Wind Gap, PA, October 11, 2013
Review by InfamousButcher, Photos by SheWolf
For nearly 30 years, Florida death metal pioneers Obituary have been crushing us metalheads with low tuned grinding guitars, slow grooves, and John Tardy’s best in the fucking business growls and groans! Over the past year the Obit guys have toured the US with the Carnival of Death Tour and then the rest of the world with the Rotting Slow Tour, solely playing classic material from their first 3 albums (SLOWLY WE ROT, CAUSE OF DEATH, THE END COMPLETE). Luckily for us North American fans, while working on their 9th studio album Obituary decided to hit the road in Oct for their Northeast American Tour and give us another ghoulish dose of legendary death metal! When it was announced Obituary would play in Wind Gap, PA, I almost shit! That’s close to home for me! Put on the black t-shirt and shit kicker boots and let’s fucking do this!
The “venue” was the American Legion post in Wind Gap. When it was announced I thought, Obituary playing at a VFW? Christ, it’s like playing at the Moose Lodge or the Knights of Columbus! Will the hicks in Wind Gap know what the fuck hit ‘em? The place will never be the same by the time we’re finished with it! We walk into the place and it’s an all purpose hall with lunch tables and chairs and a tiny stage (no backstage area)! It smelled like moth balls or old people or both. About 150 hardcore metalheads showed up, as befuddled as I was by the surroundings. Here’s another killer – the sound guy WAS FUCKING BLIND! He was walking around with a cane and at first I thought, this is great, what a hardcore fan! Then later he was talking to the band as he adjusted the sound panel. How the fuck would he know if he was turning the right knobs? Needless to say, the sound quality was not state of the art! One great benefit of the small venue – I got to meet the one and only John Tardy, my favorite death metal vocalist of all time! He was very cool and laid back, like a regular southern dude who’s into NASCAR and football. I asked when the new album would be finished and he said April 2014 and that we fans will love it, so we’ve got a little while to wait but I’m sure it will fucking deliver!
Obituary came on at 12:30 and opened with “Stinkupuss” from SLOWLY WE ROT. John was standing right next to us before he made his “entrance”, which was basically to get through the crowd and step up on the stage. The band was very together and tight as usual with killer riffs from Trevor and newcomer Kenny Andrews, powerful bass from Terry, and hammering drums from Donald. Sound quality was acceptable but not great. That said, John sounded as great as ever! Even the shitty sound system couldn’t restrict his power. Seeing Obituary live is like taking one of their albums and raising the intensity by 10. John has one of the most powerful voices in the history of metal, and I rank him right up there with legends like Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, and Ronnie James Dio. His voice pierces everything and over the entire performance John was not drowned out once! Also, he tends to hold the microphone away from his face, something that is very rare, especially in death metal. That says to me this guy is FUCKING LOUD!
The set was exactly the same as I had seen at the Gramercy in New York last year. My faves of the night included “Infected” (all time fave Obit song, John held the mic out to us after the PEELING RID YOU OF YOUR SKIN part and we all screamed INFECTED!), “Back To One” (FALLING TO YOUR DEATH!), “Dead Silence” (BLOOD RUNS THROUGH THE STREETS!), “Killing Time” (John changed the words slightly but still damn good), and “The End Complete” (first Obit song I ever heard, still fucking love it!). Obituary always nails THE END COMPLETE material, when I interviewed Donald Tardy last year he said it was his favorite Obit album, so maybe the rest of the band also feels that way. Pit was rough at times with people taking cheap shots, throwing punches, and kicking. That’s bad mosh etiquette as far as I’m concerned. That kind of shit starts fights and goes against the bond metalheads have. I moshed in spurts but had to watch myself, like in boxing, the rule in the pit is be sure to protect yourself at all times. Time was becoming an issue and Obituary started to cut corners. “I’m in Pain” was cut by 2 min or more and was missing almost all of the vocals which really disappointed me. By 1:45 AM, the American Legion folks had had enough, so they turned the house lights on as a sign that the band needed to finish up. Closer was the usual feral “Slowly We Rot” delivered with gusto and grunginess! Afterward I was sweaty and charged up, the show wasn’t as good as the one I saw last year at the Gramercy but it’s always great to see Obituary live. I can’t wait for the new album and the next tour, hopefully in a better venue!
4. Immortal Visions
5. Gates to Hell
7. Cause of Death
8. Chopped in Half / Turned Inside Out
9. Body Bag
10. Back to One
11. Killing Time
12. The End Complete
13. Dead Silence
14. I’m in Pain
15. Slowly We Rot