I probably should've decided earlier that I was going to come to this gig, as when I got there, twas sold out. Bugger. So, after I don't know how many gigs in my life, I end up having to buy a ticket from the touts. A bit of haggling and whatever, and it's not too bad. I've paid more for tickets to see bands when buying them from the venues themselves, but that has nothing to do with exhoborent ticket prices in general has it. Anyway, that's beside the point. At the end of the day it was worth it in terms of seeing this gig, because it was easily the best of the tour so far, all round.
Everything that was apparently missing from the Nottingham gig was here in abundance. From the off, the crowd was into it. The set is pretty much as it has been for the rest of the tour, with the exception of the opening night in Bradford.
Mike looks as if he's enjoying this one more tonight, while Jeff as ever swings between being a study of concentration and then letting go. The vocals, and indeed the entire mix is sounding better tonight, and everything is really gelling. Again Aimee lets people know that they are returning soon with Coal Chamber, I think pretty much everyone that was odwn the front tonight will be back for that one.
Aimee teases about jumping into the pit just before Drugstore, but never does, and before introducing the final song, Disease, says that this has been the best gig of the tour so far. And she wasn't kidding or saying it for the sake of it. This one was intense.
Afterwards Jeff seemed really happy, saying that the sound was perfect on the stage. I don't know how much of a difference that makes to a band, quite a bit I guess. When I give Aimee the Kerrang! sampler tape to sign she laughs, asking if I'm following them or something. As if ... She also asks what I thought of the gig. Common consensus seems to be that this was the best so far. When I tell Jeff that I had to get a ticket from the touts, he seems genuinely sorry, so I chance my arm to find out if there's any chance of getting me into the Bristol gig, as that will be the last I can see. So, if me poor car lives that long, it's Sheffield tonight and Bristol on Wednesday before I leave this trip. Until December that is.
Right, it's about time through all of this, that I mention the other bands, Bullyrag and Tura Satana. Basically, I'm not as familiar with either of the bands music, which is why I haven't really mentioned them. Plus, in my opinion, HWP have really blown them away each night anyway. But as I mentioned at the begining of this one, tonight was different.
Bullyrag are the most eccentric of the bands. A spastic mix of styles, with enough characters in the band to start their own soap opera, they take a bit of getting used in the context of the music from the other bands. But, if you like Dub War, Prodigy, and basically stuff where you mix rock, with reggae, hardcore and dance elements, then you'll get this as well. Frantic and Boom Boom Marajuana are the only names I know, with the latter being a 10 minutes set closing tour de force as the proffessionals would say. The band give off an impressive spirit and presence, and when viewed in their own right, I get the feeling I'm really going to like this lot. Damn impressive.
Tura Satana for the first time tonight really acted as headliners and took the mantle. Tarrie was obviously fired up for this one, as she explained later. This was the stage where just over a year ago, some kid was beaten up by a bouncer. Tarrie took the action she deemed necessary, and as a result got kicked off the Fear Factory tour. The rest is history. And so tonight she is at pains to explain how proud she is to be back. The crowd are well up for it. The security are basically fighting a loosing battle. Eventually people start making it to the stage. Even Tarrie has to try and encourage people to relax a bit.
One girl in particular is making it up practically all the time. Later Tarrie explains, listen sweetheart, unless you're going to sing every line of every song with me, you're going to have to spend some time off the stage. Yeah, I love you too, but I've got to sing. When we come back on, I'll have something for you.. And to the girl wearing the Dino Cazares shirt honey, you wore the wrong shirt to my show.
Basically, there have been times when it felt rehearsed on the tour, but tongiht Tarrie was going with the real spirit and feeling of what was happening. And boy did it make a difference. One of the banners was nicked, the speeches were impassioned, the songs had an extra cutting edge. Venus Diable, Luna, Storage, Down, Scavenger, Victim, following the usual Tarrie speech about men respecting women. They all had that extra element. Release through relief being described as we released our guitarist and I'm relieved. Introducing Brian, the new guitarist by way of getting everyone to shout Fuck you Brian, followed by, it means I love you, don't be such a pussy. Everything was just so much more impassioned. Negative Creep as ever finished up the set, before Tarrie announced that it was the best gig so far. Again, that was no bullshit coming from the stage. I think I might need to come to Manchester more often. Next time with a ticket though.