Blender Theater, Manhattan :
I was actually a little unsure if I should be attending this event because I still had some work to finish for the semester and didn't want to botch it up with last-minute frenzy like in the past. However, just like so many other conclusions that unfailingly repeats itself, things are headed in the exact same direction yet again. However, being locked in the apartment for over 3 days, partly due to the unfavorable weather, I realized I needed a break if I was to stay sane and ventured to go despite warnings of bad weather a few hours before. New Brunswick is a convenient place to be if you have no personal vehicle and your destination is New York. Just head to the train station that is easily accessible, catch the NJ Transit rail that is scheduled once every 20 minutes, travel for less than an hour in a relatively empty compartment, and after you cross the underground tunnel across Hudson river, you've reached Penn Station at W 33rd Street. As simple as that.The weather was surprisingly moderate when I got there. Blenders Theater was a fair walk from Penn Station and when I reached there, it was 7.10 , 40 minutes past the start of the show. Unfortunately , as I was realize a few minutes after, it was not late enough to avoid the tasteless opening act, Shat ( an outfit led by the former bass player of Dilinger). The lyrical content and imagery of the band is exactly what you can imagine from the their name. It is an all-out dick/fart jokes porngrind band who came on with the most outrageously homoerotic costume anyone can imagine. Let me just say it was 90% male nudity with the remaining part mostly covered with dildos. And they ended their insipid set list with a song daring chicks to show their tits (that must have been their index to rate their success). Unfortunately, not even the biggest sluts in the audience would have considered amusing them for this pathetic show! Needless to mention, I didn't see any tits that night. And the less I say about the music the better. How the fuck these guys got to tour along with the other bands is beyond me.
Next, there was Genghis Tron from Philadelphia. Ok, these guys seem very unique. I say seem because they incorporate electronic music in their songs and that is not something I would listen to if I had a choice. But these guys were good. Basically, they are a 3 piece band, the guitarist, a vocalist who along with the third guy takes care of the programmed music and keyboards. The music itself shifts from regular pop beats to full-throttle blast-beats in no time. And there are times when all this blends really well with a fast keyboard piece, metal riffs and maybe an additional programmed layer to create something, which at times sounds rather odd and unplacable at others produces something undeniably arresting. It was momentarily brilliant, intense and very captivating .
Following that was the mediocre A Life Once Lost. They are one of the umpteen MetalCore bands in the US and since I don't care much for those grating half-riffs,the annoying screams and most other deviations from Classic Metal, this band just got on my nerves for the most part. However, I did hear some sections that was definitely sounded like Metal and just as I was beginning to get into it, it was completely destroyed with a reintroduction of "Core" elements.
After they cleared the stage, it was time for the headlining act to take over and by then the crowd had expanded to twice its initial size and the standing area was packed ,with anticipation growing during the sound check as most of them had been there just to watch Dilinger During this time, I squeezed my way across to the bar and got a beer. Shortly afterwards, the band kicked off and from then on, there was not single moment that was disappointing. To start matters, it is worth mentioning that they have a hyper-kinetic stage presence. All band members go berserk while playing and particularly one of the guitarists whom I often caught sight of in the middle of some acrobatic leap across the stage. Of course, had the music sucked, none of this would help redeem it in any way but in this case, it certainly enhanced the overall experience. And the music was good. This is a technical band that is very tight, discharging a burst of energy in each song but loading them with some incredible work on the instruments. The drumming is the standout. It is quick, sharp, very precise and has several tempo changes. The drumming somewhat tended to drown the guitars, as it usually happens when you see a band play songs you haven't heard before. Nonetheless, it was distinct enough to note the jazz-influenced magic that was being weaved out in that sector. Overall a great performance and I'd be inclined to attend their next show when they come around.
When I got out of the theater, it was a few minutes past eleven. Grabbing something to eat at Penn Station I got back to New Brunswick only to be left shivering in the terrible weather I had been duly warned of earlier that. That was for about 30 minutes before the campus bus came along.