Great show at the Alrosa Villa last night, a six band evening headlined by industrial rockers Hanzel Und Gretyl. I hadn’t seen HuG since they opened for Marilyn Manson in the early 90’s – as singer Vas Kallas later told me “we’re much older & wiser now”. I just throw that in there since I only spoke with her for like 30 seconds, and that’s the only quote I have to show for it.
The other 5 bands were all local acts, none that necessarily made me want to shell out 10 clams for a CD, but nothing terrible either. First up was Black Dragon from McConnelsville, who like the next two bands were sporting shiny Dean ‘Dimebag Darrell tribute edition’ guitars (yeah, I’m jealous). Any guesses who they sounded like? Not a bad influence in my book, but I didn’t really care for their version of Pantera’s ‘Walk’ (it lacked the crunch of the original). Will catch these guys again when they open for Mushroomhead on the 29th.
Punk inspired Everlasting Godstopper was next (that name just cracks me up!). Decent oldschool played with energy & venom, they also were very supportive of other acts on the bill by moshing along to each set – bonus points in my book.
Third was Preylien out of London, Ohio. Like Black Dragon, these guys are heavily Pantera influenced but had a slightly stronger guitar focus than BD. Pretty tight sound, and yet another Dean Razorback guitar taunting me from the stage. I was ready to rob somebody at this point! “Monsters Exist” was a particularly good tune, so check it out at the link.
Most unusual act of the night (other than HuG themselves) was Mystic Syntax, an industrial/metal hybrid that I’d missed at Woodshock this year so was pleased to finally get a chance to hear them live. Moody, dark song list got a bit long in places, but was dramatically & professionally executed. Lots of potential with these guys – and excellent stage presence.
Last opening act was System Slave, who were highly polished and a definite crowd pleaser. They sound like a horror rock band, but look like Bobaflex, so I was surprised by their set. Still, they had some killer tunes including “Undead” which you can check out on their Myspace page.
Last, but certainly not least, was the German influenced Industrial tour de force known as Hanzel Und Gretyl. I’m a huge fan of their new CD, and was pleased that many new songs were featured in their setlist. EXCEPT (and you knew their was gonna be an ‘except’ didn’t you?) they didn’t play Bavarian Bierhaus Blood. How do you have a “Bierhaus Blood” tour, and NOT play the title song!?!
Other than that, their show was a fun filled, beer-soaked (literally) uber party with all the intensity & passion I remember. Singer/bassist Vas Kallas still looks beautiful in a deadly, Black Widow sort of way, her vocals undiminished and powerful. Guitarist Kaiser Von Loopy was a Heineken fulled madman – interesting in that Heineken is not a German beer, but I digress. Loopy was in constant motion, throwing out beers to the crowd when he wasn’t laying down his crunchy fretwork. Their lengthy set list was superbly crafted – my only complaint being the omission of a certain song.
Afterward, I did get a chance to chat briefly with Vas & Loopy, all the while strange music was emanating from Loopy’s pants. Turns out it was his smartphone, which had eerily chosen to play ‘Freebird’ from his Itunes playlist (a joke by the ghost of Dimebag Darrell? You decide).
Great show, I’m already hoping they’ll come back to this area soon. Loopy claims they will, stating they seem to only play “Ohio, Germany and cold, nordic countries”.
Also, I want to give a big shout-out to photographer Henry Lester for allowing me the use of his picture (above). It sure beats the hell out of my crappy Env pictures. Thanks Henry!
Here’s HuG Setlist. I may have missed a song, but I think it’s fairly complete.
- #1 in Deutschland
- Hail to the Darkside
- Stern Krieg
- Das Boot
- Heil Hizzle Mein Nizzle
- Leiderhosen Macht Frei
- Mein Kommandant
- Fikk Dich Mit Fire
- Disko Fire Sheissmessiah
- And We Shall Purify
- Ich Bin Uber Alles
- SS Deathstar Supergalactik
- Fukken Uber Death Party