Neurosis / Voivod / Today Is The Day
October 5 1999
Missed the first few songs by Today Is The Day, as I was still shitting bricks interviewing Neurosis. But I wanted to see TITD, so we wrap that up and I get back in to see that there's a much larger crowd than I'd anticipated, and Steve and crew are literally doing their best to rip things apart. Steve Austin is the main man here, leading the latest incarnation of the band, and it's a pretty stunning display. Coming on something like James Hetfield merely in the way he manhandles the guitar, he's almost swallowing the microphone one moment, and threatening to decapitate the drummer the next. The music is ferocious, as are the vocals, it's deathly grind, but there's also a dischordant tone in there. I really must listen to the new album, cos as yet I haven't had time. Which is a shame, because it meant that I wasn't able to as fully enjoy this as it should've been done.
Legends. Living fucking legends. That's Voivod. If you've never listened to them, then do yourselves a favour and correct that omission, otherwise your life will never be fully complete. You'll be doing something and think "shit, my life feels somewhat empty". Then in that case, it simply means you've not listened to Voivod. Correct the mistake. Luckily a fair number of the crowd seem to live rich and full lives, and so as old faves and new are punched out, they get a fair reception. Heros for some. Eric has to walk with a stick now following the bus accident last year, but it matters not. Just seeing the band up there again is enough, and besides, Denis is a whir, making up for any imobility Eric sufferes. And of course there's Michel on drums. Awesome. My personal favourite era is still the Nothingface through Outer Limits albums, and so although Astonomy Dominie is the only airing from the awesome Nothingface, there's a major grin as The Prow from Angel Rat is aired. And you can imagine I was a more than happy person when during an interview before the gig, Michel and Eric announce that the music is written for the new album, and there's a bit more of the psychedilic moments on there. Yes yes yes yes yes. We have an early contender for the "most anticipated album of the year" award for 2000. And those are my favourite moments. The Phobos and Negatron albums are of course well aired, and we dip back to Dimension Hatross and Killing Technology for the likes of Tornado and Tribal Convictions. Trust me, Fear Factory and all those "Cybermetal" bands owe Voivod a major dept of gratitude. A band that were doing it before those others were able to walk. Awesome and to be cherished. Legends I tell you.
Neurosis. I mean, I'm not even going to insult this experience by naming song titles, or complaing at omissions. This is my 3rd or is it 4th time seeing them? Whatever. I've seen the projections before, but only in a support slot. This was the full monty. The full on head fuck. To describe it in normal terms would be an injustice. The emphasis is firmly on the Times Of Grace album, with some Tribes Of Neurot like moments linking everything together. Steve Von Till comes across as Kerry Kings nasty big brother, a pitbull wrestling with the guitar. But he's not alone as Dave Edwardson and Scott Kelly join the attack. But there's the whole experience. The projections truly link with the music, and vice versa, as Pete Inc assembles them lovingly behind the band. Using the whole of the stage means that they truly embrace you, it's everywhere. The music throbs, but then it easess off, and there are some truly beautiful moments. I hate pretentious bollocky descriptions of music "ooh man, it has texture and ambience". But this does. When they are full on, they are so full on its frightening. But, the band know how to ease off, to create "textures" to their music. It's a fine line they tread, and they do for me cross it at times into self-indulgence. But live it's absorbing. You get drawn in. There are no need for words, and as the 80 minutes or so are up, it's a release at the end. There's hardly any applause during the set, you don't know when, but you feel that you shouldn't anyway. It's saved for the end. I don't know, I can't even begin to do justice to a performance like that. So I won't. Experience it. There's a damn good chance you'll absolutely hate it, because it is a difficult experience, but there's also a damn good chance you'll never experience anything else like it.
But what about Voivod - phenomenal.