Sunday, November 2, 2014

Concert Review: Samhain, Goatwhore, Midnight, YDi at Best Buy Theater, NYC 1st November 2014

Show: Samhain, Goatwhore, Midnight, YDi
Best Buy Theater, Manhattan NY, 1st November, 2014

YDi: YDi, with whom I was unfamiliar prior to this show, are a Philadelphia hardcore punk band. They formed in the early 80's and were at the forefront of the development of the genre and future, more extreme strains. They often draw favorable comparisons to Negative Approach, which I can agree with, however YDi (pronounced "Why Die?") are more aggressive, pissed off, and experimental in both their arrangements and guitar sound/effects. The whole band played solidly with vocalist Panther really bringing an incredible amount of energy. He wailed his woes from end to end of the stage, frequently throwing himself to his knees, stomach, back, etc., rolling about on the floor. I'm not sure how I've never heard of these guys before, but I can tell you I'm a fan now!

YDi quote of the night: (from Panther, vocals) Aaarrrgh!


Midnight: one of my favorite bands to emerge in the last 10 years, Midnight play a potent mix of Rock n' Roll and Heavy Metal best described as Venom meets Motorhead in their respective hey-days, with all the attitude, noise, and grime associated with both. Wondering how one stage could contain the fury of Venom AND Motorhead AT ONE TIME? The answer is that it cannot. Midnight consistently put on intense live shows with frontman Athenar often breaking equipment at the end of their sets. This performance was no exception. I've seen them three times now (including one where Athenar attempted to swing from the rafters), and each time they exceed my expectations. Midnight has two LP's to their name and a legion of splits and EP's. Their set was solid and included: Evil Like a Knife, Prowling Leather, Endless Slut, Black Rock N Roll, Lust Filth and Sleaze, You Can't Stop Steel, Satanic Royalty. I highly recommend catching this band live!

Midnight quote of the night: (from Athenar, bass & vocals) Best Buy Theater? I remember when I used to steal CD's from  that place. Now I just steal riffs.


Goatwhore: Another one of my newer favorite bands (yes, I have many), I've seen Goatwhore at least 6 times now, and they are also consistent for high energy shows. Frontman Ben Falgoust (also of Soilent Green) is excellent at rallying the crowd to move around. Their guitarist and main creative force, Sammy Pierre Duet was also in Acid Bath, who are easily in my top 5 bands of all time. As Goatwhore was also the first Heavy Metal band I ever saw live, they hold a special place in my heart. For readers in NEPA, you may understand why seeing ANY Heavy Metal shows at all in the area is difficult and seldom at best NOW, not too mention 10-11 years ago. All that nostalgia aside, Goatwhore deserve much higher praise for their music and live performance. They tour constantly and have it down to a science. They play an interesting and catchy blend of Blackened Thrash Metal with Death and Speed Metal riffs thrown in for good measure. Their lyrics have always been a strong point and are rather poetic and intelligent, along with tough-as-nails. Because of their many influences, love and mastery of the riff, and fuck-you-I'm-going-to-sound-how-I-want attitude, I can almost call them the American Darkthrone (if they pulled out more punk/hardcore influences and had more unique production they'd win the title). Their demo and first album are more influenced by Celtic Frost/Hellhammer mixed with the frostiness and rawness of the infamous 2nd wave of Norwegian Black Metal. As their albums progressed, Goatwhore upped the Thrash Metal elements and added some Death Metal ones as well,  sounding like they fell out of the 80's when the genres were not yet differentiated. What does all that mean? It means Goatwhore will pummel you with loud and vicious guitar licks that are mostly super fast with expertly-crafted tempo and style changes to keep you moving and breathless. This set consisted of newer material, including: Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed, Embodiment of this Bitter Chaos, Baring for Revolt, Apocalyptic Havoc. See them and experience why they command the legions of hell!

Goatwhore quote of the night: (from Ben Falgoust, vocals) Pump your fists in the air like it's a Judas Priest show in 1984!


Samhain: Named for the pagan Celtic ritual whose traditions live on to some degree as modern-day Halloween, this was the band of Glenn Danzig as he transitioned out of seminal and influential horror-themed punk outfit The Misfits into his solo project. Samhain was darker, heavier, and more experimental than The Misfits or Danzig's solo work. They've earned a legendary status in the Metal/Punk underground. This brief six date tour was to commemorate 30 years of Samhain, as their debut album 'Initium' was released in 1984. The band was short-lived in its original existence,  so this was quite a rare show. I was especially privileged to see the last day of the tour, which also happened to be on Samhain Day, November 1st, as it was traditionally celebrated. Samhain played their entire 'Initium' album front-to-back and were, of course, covered in blood throughout the show. The set also included Unholy Passion, All Hell, Kiss of Steel, November's Fire, Halloween II, Mother of Mercy.

Samhain quote of the night: (from Glenn Danzig, vocals) Elvis never put on this much blood for you!

This was a fantastic show all around, what a KILLER line-up, these are all high-energy bands with rabid fan bases. Samhain has wide appeal due to Danzig's many projects/incarnations over the years so the crowd was quite diversified, always a plus in my book! Sound was good up front near the stage, but some people claimed the sound was fuzzy in the rear, which I would believe from previous shows at Best Buy Theater. There was only 15 minute waits between sets which was appreciated, except for Samhain for whom we waited about 35 minutes. My thanks to the stage crew(s)!

*Reviews copyright The Samnambulist, 2014*

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