Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sold out... at the Union?

I couldn’t believe it; this was the first non-ticket Union show I’ve been to where the place was, according to the door man, “at capacity” by 10:30 p.m.! If that in itself doesn’t explain why the Skeletonwitch/Ringworm show Saturday was buzzworthy, then let me clarify.

The place filled up by 10:30 p.m., leaving a full house for opener Slaughterhog to entertain. I’ll admit, I’m not real down with the tech-metal aesthetics that this band encompassed. The crowd’s verdict was split between the intrigued/excited and the aforementioned opinion.

Amish Electric Chair played a quick, punk rock set to the metal-inclined crowd. If I’m not mistaken, I believe they played their five-song EP Straight. No Chaser in its entirety – it was that short. Maybe a surprise to the band, but quite a few audience members got down to the hopping drums/power chord mixture of this punk margarita.

Around this time I overheard a few people talking about a line of kids rejected at the door. I was aware that several people drove hours for this show, and if you were that unfortunate few that couldn’t get in – my heart goes out to you.

My goodness -- I got chills after the end of Ringworm’s set. Pre-set, singer Human Furnace was warming up by stretching out his arms and doing a couple jumps. Little did anyone around him know that this harmless battery was capable of charging the whole venue into madness. Two fights broke out and Human Furnace questioned the audience saying, “I thought this was Athens, Ohio – not Columbus.” (Columbus hardcore shows are known to provoke fights for the sake of it.) Nevertheless, the crowd was into the thrash metal/hardcore mixture of old and new songs from The Promise to Justice Replaced By Revenge. Me, I was mind blown!

I’ve been to Skeletonwitch shows since 2005 and it still doesn’t get old! The fog machine nearly blinds the top story of the Union into this cryptic ecstasy, as from time to time you see 15 to 50-year-olds raise their horns and headbang to the band’s riff-packed song catalog. Skeletonwitch has gotten international exposure, and you can tell by the fresh seed of fans mingling in the crowd. For some who were occupied by the push-and-shove behavior of the crowd, the set seemed long; but for others, the added encore that included some even older songs from At One with the Shadows was an added touch to their sweaty and stinky night.

-- Rika Nurrahmah

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