Worst Concert Experience Ever!
September 2nd, 2010

[translate lang=english]I had been looking forward to the August 31st show at the Cow Palace, featuring Slayer, Megadeth, & Testament for MONTHS! And then the Cow Palace had to go fuck everything up. Great. Thanks a lot.

Note: This not a review of the performances of these bands, or the show itself even. This is merely my documenting my experience at the aforementioned show with a whole lot of complaining about the overall lameness of the venue.

First, some background. This show was originally scheduled for January of 2010. I had been tinkering with the idea of going, but eventually ended up having a gig of my own that night, so I called it a wash. However, I had not realized that this show ended up being cancelled because Slayer singer/bassist Tom Araya needed intensive back surgery. While it’s a bummer (but no surprise I guess – guy’s been headbanging for 30+ years) that Tom needed back surgery, it did work out in my favor when I found out that the show was rescheduled for August 31st sometime in March. I bought a $50 ticket w.o hesitation.

Over the months, I knew this show was coming up, but couldn’t really visualize the experience. At all. Eventually, the date finally came, and I found myself about to rock out to 3 killer thrash metal bands. I was especially looking forward to seeing Testament (and had been for months), as I was not as familiar with them and had never seen them live (this being my 3rd time seeing Slayer and 4th seeing Megadeth). I eventually figured out getting there via Muni (or what I call, the loserbus) wouldn’t be too bad, so planned on that. Something told me not to ride my bike there, and I’m trying to get better at listening to the voice in my head.

Admittedly, I left a little later then intended. I’d hoped to leave around 7 pm (when the doors opened), but didn’t get out of the house for a bus until more like 7:30. No bother, it should only take a half hour to get inside. Hopefully I’d still catch some of Testament.

After two buses, I was at the venue, and things started crumbling down at that point. The line was unimaginably long. It curved around the outside of the parking lot, then swung back around (past the entrance) to the parking lot gates, where I got in line. In retrospect, I should’ve moved on and cut. But I was alone, and while an asshole, I’m not a douche.

I waited in that line for probably 40 minutes, the beginning full of ticket scalpers and a few t-shirt sellers (for 10 bucks, a good, but likely illegal, price). In that time, Testament (who must have started right at 8), finished their set (I found this out about 15 minutes in from someone in line, who’s friend called to say that they were awesome, and also, over). I wonder how they felt knowing so many fans were outside?

Megadeth also played one of their albums (one of their best ones) in it’s entirety before I actually got onto the concert floor (I literally walked in during the outro of the last song and asked someone what I had missed to confirm they played the whole album). They played another 30 minutes or so – an uneven set of classics and a few singles. Unfortunately they sounded awful – but I don’t think it was their fault. The drums were the loudest thing in the mix. Mustaine’s vocals only cut through about half the time – and his voice has obviously dropped since the last time I saw them. There was no bass in the mix, and the guitars, while audible, had no presence. In retrospect, it sounds like they just kept the Slayer settings on for Megadeth, a drastically different band. Whoever did sound for them that night should be ashamed. At first I thought maybe it was just where the mixing booth was, but later realized I was maybe 10 feet to the right of it. Poor job. Megadeth looked like they were playing pretty well, and most of the crowd seemed to love it.

I thought about getting a beer at one point, as the Jack Daniels I’d drunk before leaving was starting to work its way out of my system, but upon further inspection found that a)coors light draft beers were 8 bucks, and b)in order to have the privilege of buying one you had to stand in another huge line to get a wristband. I decided not to give any extra money to the Cow Palace and instead found a place to sit for Slayer.

I found a good one – center stage in the first balcony. This meant I was very far from the stage – but could see everything decently and also watch the crowd in every part of the floor. As a people watcher and mosh-pit enthusiast, this was a prime area, especially since I was a little tired of standing and just wanted to get my brain blown away by Slayer at this point.

Of course, first I had to sit through a super long sound check, in which it seemed like EVERYONE near me smoked at least 2 cigarettes. So I was both buzzed (good) and lightheaded (not as good) from a ridiculous amount of second hand smoke. My clothes stink, btw. Even as a cigarette smoker I never liked indoor smoking venues – not that the Cow Palace allows smoking. It’s just that this is California and most of the big venues don’t pay attention to this shit, especially not junky ones like the Cow Palace (the Regency Ballroom, maybe).

The good news is, Slayer was out of sight and they sounded great. The light show was also spot-on. I love Slayer for a lot of reasons, but they really are the LOUDEST fucking band on the planet. They had two walls of Marshall Half Stacks – 6 x 3 on each side, with two other larger speakers underneath the drums. I could feel the bass drum rattling my body. Afterwards, I felt beat up, even without going into the pit. Musick is powerful stuff.

