Does seeing two metal bands that you've seen in the last year make you a metalhead? I hope not, but am beginning to wonder. This over indulgence in metal didn't deter me from joining the packed house at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel to see a what is likely the only band that has ever showed up there in a full size bus with trailer. But if Metallica likes you enough to invite you as an opener (on more than one tour) and you have a free night before your Verizon Center show, why not?
Nihilitia - A local three-piece with a female bassist who only sang on occasion in a Flipper like manor (meaning a voice was present in the mix more than a singer hitting clean notes above it all). Not really metal or even oldschool hard rock, but more of a post-My War Black Flag. The guitarist was clearly like a Greg Ginn with almost a bit of King Crimson at their most manic tossed in. No metal posing, just a good opening set.
Year Long Disaster - I saw the band open for Motorhead/Misfits/Valient Thorr in Denver last year and enjoyed their set. I thought they were even a bit better last night on the smaller stage. They are at their best when they feature a driving rhythm and hit a bit of a groove to work off of. They appear to be playing with Sword on many "in between" shows on the Metallica tour. A worthy three piece band that I won't mind on any bill.
The Sword - The Sword is a four piece with two guitars. They clearly fit in the metal scene and have Metallica style chops going on much of the time, but they bring a Sabbathy feel along with unpretentious singing. Overall, a really good mix of styles and some creative songs that allow non-metal fans who want to put a toe in the water to come out and have a good time. I am impressed that they want to play just about every night in small clubs and out of the way cities in between the big nights with Metallica. That's worth a lot of respect, right there, even if I didn't enjoy the set as much as I did.
Quote of the Night: "Make everything louder" -- except your voice, asshole. I don't where earplugs, although I wished I had them for previous sets by Kawabata and Dinosaur Jr. Most of the time, I don't need them, but between the guy yelling right behind me and the whistling guy beside me at the end, I really needed them. I am curious why the wall of amps and the p.a. are tolerable, but the one shrill voice really hurts. I'm certainly more curious of that, then engaging in a conversation with these yobbos.