Bartender, there’s a commercial in my rock show!
I’ve never seen Metalocalypse on Adult Swim, though the premise of an animated series about a metal band sounds hilarious, and I’d never heard Dethklok before, but when I heard that Converge and High on Fire, two groundbreaking artists with compelling rock shows, along with prog-metal stalwarts Mastodon, were on tour opening for a cartoon, I had to go to Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom on October 17 to see for myself.
I’m not knocking Deathklok—the live band sounded great, despite deliberately playing second fiddle to the large screen above—but I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that thousands more people would prefer to shell out their hard-earned cash to see a cartoon (albeit, a cartoon with a live soundtrack), then to see a badass rock ’n’ roll show on it’s own.
Not to mention that prior to the evening’s headliner, the screen was used to run advertisements for the Metalocalypse DVD. Spinal Tap-ish? Maybe. Disheartening? Definitely.
The good news is that each band was exposed to new audience members for the first time (after all, the Aragon does hold 4500 people), which will hopefully lead to more good things to come. High on Fire introduced a badass new song, most likely evidence of a killer record to come in 2010, and Converge put on a thrilling show, showcasing material from their incredible new album Axe to Fall (Epitaph).
Still, next time I’ll stay at home and watch Metalocaplypse on the small screen before heading out to a show to rock my face off.