I also got a chance to really marvel at how tight and together this band was, even when they were playing musick that didn’t really work together. Seriously, every solo they played was a mess of noise and technique without much (if any) thought behind construction, music theory, or scales. Nonetheless, they were meticulously planned out and and really helped push the atmosphere past that of just another rock band.

(Side note – they played AC/DC for pretty much all of their filler music. That threw me off guard. Not cuz AC/DC isn’t awesome, but is that 1)Really what Slayer listens to, and 2)Really what Slayer thinks their fans listen to?)

They played for a pretty long time, although they didn’t play an encore. It seems big bands don’t feel the need to do this anymore? What gives? I’ve seen Faith No More, Danzig, Tool, and Slayer this year. Only Danzig did an encore. Big bands are supposed to do one, if not two encores, so long as the fans want it, right?

After the show I wasn’t sure the best way to go home – I was perfectly willing to pay the surcharge and avoid the loserbus (ie, take a cab), but a bus pulled up just as I was passing the street. I got in line, and soon realized I could be wasting tons of time by taking the loserbus for this reason: The vast majority of the riders did not have a Muni pass. This meant they all had to pay the $2 toll – which takes time. In the time it took one group of people to pay their toll, the crosswalk had gone a full rotation, and allowed another group of concert attendees across the street, which promptly scurried towards the muni line. I can’t say how many times this happened, and I knew that I could probably walk to Mission Street in the time it would take the bus to get there, but felt like I needed to stick it out for the sheer hilarity of the situation. Besides, it was only 11:30 (I guess Metal Bands have early bedtimes now).

Anyway, I made my transfer shortly thereafter and was home quickly. Then I opened up a can of my favorite ginger beer, Bundaberg (from Australia, but purchased at a bar down the street from me), and drank that while I slowly realized that this was the worst concert experience I may have ever had. But Slayer was fucking awesome, and I drank a Bundaberg, so I guess I can’t complain. I just will know better when I go to the Cow Palace next time.[/translate]

[translate lang=Severe-slang]Ahd been lookin forward ta tha August 31st show at tha Cow Palace, featurin Slayer, Megadeth, n Testament fer MONTHS! N then tha Cow Palace had ta gae fuck everythang up. Great. Thanx a lot.

Note: This is nawt a review of tha performances of these bands, or even tha show itself. This is merely my documentin my experience at tha aforementioned show with a whole lot of complaining about tha overall lameness of tha venue.

First, some background. This show was originally scheduled for January of 2010. Ahd been tinkering with the idea of gaein, but eventually ended up having a gig of my own that night, so ah called it a wash. However, ah had not realized that this show ended up bein cancelled because Slayer singer/bassist Tom Araya needed intensive back surgery. While it’s a bummer (but nae surprise I guess – guy’s been headbanging fer 30+ years) that Tom needed back surgery, it did work out in my favor when ah found out that tha show was rescheduled fer August 31st sometime in March. Ah bought a $50 ticket w.o hesitation.

Over tha months, ah knew this show was coming up, but couldn’t really visualize tha experience. At all. Eventually, tha date finally came, n ah found myself about ta rawk out ta 3 killah thrash metal bands. Ah was especially lookin forward ta seein Testament (n had been fer months), as ah was not as familiar with them n had nevah seen them live (this bein my 3rd time seeing Slayer and 4th seein Megadeth). Ah eventually figured out gettin there via Muni (er what ah call, tha loserbus) wouldn’t be too bad, so planned on that. Somethang told me nawt ta ride my bike there, n ahm tryin ta gitt bettah at listenin ta tha voice in my head.

Admittedly, ah left a little later then intended. Ahd hoped ta leave around 7 pm (when tha doors opened), but didn’t git out of tha house fer a bus until more like 7:30. Nae bother, it should only take a half hour to git inside. Hopefully ahd still catch some of Testament.

Aftah two buses, ah was at tha venue, n thangs started crumblin down at that point. Tha line was unimaginably long. It curved around tha outside of the parking lot, then swung back around (past tha entrance) to tha parking lot gates, whar ah gawt in line. In retrospect, ah should’ve moved on and cut. But ah was alone, n while an asshole, ahm nawta douche.

Ah waited in that line fer probably 40 minutes, tha beginning full of ticket scalpers n a few t-shirt sellers (fer 10 bucks, a good, but likely illegal, price). In that time, Testament (who mustve started right at 8), finished thar set (ah found this out about 15 minutes in from someone in line, who’s friend called ta say that they were awesome, n also, ovah). Ah wondah how they felt knowin so many fans were outside?

