In a city so hot it’s comparable to Satan’s butthole, fans lined up past the venue and down the block, while sweating their asses off and bearing the heat to be as close to the front as possible. Some even got there at least 4 hours early, which is true dedication when it’s over 110 degrees. When the doors finally opened, entrants were greeted by endless merch tables (which made my wallet quite a bit lighter), and a wisely picked local band promptly started less than half an hour later. The second band, Vivicide, could have been mistaken for a band on The Summer Slaughter Tour, with their perfectly synchronized guttural/high pitched vocals and stage presence.
When the lights dimmed and Cerebral Bore began to make their entrance, many attendees were unfamiliar with the band, but by the time they left the stage, many people were converted to fandom. Captivated by the songs and Som’s vocals, the cheering, screaming and moshing escalated throughout their set, drawing everyone in more and more as time passed.
Afterwards, their merch table blew up, turning a casually frequented part of the room into something worth creating a line for. Right after, Exhumed bursted into the room, and proved themselves as one of the best bands of the night. Shredding, screaming, and not leaving a normal moment. I looked away for a few seconds to look at the crowd, and was jolted back to attention by the sound of a chainsaw roaring to life. A man dressed as a crazed doctor had come on stage in scrubs and gauntlets, wielding a loud chainsaw in front of screaming fans! Exhumed should definitely have been higher on the bill.
Following in the footsteps of Exhumed, Goatwhore stole the crowd’s attention, and erupted the crowd into a frenzy. The subsequent bands were great as well, hitting the stage with minimal time setting up and amazing sound. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of any of the bands between Job for a Cowboy and Cannibal Corpse, I was pleasantly surprised and had no complaints (although I do admit to wearing earplugs during BTBAM). When the 2nd to final band cleared the stage, the anticipation rose even higher for Cannibal. Cheering ensued when BTBAM’s fabric background was replaced by the headliner, and the crowd moved closer to the front to get a better view. Their choice of songs to play was amazing, along with their sound, and Corpsegrinder’s ability to windmill faster than any other musician. One thing I loved especially about Cannibal Corpse, is how Corpsegrinder was able to interact with the crowd and get everyone cheering, without being on “autopilot”. He would take the time to comment on certain people in the crowd or what the crowd was doing, so you didn’t feel like he rehashed the same speech from every other show they played on the tour. There wasn’t anything about their set that wasn’t perfect, leaving the fact they didn’t stay and play for 15 hours as the most disheartening part.
Although all the bands were of different metal sub-genres, they all shared the same brutality that made the show come together perfectly, and there was not a single band that didn’t have a pit going on during the show. Whenever there is a music festival, there are always people who are only there for one only one band or hate one of the bands with a burning passion. However, Summer Slaughter managed to pick the lineup so well, almost every metalhead I knew not only couldn’t resist seeing the show, but they enjoyed all the bands.
Line up in order:
Job For A Cowboy
Veil Of Maya
Between The Buried And Me