riffs and just stand there like a garden flamingo. We also really appreciate the variety in their setlists. No matter where BX appears on a bill (this was our 6th-7th time seeing them), they always cover a broad spectrum of their catalog. We also couldn’t beat hearing our favorite BX songs back to back. Mike loves “Get Over It” for the riffs and the epic outro and I love “Beast” for fucking everything (but mostly the opening riff).

“I try so hard to keep the beast from you…”

There were a few moments over the last few nights when we forgot we were talking to a signed, touring band from Detroit. We had some of the longest conversations we’ve ever had with Gumby, Hiran and Tony from BX and felt like we were just back in our local niche, talking shop. Our friends, Anthony and Timothy Potenza from Abyance showed up in Webster too, along with Rick Horton from The Metallic Onslaught radio show and our favorite traveling sound guy, Ralph Brooks. All in all, it was great to have such a family like vibe to close out our doubleheader. If you have an opportunity to see this tour this year, DO IT. You won’t regret it. And if you have an opportunity to see it more than once, grab that shit by the pussy. YOU ONLY LIFE ONCE RIGHT? SO HELP THEM HELP US MAKE AMERICA THRASH AGAIN.




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