At 630 am on Friday, March 31 2017, I got a Facebook message from Alaysa Dale that said something to the effect of, “Hey, could you guys push your start time to 9 tonight? There’s a beer blast going on that I just found out about and it ends at 9. We can stay on schedule if you want, but I just wanted to touch base.” To which I replied, “Hey, that’s cool, dude, but we have two bands from out of town coming in and I don’t want to push the show too late, have to cut set times, etc, so I really can’t move the times around.” To which she replied, “Okay, no problem. Let’s have some fun!”
At 6 pm on Friday, March 31 2017, we arrived to Mohawk Place being flooded with the most non metal looking crowd you can imagine. The golf polos, khaki pants and Hollister tops were on fucking point, though. Anyways, they still tried getting us to push to a 9 o’clock start time but we compromised at 830. They also comped our drinks, which was super cool and unexpected.
DISCLAIMER BEFORE THIS GOES ANY FURTHER: This is not a “let’s shit on Mohawk Place” article. Everyone there was super accommodating. They kept their word on everything after we worked it all out and made us feel right at home, like they always do. Alaysa “Ballzy” Dale held down the fort and kept everything running nice and smoothly at the door. The transition was quite peaceful, even when Anthropic started soundchecking at 8 pm and the non metal crowd got that look of fear in their eyes (most of them, anyways).
The best part was everyone who was there for our show coming up to me and congratulating me on a job well done promoting, until they noticed that the bulk of the crowd at the time was hardly there to watch metal bands, obviously.
At 830 pm, Anthropic kicked things off and decimated everyone. They made quite a first impression and are really bringing old school grind back to Buffalo. Napalm Death fans will worship. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Anthropic and Prepare for the Mindscan need to share the stage SOON. That level of grind on grind action will have everyone shitting their pants in no time.
Shortly after, the dust settled and The Crypt came out swinging, punishing the crowd with some very mature sounding new material. They’re really coming into their own brand of melodic metal, firmly bridging the gap between metalcore and melodic death. I used to compare them to 2004 As I Lay Dying. Now, I don’t know what the fuck is going on and I think that’s a good thing.
Up third, Anabasis from Syracuse shocked everyone with a multidimensional set of prog metal tunes. Most of the people there compared them to Between the Buried and Me (The Silent Circus – Colors) and I think that’s spot on. I also heard some of Periphery’s older material and some classic melodic metal influences. They were such an entertaining band to watch and listen to. If you were a fan of, or remember the band, Spire (fronted by Patrick Young), you need to check out Anabasis- Patrick Young’s next enthralling musical chapter.
Mass Casualty ascended to the stage next and reminded Buffalo why they won our award for “Best Death Metal Band 2016”. They’ve been a pretty well kept secret around here and that needs to change. Seriously, these guys fucking rule. They keep it old school and simple, with a little bit of groove that never hurt anybody. Scene beware- Mass Casualty is coming to revitalize your death metal horizons!
This next section could be very simple to write. I’m sure I could sum it up with “DETHLEHEM FUCKING RULES. THE END”, but I won’t. We invited these guys out to headline last year’s bday bash and decided right then and there to try and make it an annual staple. This year, they returned a man short, unfortunately. BOVICE (lead guitar) couldn’t make it, as he had severely injured his hand in a work accident yesterday morning. We wish him a speedy recovery and we know he’ll be reunited with his metal brethren soon enough.
The only good that came out of it, was that his absence forced a setlist modification. The warriors of Dethlehem had no choice but to bust out their 9 minute epic, “Shadow Remnants of the Guardian Shield”, which is easily my favorite track off of 2015’s Destroyers of the Realm.
Also, in an effort to further keep our bday bash traditions alive, I passed out plenty of Dethlehem’s signature foam swords before their set and the battle was on! I’ll be uploading videos from each band onto our Facebook page, so check those out.
A million thank yous to my better half, Vick Sacha, for helping with promotion, baking dozens upon dozens of cookies, taking most of these pictures, and most importantly, putting up with my shit.
Congratulations to our 3 raffle winners too. John Bianchi and Mishae White won our mystery boxes and Erik Wagonblott took home our local band merch package. This local package included some awesome medieval armor, graciously donated by the warriors of Dethlehem, as well as shirts and CDs from the other bands on the bill.
This year had more ups and downs than last year, but in the end, I found the wait to be so much more rewarding because of all that. Mishaps suck and often discourage bands and promoters alike, but when things come together in the aftermath, like they did last night, it can really make your nether regions tingle with satisfaction, man.
Up next on our docket:
1. DAY OF DEITZ (Our benefit for Mike Deitzman) is happening at Rockin’ Buffalo Saloon on June 17! There will be a free buffet, more raffles, killer bands, etc. It’s all for a good friend in need, so come on out!
2. We’re going to team up with Coming of Rage Productions for another killer Halloween gig this October.
3. We’ll be doing another holiday show to benefit a charity or two this December.
4. Our 3rd birthday bash will be next March/April. Come down and be a part of it. You know you want to.
DETAILS ON ALL OF THE ABOVE, COMING SOON! THANKS FOR A KILLER NIGHT LAST NIGHT, BUFFALO!