Saturday, November 24, 2007
Down Concert Review!!!
Venue: The Music Box Theater at the Fonda, Hollywood, California
Date: November 23, 2007
I had five days off for the Thanksgiving holiday and there were a few concerts to choose from over the weekend. Even though I had to get up really early on Saturday for an unrelated matter (Malibu was burning yet again when I woke up the next morning), I chose to see Southern sludge masters Down, performing by themselves, at the Music Box Theater in Hollywood on a chilly Friday night.
I arrived an hour and half early to dutifully take my place in line, as this show appeared to be high on everyone’s priority list. After making my way into the theater (an old theater near the corner of fabled Hollywood and Vine), I was hoping that Down’s set would begin promptly at 8:30 PM as indicated, but by 9:15 PM or so, the capacity, general admission crowd was getting a bit antsy. Finally, the house lights come down, only for the crowd to be presented with about 45 minutes or so of film from Down’s tour of Europe. Interspersed with some of Down’s tour bus antics was plenty of archival footage of old bands from the 70s including rare concert footage of pre- “Alive” Kiss, Free, a Deep Purple clip from the California Jam in 1974, Thin Lizzy, Black Flag (I’m SURE that Henry Rollins was in tonight’s crowd, although I didn’t see him), Lynyrd Skynyrd, and a rendition of “Hole In The Sky” by Black Sabbath. Interesting, but I was really getting antsy by this point, as was most of the crowd. Finally, around 10 PM, to thunderous applause, Down takes the stage.
Immediately, the floor crowd really starts to move as I hurriedly snap video and pictures from my phone while dope smoke is blown in my face and Jagermeister is dumped all over me. I’m having a marvelous time! If you check out the videos, you’ll see that I’m getting shoved around all over the floor. From the get go, it’s obvious that the negative experiences of the last few years have changed, at the very least, Phil Anselmo’s approach to the crowd. Back in 2004, during Superjoint Ritual’s set in Southern California on the Ozzfest tour, Anselmo spent most of the time insulting everybody. Not so tonight. Throughout the entire set, especially during “Learn From This Mistake”, he made a point of addressing each section of the crowd, mouthed the words “I love you”, and made appreciative bows and gestures to the crowd. Other highlights from the set included “Ghosts Along The Mississippi”, “Mourn”, “I Scream”, and all of the classics from “NOLA”.
Ultimately, Down would perform a nearly two hour set, but, unfortunately, I had to depart after about 75 minutes or so. Although disappointed that I had to cut my attendance short, this was still a great show and well worth it.
Here are some photos...
The t-shirt haul...
And the videos...
First, the introductory footage...
Here's the crowd really moving...
"Learn From This Mistake"
Next up is the Death By Decibels tour on 12/3 at the HOB WH!
Here's a rip from Charnel Valley
Sorry, song removed.