My ear drums are still buzzing, and I’m slightly surprised at the lack of bruises and the fact that nothing is broken on my body after last night.. why? one might ask… Because I went down to the pits of hell (or Mao Live House) with 2 walls of death and more moshing than I ever gambled for as Exodus descended on Beijing to help Painkiller Magazine celebrate their 10 years with help from China’s own Suffocated and Japan’s Grim Force.
Mao was packed when things got started with Suffocated who I had heard tons of great stuff about but hadn’t had a chance to catch yet… until yesterday that is! They’re pretty darn solid and had the audience jumping up and down, moshing, headbanging with pure unadulterated metal. as far as all the Chinese bands I’ve heard so far, I’m ready to give them the crown as the best one in Beijing if not China. I’m gonna have to catch them again and home to get my hands on their album sometime soon.
Next up was Grim Force from Japan. These cats were musically fantastic but I kept looking at them and thinking sushi! Good classic technically sound metal but they just lacked a little stage presence i felt. big big ups to their insane bass player who did not slow down at any point during their set. Their drummer was just as nuts with badaboums and badabangs all around. They got a hang of the audience around the end of their set and managed to get them moving around a bit.
so far so good… only thing was that by then, temperature inside the pits of Mao was going up by the minute!
Finally, it was time for E-XO-DU-S….
The rest of the band took to the stage before Rob “The Beast” Duke came out sporting an “infidel” T-shirt and getting things started… and the place went freaking nuts! Yours truly and Ruby immediately backed off to the back of the pit fearing for our safety! The band was not even 10 seconds into the first song and half the audience was prowling around the pit in a circle! impressive! It took Lamb of God a good 10 mn to get things started properly a few months ago.
The band then powered on through a whole bunch of their latest songs, a few of which i didn’t recognize but nevertheless enjoyed! I had read somewhere that Rob was not a big fan of singing the old stuff preferring to do their more recent efforts and that was definitely confirmed. There were definitely a few people in the audience lamenting that there wasn’t enough oldies.
Oldies, goodies, modern shit… who cares! The band rocked the hell out of Mao Livehouse and the Audience gave back as much as they took from them… there was no freaking downtime in this show… If the crowd looked like they were slowing down, they got a little gesture from the band to keep it going.
They did eventually play a few of the oldies like bonded by blood, pirana, war is my Shepard and my favorite: and then there were none.
Rob also generalled the most impressive wall of death i got to witness in person when 3/4 through the show, in between song, he called for the room to split in two! and it did! He made it clear that everyone was to wait for his signal before launching forward and trying to rip this place and each other apart (for fun of course for you non metalheads)… and on his command, they did! One hell of a show with the band coming back for a 3 song encore before finally bowing out
I’ve been in Mao plenty of times but I’ve never seen that level of intensity or heat in there before! The band had to stop periodically and throw water in the audience because things were getting so freaking hot in there… at some point, it reached the 35 degrees Celsius and everyone was sweating like pigs!
Talking about the audience… are these guys amazing or what? I’ve known of Exodus for some time now and know some of their songs but the Chinese were almost singing word for word with the band… these guys’ dedication to metal and how they embrace it in ways I have not seen them embrace other musics is out of this world… and the barbaric nature of the mosh pit can only be compared to the kindness of people who pick up their fellow pitters when they fall to make sure they’re ok before going at it again.. pure primal scream therapy
After the gig, the band was really cool to just stick around, sign authographs, chat with fans and generally take it all in! A special mention goes to their roadies and sound tech who were really cool to hand out with at the bar ( thanks for the Jager) and an extra special mention goes out to Rob “The Beast” Duke who off stage is one hell of a soft spoken, nice and humble person! That act of kindness to an old lady outside of Mao was a class act…
One of candidates for best gig of the year so far…. Here are some cool shots courtesy of the one and only Kaiser Kuo whose pictures and camera skills are definitely better than mine: