On November 29, The Black Dahlia Murder played Portland’s Bossanova Ballroom. The death metal giants were on their way down to California for the Decibel Magazine Metal and Beer Festival. Along side the band for the show were grindcore legends Pig Destroyer, Khemmis, GosT, and Vital Remains.
The first band up for the evening was Vital Remains. The veteran death metal act had a darkly lit stage, and a fog machine that filled the venue with smoke. Unfortunately, due to lack of parking in the area and another reason, I was only to catch the last song of the set. From what I heard and was able to see, the crowd loved the performance. Hopefully these guys go back on tour soon because I would love to give them a proper review, and photos. If you are a fan of old school death metal, check these guys out!
Following that performance was GosT. The synth-wave performer had quite the stage set up. On both ends of the stage were giant pillars with what looked like satanic symbols on them. The performer came out to an intro track talking about cults, and sacrifices. This caught the attention of the entire audience as the crowd stood in anticipation for what was about to happen. When the intro track was done, an GosT grabbed a bass guitar and started playing it alongside an electric drum beat.
Not to long after this the audience started dancing to the rhythm. The high intensity of the songs reminded me a bit of the Australian band The Berserker. Throughout the set the songs got more and more intense. GosT eventually addressed the crowd and gave a blood curdling scream into the microphone. The set came to a close with a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song “Head Like A Hole”. GosT is quite an experience to see live. If you have a chance to see him perform, I suggest doing so. It will be a performance you won’t soon forget.
The next band up on the bill was Khemmis. The Colorado based doom metal band came out to an anxious crowd. As soon as the lights went out and the band started, the crowd started head banging. During one song, the sound went out half way through. The house lights came on but the band continued to play. This got quite a chuckle from the audience. As the set continued, you could feel the tension in the room start to shift. Some audience members were ready to let loose and get the floor moving, while others were hesitant. It wasn’t until the last two songs that the first mosh pit of the night opened up. The band seemed to love it, and so did many audience members. The bands set came to a close with their song “Maw Of Time”. Check these guys out live!
The fourth band of the night was grindcore legends Pig Destroyer. The band spent next to no time getting their set put together and was ready to play in about 20 minutes. Before the band even played a note the crowd was so rowdy, they already opened up a mosh pit. As soon as the band started, all hell broke loose. Pig Destroyer started their set off with the song “Tunnel Under The Tracks” off of their latest album ‘Head Cage’. The energy the band put off was being matched by the audience. The band was relentless for the entirety of their set. They played song after song with no hesitation or break in between. It was unlike anything I had ever seen live.
The band ended their set with five songs off of their hit album ‘Prowler In The Yard‘. During the beginning of the song “Jennifer” the crowd talked along with the intro of the song until the band ripped into playing “Cheerleader Corpses”. Their set came to a close with the song “Piss Angel”. Pig Destroyer puts on an incredible show. The high intensity of their set can cause sheer chaos in an instant and it is amazing. If you are a fan of off the wall, aggressive sounding music, then you need to see these guys live. The musicianship of the band is mind blowing and the way they can own the stage is even more impressive.
Finally the moment the crowd had been waiting for. The Black Dahlia Murder was ready to perform!! This was not just going to be a regular set for the band. They were going to be playing their latest album “Nightbringers” in full. When the lights went out, the crowd went ballistic and immediately rushed towards the stage. The band started off their set with the song “Widowmaker”. As the song continued the crowd opened up the floor more and more and even started sending fans up towards the stage to dive off. Vocalist Trevor Strnad even encouraged the fans to get on stage and have a good time! At one point during a song he even pulled up a little kid and had him stage dive off! You could see the smile on the kids face from ear to ear as the crowd surfed him back to his dad.
The hour and a half long set came to a close with the song “Funeral Thirst”. The Black Dahlia Murder puts on a crazy show! The amount of audience participation the band expects is unlike any other. If these guys announce a show near you make sure to be there. They will not disappoint you. Just make sure that if you do decide to see them and there is no security barrier, be prepared to be jumped on. If that happens maybe even get up on stage and dive yourself! Feel the insanity and fun that only The Black Dahlia Murder can bring live.
Check out The Black Dahlia Murder set list from Portland here!