Megadeth also played one of their albums (one of their best ones) in it’s entirety before ah actually gawt ontae tha concert floor (ah literally walked in during the outro of tha last song off “Rust In Peace” n asked someone what ahd missed ta confirm they played tha whole album). They played another 30 minutes or so – an uneven set of classics n a few singles. Unfortunately they sounded awful – but ah don’t think it was thar fault. Tha drums were tha loudest thing in the mix. Mustaine’s vocals only cut through about half the time – n his voice has obviously dropped since the last time ah saw them. Thar was no bass in tha mix, n tha guitars, while audible, had nae presence. In retrospect, it sounds like they just kept the Slayer settings on fer Megadeth, a drastically different band. Whoever did sound fer them that night should be ashamed. At first ah thought maybe it was just whar tha mixing booth was, but latah realized ah was maybe 10 feet ta tha right of it. Poor job. Megadeth looked like they were playin pretty well, n most of tha crowd seemed ta love it.

Ah thought about gittin a beer at one point, as tha Jack Daniels ahd drunk before leavin was startin ta work its way out of my system, but upon further inspection found that a)coors light draft beers were 8 bucks, and b)in order ta have tha privilege of buyin one you had ta stand in another huge line ta git a wristband. Ah decided nawt ta give any extra money ta tha Cow Palace n instead found a place ta sit fer Slayer.

Ah found a good one – center stage in the first balcony. This meant ah was very far from tha stage – but could see everythang decently n also watch tha crowd in every part of tha floor. As a people watcher n mosh-pit enthusiast, this was a prime area, especially since ah was a little tired of standing n just wanted ta git my brain blown away by Slayer at this point.

Of course, first ah hadta sit through a super long sound check, in which it seemed like EVERYONE near me smoked at least 2 cigarettes. So ah was both buzzed (good) n lightheaded (not as good) from a ridiculous amount of second hand smoke. My clothes stink, btw. Even as a cigarette smoker ah nevah liked indoor smoking venues – not that tha Cow Palace allows smoking. It’s just that this is California n most of tha big venues don’t pay attention ta this shite, especially nawt junky ones like tha Cow Palace (tha Regency Ballroom, maybe).

Tha good news is, Slayer was out of sight n they sounded great. The light show was also spot-on. Ah love Slayer fer a lot of reasons, but they really are tha LOUDEST fawkin band on tha planet. They had two walls of Marshall Half Stacks – 6 x 3 on each side, with two other larger speakahs underneath tha drums. Ah could feel tha bass drum rattling my body. Ah felt beat up afterwerds, even without gaein intae tha pit. Musick is powerful stuff.

Ah also gawt a chance ta really marvel at how tight n together this band was, even when they were playing musick that didn’t really werk together. Seriously, every solo they played was a mess of noise n technique without much (if any) thought behind construction, music theory, er scales. Nonetheless, they were meticulously planned out n that really helped push tha atmosphere past that of just anutha rock band.

(Side note – they played AC/DC fer pretty much all of thar filler music. That threw me off guard. Not cuz AC/DC isn’t awesome, but is that 1)Really what Slayer listens to, n 2)Really what Slayer thinks thar fans listen to?)

They played for a pretty long time, although they didn’t play an encore. It seems big bands don’t feel tha need to do this anymore? What gives? Ahve seen Faith No More, Danzig, Tool, n Slayer this year. Only Danzig did an encore. Big bands are supposed to dae one, if not two encores, so long as tha fans want it, right?

Aftah tha show ah wasn’t sure tha best way ta gae home – ah was perfectly willin ta pay tha surcharge n avoid tha loserbus (ie, take a cab), but a bus pulled up just as ah was passing tha street. Ah gawt in line, n soon realized ah could be wastin tons of time by takin the loserbus fer this reason: Tha vast majority of tha riders did nawt have a Muni pass. This meant they all hadta pay tha $2 toll – which takes time. In tha time it took one group of people ta pay thar toll, tha crosswalk had gone a full rotation, n allowed another group of concert attendees across tha street, which promptly scurried towards tha muni line. Ah can’t say how many times this happened, n ah knew that ah could prolly walk ta Mission Street in tha time it would take tha bus ta get thar, but felt like ah needed ta stick it out fer tha sheer hilarity of tha situation. Besides, it was only 11:30 (ah guess Metal Bands have early bedtimes now).

Anyway, ah made my transfer shortly thereafter n was home quickly. Then ah opened up a can of my favorite ginger beer, Bundaberg (from Australia, but purchased at a bar down tha street from me), n drank that while ah slowly realized that this was tha worst concert experience ah may have ever had. But Slayer was fawkin awesome, n ah drank a Bundaberg, so ah guess ah can’t complain. Ahll just know bettah when ah gae ta tha Cow Palace next time.[/translate]

[translations]

  • Tha OBAR!




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