Two very different tribes descended upon Rock City on Saturday 19th March 2011 with a distinct dividing line keeping to two apart. The hordes of red and black face painted metal warriors frothing at the mouth to feel the wrath of finish battle metallers Turisas and Crimfall in the main hall and the packs of long haired side sweeps and skinny jeans rushing excitedly into the basement to have their faces ripped off by The Chariot, MyChildren MyBride and Galleons.
Despite the lack of hair and skinny jeans my destination was the basement to check out post-hardcore noise mongers The Chariot, ably supported by MyChildren MyBride and local favourites Galleons.
No sooner had the doors opened; the show had begun with Galleons taking to the stage. The small but growing crowd were treated to 25 minutes of tech/math metal at its finest. No Galleons show would be complete without guitarist Tom Arizmendi’s trademark leaps on stage and throw shapes with his guitar. On this occasion the stage wasn’t big enough and Arizmendi took a walk along the bar before joining the fans on the floor. Watching from the stage bass player Jamie Fox decided to get in some floor action too before the end of their set, leaving just vocalist Tom Sears and drummer Bill Maries on stage.
The immense set came to a close with Fox slamming his bass into the floor surrounded by applauding and cheering fans. If you haven’t seen or heard Galleons yet, I urge to get on it now, they are not to be missed!!!
Following on from Galleons were MyChildren MyBride, who took things to a more hardcore level. Kicking things off with the opener ‘Terra Firma’ from their latest release “Lost Boy” with Matt Hasting spitting venom through his mic, the twin guitar attack from Robert Bloomfield and Dan Alvarado, the bass onslaught from Joe Langson and Mathis Arnell launching blast beats from the speakers.
The music is a little less chaotic than Galleons but no less effective and the stage antics more straight forward, but their grooves and beatdowns are instantly infectious defying anyone not to be caught up in them! Their set was a mixture of tracks from their first full length release “Unbreakable” – ‘Versus’, ‘On Wings of Integrity’ and ‘Headshot!’ but mainly from their latest album “Lost Boy” – ‘Terra Firma’, ‘Crimson Grim’, ‘Boris The Blade’, ‘Gatekeeper’ and ‘Hooligans’. The circle pits were in full effect as the crowd almost reached capacity.
MyChildren MyBride blasted through their set, complete with uniform drops during the beatdowns. Matt Hasting orchestrating things from the front and spending most of the time singing right on the barrier at the front with the fans. As the set drew to a close the electricity was beginning to build as the time for The Chariot drew nearer…
You knew you were in for something special as the photographers were ejected from the photo pit only to be replaced by the stage monitors to create more space on stage… The Chariot took their places on stage with Josh Scogin saying to the crowd “This show is not about us or the music it is about freedom!” and with that the mayhem commenced. As the first notes of ‘Evan Perks’ were played, bass player Jon “KC Wolf” Kindler launched himself into the crowd, surfing on a sea of arms. It wasn’t long before he was back on stage as if that was an everyday occurrence for him (which it is …). A song later Kindler down his bass and began climbing the speaker stack. Not content with throwing himself into the crowd from the top of the speaker he reached up and grabbed a pole above his head and swung a couple of times before launching himself in the swathing mass of bodies below, as the band played on.
‘Calvin McKenzie’ was played complete with its surreal 50’s style commercial interlude which only added to the sense craziness! Josh Scogin spent as much time at the back of the stage banging drums as he did at the front of stage sharing his mic with the fans. New guitarist Brandon Henderson at one point left the stage through the scrum of photographers disappeared out a side door whilst still playing. Now a little more sedate Kindler had found a nice comfortable place on the bar, sat down and crossed his legs appearing to be meditating but still playing his bass. Drummer David Kennedy and guitarist Stephen “Stevis” Harrison were by no means sedate but compared to the antics of the others appeared to be relatively normal on stage, well as normal as any member of The Chariot can be…
The Chariot played most of their latest album “Long Live” along with a select few tracks from their back catalogue. It’s clear they set out to enjoy what they do and to take the crowd with them on their journey through the set and they succeeded with ease. I was by no means the only one leaving the building after a great show with a contented smile on my freshly ripped off face, in fact, everyone had the same manic grin plastered across theirs!