04.17.10 Oddly enough I had never heard of the band listed as Metalfest's headliners before the week of the show. I typed in the word Emmure into Last.fm and did a bit of preconcert research to see what I was in for. From what I gathered their sound was a mishmash of heavy breakdowns and random, sometimes catchy riffs, but not enough consistant hooks for me to discern their songs apart. Vocally, it was like Hatebreed and Limp Biskit were thrown into a blender and switched on puree. Not bad, a bit too A.D.D. for my tastes but I was very curious to see how they would translate live.
4Play got really squishy and sweaty at this point. From the songs I heard online, I made the accurate assumption that there would be a whole lotta fists a'flyin. With the goal of not having to duct tape my Canon back together after the show, I decided to not jump front and center this time. Stage left, one of the awesome security guys I met at the start of the show left me his chair saying it was cool if I wanted to stand up on it and shoot. So here I was with one of the best seats in the house, still in on the action but out of harm's way.
The frontman of the band let out a gutteral growl that shook the floor and they broke into their first song. Their audience was insane. It was a shock considering these were the same statuesque individuals that lined the walls of 4play for most the night. I must say I'm surprised the venue didn't collapse on itself. From where I was standing the sea of people became a violent pulsating wave threatening to drown anyone who came too close.
From a music standpoint Emmure is an interesting listen. They push the boundaries of modern hardcore (which I've decided to call the subgenre from now on) and really got the fans moving. Again, not really my thing and I felt myself once again feeling segregated from the audience. I stood on that chair for about half their set, trying to get into the music. I admit I wasn't feeling it all that much (just not my cup of tea). What I did start to feel was a vice slowly tightening in on my head and the pounding that ensued was louder than the music. The sheer volume and screaming was taking its toll and no doubt putting my head up against the wall of speakers for half the night trying to get "my shot" during the previous bands, didn't help either.
I headed towards the back of the venue where my girlfriend was waiting. Within 10 minutes I witnessed at least 5 clearly aggro members of the audience forceably pulled out of the place by security. With the security guys being quite nice for once, I'm guessing they had probable cause. And with that I was done for the night. We headed out the door and down the stairs walking through the labyrinth of ejected souls who sat cursing the venue for denying them entry.
Overall it was a really solid show. I left a little bruised and beaten up (in a good way), which comes with the territory trying to capture the energy & power I witness at metal shows. Props to Jack of Corrupt Absolute/Underworld Events for shocking the life back into the local metal scene all the while giving us metalheads in Hawaii pride to raise our horns (and mystical orbs / invisible oranges) in the air.