Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
After fifteen years, EYEHATEGOD finally made it’s way back to Buffalo. It was easy to tell that this was going to be a crazy ass shows, the wild and insane crowd grew quickly, the bands played to a packed house.
Juggernaut, Malarchuck, FYPM (Fuck You Pay Me)
Juggernaut took to the stage first. This was one of the biggest crowds we had seen at the venue for the first band in some time. Playing a handful of songs, the band got the crowd pumped up early before giving way to a band we have seen in the past, Malarchuck. These guys play a heavy riff filled doom style compared to other bands on the bill. And they are great live. This was the second time we got to see them play having seen them a few years ago. And we look forward to the next time they play for a show we attend. Coming from Cleveland was the next band FYPM (Fuck You Pay Me), and these guys kicked the crap out of the Buffalo crowd. Some bands do a good job opening for the headliners, and some bands are great. FYPM did a great job! The singer brought out a steel chair and proceeded to smash it over his head what a way to begin a set! The crowd was as pumped for this band. These guys were energetic and got the crowd involved right from the moment they took the stage. Calling everyone to get closer to the stage, before the pit broke out and drove a lot of them back away from it. We ran to grab a vinyl of their album right after they got off the stage since they said they would only be around for a short time before heading back to Cleveland. Great job by this band for sure! This is a band worth checking out if you love old school hardcore with a healthy dose of Pro Wrestling antics.
Bring on the Cro- Mags. John Joseph and company took the stage and pretty much all hell broke loose. John and the original Cro-Mags being one of the pioneers and a big part of the cross over hardcore/metal scene of the 80’s. There were no shortage of people in the front for these guys. And there was no shortage of participants for the pit as well. Cro-Mags are one of the pioneers of hardcore punk, and they prove it on this night. The crowd was going wild, running on stage, diving off the stage, and climbing back up for another run across. To say the band kicked Buffalo’s ass would be an understaement. This was as big a crowd we have ever seen at Mohawk Place. And the Cro-Mags deserve it. They’ve been doing this since the mid eighties, and John Jospeh knows how to get it done. They had the pit going for about an hour, playing songs from all the albums from the past 30 plus years, and you could see that everyone was exhausted in the end. But there was still one more band to go. it’s great to see a new generation of hardcore fans earn their lumps in the pit, from a safe distance that is. Our slam dancing, mosh pit days are long behind us but to live vicariously as spectators is as good as it’s gonna get these days. The Cro-Mags sounded great, and John Joseph shows why this 56 year old, 10 time Iron Man competitor, stays in peak shape. He can still bring it after all these years! It was nice catching up with him for a bit before their set, the last time we saw him was with Bloodclot last year. To hear him talk about following the Bad Brains on tour in 1980 or 81, and that was his first time in Buffalo was really cool.
In a way, since the crowd had expelled so much energy with the Cro-Mags, the almost 45 minute delay to the start of EYEHATEGOD helped the crowd get some needed rest. There was a mix up with Jimmy’s amp, they couldn’t find it. But it was finally found and it was on with the show. The band had finally brought back it’s brand of New Orleans style Sludge Metal to Buffalo, Mike even noted before they started that it had been since 2003 that they had played here. And they crushed it on this night. The band played for about an hour as well, hitting hard on songs from all five of their albums, and layed waste to Mohawk Place with the massive riffs you could expect from them. The crowd managed to muster up all the energy it could for them. Seeing EHG up there killing it, when singer Mike Williams had recently been quite ill, was amazing. Mike looked and sounded great! Of course Mr. Bower Power himself, Jimmy Bower laid down his signature riffs that he’s known for. Only using the bottom 4 strings on his guitars, as which he’s also known to do in SuperJoint Ritual. Last time we saw Jimmy was when he was behind the drum kit in his other band Down. This was the first time seeing them since the death of drummer Joey LaCaze who passed away in 2013. The reason EHG has been able to sustain all these years despite challenges that would be the demise of most bands, is because of their sheer determination, and love of the music. EHG is one of the most well known Sludge bands for a reason. They have a unique sound and a devoted fan base. the crowd at the Mohawk Place showed EHG their fan base in Buffalo is solid, and gave us a performance to remember for a long time. We just hope it doesn’t take another 15 years for them to come back!
In the end, we all spent about six hours at the venue for five bands. And it was a great show, just as we expected it would be. We look forward to both the Cro-Mags and EYEHATEGOD returning to Buffalo again real soon. EYEHATEGOD will be overseas in Europe soon, end of April and into May, so if your anywhere they’re coming, make sure you get out and see them. It will be a great show!