Devil's Plaything
Danzig, Six Feet Under and Disturbed
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
March 31, 2000

by: Aaron McKay
News of the Mighty One's slated date to perform live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa fell upon my ears like a sunset shower on parched earth. Not since the Milwaukee MetalFest o' so long ago have I been to a show -so- worth travelling to see. What's that? Six Feet Under is on the ticket, as well?! My revered brothers from the Sunshine State?! Damn, I couldn't wait. Before departing for the show, I arranged a brief interview with the "Man in Black" himself for a word on the March 31 gig (see Mr. Danzig's interview, "Machine", elsewhere in this issue). Serving as a delectable appetizer, my hunger for Danzig's appearance increased ten-fold.

Arriving about 7:30 p.m. at Third Street Live, my concert-going companions and myself were greeted with a line that the venue, I'm sure, hasn't seen in ages. A snake-like throng of souls stretching out from the door to oblivion that we had to somehow find the end of. Eventually making our way inside, I grabbed a frosty brew just as the opening act, Disturbed -- hailing from Chicago, I believe -- fired up what turned out to be a tight and concise set; not too long and respectful of the bands to follow. Not having ever been exposed to this band of miscreants previously, I found myself chugging along to a semi-techno, Pro-Pain-esque power rhythm that wasn't terrible to stomach, despite Disturbed's obvious influences stemming from a number of other established outfits. I did observe, standing near the concert gear stand, that Disturbed's tour shirts were selling at a pretty good clip. I think they made a fan or two at the show, at least.

I could feel the tension, as could the crowd; Six Feet Under was next. My first witness to this arguably formidable group of death metal prognosticators. During my years in Florida, I've seen the these gentlemen in their preceding organizations: Cannibal Corpse, Death and Massacre. Now was the time for SFU! Opening with an array of new material off of _Maximum Violence_ that got the people stirred up substantially, Six Feet Under were not careless to include some favorites like "Insect", "War Is Coming", "Lycanthropy" and "Beneath the Black Sky". All told, they would have stolen the show if not for the great and all-powerful Danzig to follow.

Blasting on stage with the force of tempest, Glenn overwhelmed the mid-West multitude with musical attitude and style uncommon in today's industry. Danzig worked his album repertoire with the utmost skill and ease found only in a musician of Glenn's caliber. Dancing with dexterity between the encompassing new release, _Satan's Child_, and his vast back catalog, all the while playing to the audience for their participation. Glenn bellowed richly from his metal pulpit for the fans to decree the next song from either the second or fourth Danzig release. The crowd fires back resoundingly, "TWO! TWO! TWO!" -- "Killer Wolf" ensues. Straight from one song to the next. No talking, almost without exception, as a perfect fusion of material became evident through Danzig's set to the appreciation of an eager horde. Tracks like "Under Her Black Wings" and "Twist of Cain" enraptured seasoned followers while the new tech-tinged material of the latest issuance, _Satan's Child_, flowed effortlessly forth to mold the prevailing, "Johnny-come-lately" mass into the fold. Do I have to mention at this point what the encore was? "Mother", despite its popularity, is -still- stunning!

Some of my favorites include "Brand New God" and "Until You Call on the Dark" from _Danzig 4_, "7th House" off of _Blackacidevil_, and "It's Comin' Down" on 1993's _Thrall-Demonsweatlive_ EP. If I must confess my one and only disappointment, it would be the omission of "Devil's Plaything", my personal favorite from _Lucifuge_.

The reconfigured line-up did a remarkably fine job, including former DGen bassist Howie Pyro, his inclusion having been only in the last couple of weeks. This transpiring from Josh Lazie's desire to terminate his tenure with the band to focus more on family matters; the substitution having been completed before this concert, Danzig's first date of the tour. I would have to admit it went largely unnoticed by the devotees there to observe the performance.

The hour and a half set came to fruition much too quickly. Danzig arrived, captivated, and subsequently departed leaving awe and devastation in his wake. If you have never seen Glenn Danzig live, -do so now-; If you have, see him again. The force of the show was imposing and the satisfaction -- treasured. You are welcome in Iowa anytime, Mr. Danzig, but please, next time, play "Devil's Plaything"!

(article submitted 12/8/2000)


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