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All Hail The New Flesh
Contained within is an account of my night
with Strapping Young Lad, Day Send and Tourettes in Sydney’s Metro on the
31st of October, 2003. Indeed, a glorious day in metal.
We arrived at the Metro on George Street
some sixty minutes early. Most of the time leading up to actually entering
the concert was spent in fear – why? Simply because Strapping Young Lad
was an over eighteens gig – with me being but seventeen years of age. So
when the infinitely intimidating bouncer looked at my ID, he took for granted
that I was simply over eighteen. I mean, hell, I look twenty-three, but
being booted out and having to scalp my tickets wasn’t exactly the way
I wanted to spend the night.
So my mate ‘Corpse’ and I got into the
foyer and had a few beers. The crowd looked somewhat bigger, and rougher
than I think I’d ever experienced – which was probably a good thing. Even
some four hours before Strapping were set to hit the stage, I knew it was
going to be one f*cking massive night.
Having never been to the Metro before,
I was pleasantly surprised. The venue itself is rather small, the crowd
nearing around 2,000 people. It conveniently had a bar at the back, as
well as several rows of railing to pass out against. So then the first
band came on, Tourettes. I’d never heard them before, but I’d heard the
buzz about their recent LP launch around the inner city. I wasn’t quite
sure what to make of them, the singer looked like a feminine guy, but obviously
was a chick. The guitarist was fairly average, and played with Hetfield’s
new downtuned Grynch guitar – possibly why they blew so much. Corpse and
I decided to pass the time as anyone would in such a situation; by drinking
After abusing the bar-staff over not selling
Victoria Bitter, we chilled out until the next band came on. The lights
dimmed, and the curtains opened. The band was all clad in black, with two
guitarists, one damn fine little blonde bassist, a rat-westie drummer with
an awesome Sonar kit, and a gigantic vocalist towering over the rest of
the band at seven-to-eight-foot.
To be honest, the band completely blew
me away. The vocalist was powerful, confident, and – like us - having one
hell of a time. He sung like a traditional hardcore metal vocalist, but
the rest of the band swayed between hardcore, to industrial, to thrash.
The lead guitarist was incredible, pulling untraditional Meshuggah-like
solos every so often. The songs were complex and powerful, often with multiple
peaks, progressions and time changes.
Some of the riff’s the two guitarists
thrashed out amazed me. Such complicated multi-layering, ridiculous dual
harmonies and powerful bursts of speed. The band were Sydney locals, and
called themselves Day Send. I was wondering why I hadn’t heard of them
before – possibly because they were previously known as Psi-Kore until
their old (s***ty) vocalist left them. I look forward to hearing from them
After downing more beer, Corpse and I headed
down to the pit. For some particular reason, it seemed like everyone was
eyeing me off. I could hear mutters of ‘I know who I’m targeting tonight’
and so forth, but I just ignored it. I cannot describe the buildup of energy,
and the sheer anxiety I experienced waiting for the boys to take the stage.
After around half an hour of waiting the curtains opened.
The stage was empty. A strange high-pitched
song began to blurt out of the speakers. Suddenly I recognized it – South
Park’s Blame Canada. How fitting! One could always depend of Devy’s warped
sense of humour. A few minutes later, Devinesque screams began to come
from off stage as the band took their positions, the huge Gene Hoglan,
waddling to his rather-large kit. Devy stood directly in center stage,
with a single light beaming up on him. ‘SYDNEY. DID YOU MISS US? CAUSE
WE SURE AS f*** MISSED YOU.’
There was no question of Devy’s dubious
mental health. A great cheer went up from the crowd, Devy screamed, and
started beating out the opening riff of Consequence. The night was marked
out by several things; the sheer dynamic and charismatic energy Devy emitted,
the aggressive response of the crowd, the tiny venue in which we all moshed
and Gene Hoglan’s mind-boggling drumming.
As Gene pounded through each song, he never
seemed too phased – always finding time to flip up his sticks and gee up
the crowd. After Relentless Devy stopped to say a few words; ‘You know…
I’ve worked out that all I can really do nowdays is scream
AHHHWEEEHEHEOOOHHHOOOOA’ – a grotesque
scream which carried on into the start of Oh My f***ing God. But when it
came to the end of the bridge, the band stopped. Devy looked around menacingly.
A green glowstick flew on stage.
