Fear Factory/ 36 Crazyfists/ After The Burial @ The Opera House, July 23 2010

Here is my live review (originally for Metallus Maximus) of the Fear Factory/ 36 Crazyfists/ After The Burial show that tok place at The Opera House on July 23, 2010. You can read the original here, and take a look at some of my crap-tacular iphone photos.

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We’re living in the future now. My phone may as well be a tricorder. I feel like I’m missing an important sensory organ when I don’t have access to an internet connection. Every day we become a little more dependant on an advanced by our machinery; every day the line between flesh and technology gets a little more blurred. This evening, at the Opera House, this moment of increasing transparency between body and device was provided with a soundtrack.

I arrived late due to some malfunctioning machinery (curse you TTC), and missed Baptized in Blood and Divine Heresy entirely. I was particularly disappointed to have missed Dino Cazares‘ project. The audience was definitely appreciative, and the the room was still humming with energy when I walked in seconds after Divine Heresy stopped playing. Whenever I mentioned to anyone I’d missed them, I’d get a grimace and a “dude, that sucks.”

The crowd in the Opera House had a slightly unusual composition: lots of shaved heads and early shirtlessness, dudes throwing their shoulders back and flexing. The pit felt a bit more like a rutting ground that usual. I kept expecting someone to lower his antlers and charge. (Oh, wait. That did kind of happen). This infusion of a hardcore presence in the room did not in any way detract from a positive, friendly atmosphere, and for that I was pleased.

After a trip by the merch table and discovering once again that not a single shirt would even remotely fit me, I settled in to watch After the Burial‘s set. The metal that they make is not exactly my brand of choice; deathcore is not something I would toss on my stereo at home. Personal preferences aside, their set was solid. I was really impressed with the sound during their performance. In particular, the drums sounded great, crisp and clean, and intense enough that I felt my sternum resonate inside my chest. After the Burial were also lovely to the audience, thanking everyone for their support and energy. They seemed utterly thrilled about opening for Fear Factory, as well. Overall, their set was upbeat and well-executed, and certainly inspired my affection if not a new appreciation for their aesthetic.

36 Crazyfists continued the barrage of hardcore. I watched their set from the balcony, to give myself a slightly difference perspective, as I was as interested in the crowd as I was the band on stage. 36 Crazyfists were quite bossy and brash in the way they managed the crowd, dictating when they wanted a circle pit, ordering the crowd to jump – and jump they did. This band certainly has an obedient and enthusiastic audience. The crowd seethed in front of the stage like a living thing, responding to all of Brock Lindow‘s commands. The band’s set, likeAfter the Burial‘s, was on the short side, barely more than a handful of songs. This was very much Fear Factory‘s show, and as positive as the response was to all of the opening bands, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind who was in the headlining position.

The smoker’s section had been unbearably packed with people all night. Then, just before Fear Factory‘s set began, it was deserted as everyone’s metal spidey-sense went off in unison. No one wanted to miss a moment of what was about to happen. It was unusually quiet in The Opera House just before they began to play, which only emphasized the physical impact of the opening chords, which I not only heard but felt in my feet. Fear Factory put on a hell of a live show. They played a lot of material from their new album, Mechanize, including “Fear Campaign” “Powershifter” and “Final Exit.” There is something about their industrial aesthetic that makes me aware of my body as a mechanical contrivance. The visceral quality of the sound in a live venue in extremely invasive, penetrative. Listening, I felt as though my vertebrae were hunks of metal alloy, my joints lubed with engine oil. The sound was excellent again during their set, which I was especially pleased about because it made Gene Hoglan‘s drumming sound even more immense. The Opera House thundered with metal on metal, hammer on anvil, as relentless as any industrial machine. It was heavy and dark, gritty and full of sparks, the sort of sound that can make you forget your bones aren’t made of steel.

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