Children of Bodom @ Jaxx 7/15/2011

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here we are again: Another show at Jaxx, and another complaint about how they never open on time. I checked their website before leaving work and it said the doors were at 6PM. So we arrived shortly after six and marveled at the small line in front of predictably closed doors. While standing in line Buke noticed that our tickets actually said doors were at 7PM. Way to be consistent. So there we sat for nearly an hour before seven rolled around. Of course the doors didn’t open then either. Buke and I both sent angry tweets to Jaxx while waiting; no response of course. It was nearly 7:30 before doors finally opened and we began the long shuffle into the building.

This is just so not acceptable on an on-going basis. Once in awhile, fine, but this is the norm here and I’m sick of it. If Jaxx wasn’t the place where most metal bands play in the area, I would boycott it completely. They really need to get their act together.

Ranting aside, once we got inside a good time was had (hopefully by all.) After roughly half an hour wait the first band hit the stage.

Greece’s Septic Flesh had hanging banners on poles around the stage and came on like they owned the place. Not what I usually see or expect from the first of four bands. But damn if they didn’t actually own the place for half an hour. They sounded great and they got the crowd completely riled up and in a moshing frenzy. Also not something I tend to expect from the first band. Usually you’ve got a crowd of people who stand around with blank stares waiting for the headliner; maybe one or two guys fruitlessly trying to start a pit in a sea of apathy. So I was very surprised and impressed by how their set went. I’ve only recently become aware of their current and previous albums, but I really like them and think they will continue be noticed.

Next up, after a brief fifteen minute changeover, was German technical death metal band Obscura. I was curious about who would be playing bass for them as well-known bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling had left the band about a week before. I’m not sure who they had up there, but I’m glad they got someone and didn’t have to drop off the tour. Because they tore the place up as well; from the first note the floor was a giant swirling pit of doom.

After another brief fifteen minute changeover the Devin Townsend Project took the stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I’m not a big DTP fan, but I’ll admit that this is likely due to laziness on my part (not giving their material the serious deep attention that would probably reveal how truly awesome it is) and it seems a little weird. Looking at Devin scamper around the stage making faces and occasionally using the voice inflection of a game show host, it occurred to me that he is the Mad Hatter of Metal (played by John Malkovich). The point here is that whether I was familiar with the music or not, he was very entertaining. The surprises continued as despite their music being an acquired taste the floor was hopping. With each new band taking the stage the crowd’s fervor only grew.

Anticipation was high as we all waited for Children of Bodom to make their appearance. This was our third time seeing CoB, so my anticipation wasn’t quite as high, but I knew they would play a good set. Alas we had to wait nearly 45 minutes for CoB and anticipation gave way to boredom after awhile. But when they did finally begin to play the crowd redoubled their moshing efforts. They seemed to maybe play slightly fast, perhaps facing a stage curfew and trying to make up an extra 15 minutes, but no one was complaining.

At the end of the night we were sweaty and thirsty but given how all four bands played and sounded really good, we left happy with another successful show under our belts. After obtaining fluids we headed off to 495 and the joys of traffic at midnight. Don’t get me started on northern Virginia and traffic. Crazy.