Devy eyed it suspiciously; ‘LOOK! It’s a glowing wiener of death!’ He walked
over and placed it down his pants. ‘I eat a lot of asparagus. If only I
could pee neon plasma the wonder twins could be complete! WONDER TWINS!
UNITE’ *the entire band mimicked his hand actions* ‘Form of; pissed off
little bald Canadian! Now would you all care to join me in the final chorus
this lovely ditty?’
The atmosphere that night was unlike anything
I’ve ever experienced. It was as it we were all mates, we were all comrades.
Dev was just another one of us, a confident and angry young man with inane
facial expressions. He opened the next song with the corny line of ; ‘This
song sums up my high school biology class. Why? WHY? Because it was AFTERMATH!
Oh yea… and buy a f***ing t-shirt.’
That night Devin shared his dream with
us; ‘When I was working at AMW for four dollars seventeen cents Canadian
an hour, I used to dream that I could scream the loudest in a room full
of eleven thousand people.’ As the dreaded end of the night neared, Dev
said to us all ‘f*** this we’re doing one more song so I can sleep
and do other rock star s*** like drugs and I gotta be on a plane tomorrow.’
He slammed out the metal epic Detox and bid us all goodnight, then left
But wait, didn’t Dev promise he’d do an
encore at the start of the night? The chant rose up ‘STRAPP – ING, STRAPP
– ING’ and continued to grow until the band came back onstage. Dev looked
overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the crowd ‘Okay, we’ll play two more
songs for you guys. All rock bulls*** aside, we love coming to Australia,
we love you guys. We’ve been to Australia in ten years more than some bands
get to go ever, thanks for the support.’
The encore consisted of Dirt Pride and
– one of my personal favorites – All Hail The New Flesh. And that did it.
I was absolute f***ed. My neck was about to throw in the towel, I was covered
in numerous cuts and bruises, and my much-loved M*E*T*A*L shirt was doused
in blood and sweat. The ever-present and ever-growing death circle had
taken its toll on my weary body. And Corpse – Corpse was exactly that.
A Corpse. He was dazed, he was totally out of it. ‘f*** man… I think… I
think I need a drink.’
We all left the city, completely satisfied,
completely f***ed. Some random screamed at me ‘I BELIEVE IN GOD NOW MAN,
I just saw him man… He’s Devy’ – Indeed, he was right. Without a doubt,
Strapping Young Lad were the most energetic, violent, powerful and yet
strangely friendly metal act I have ever seen. I can’t help but agree with
what Gene Hoglan once said; ‘Speaking of SYL, I gotta tell you, we are
the coolest band on the planet, and that is no s***. I don't care who you
are, Slayer or whoever, your band sucks compared to us.’ Corpse couldn’t
help but agree. He’d been to Slayer with Machine Head a few years back,
and said SYL brought metal to a new level of intensity.
While I once saw Kerry King as the definitive
metal god of the new millennium, I have to say, the metal god has a new
name. And that name is Devin Townsend.
Turn, What do you think?
Posted by Checkthisout:
Comments made by the Hobo last year concerning Daysend: "To be honest, the band completely blew me away. The vocalist was powerful, confident, and – like us - having one hell of a time. He sung like a traditional hardcore metal vocalist, but the rest of the band swayed between hardcore, to industrial, to thrash. The lead guitarist was incredible, pulling untraditional Meshuggah-like solos every so often. The songs were complex and powerful, often with multiple peaks, progressions and time changes. Some of the riff’s the two guitarists thrashed out amazed me. Such complicated multi-layering, ridiculous dual harmonies and powerful bursts of speed. The band were Sydney locals, and called themselves Day Send." This is undeniable evidence that the hobo is a retard and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Posted by Hobo:
Haha, true that Ace.
Posted by Ace:
I saw SYL in Pensylvania last year. It was f*ckin ill. If Satan had a more kickass cousin, he would be Devin Townsend. Not to mention SYL pits put every Ozzfest pit to shame.
Posted by +40266327033:
kilolej te szar
Posted by W:
Devin Townsend is God. There really is nothing else to say.
Posted by MetalMan:
They are the bomb!!! No one rocks like SYL!! I've seen them twice and both time my brain turned to jello from the intensity!!!!
Posted by Hobo:
Yea man I missed out on one too. Angered me.
Posted by althepal:
Yeah I saw the boys in Perth. Was f*cking tops!
All the tshirts were sold out though. God dam Adelaide people.