After nine long years, Satyricon made their triumphant return to Dallas for what is said to be their final United States tour. The Memorial Day holiday and the Texas heat didn’t keep the die-hard fans from filling the Gas Monkey Bar n’ Grill from rail to rail. They may be returning to work or school the next morning, but no one was gonna miss this show. With direct support from the incomparable Goatwhore and local support from A Devil’s Daydream and Sparrows, there was no better way to kick off your week if you’re a metalhead. With doors scheduled to open at 6:00 pm, there was already a line formed outside for when they finally opened up shortly before 6:30. The crowd quickly filed in and were ready to let off some steam on this final day of the holiday weekend.
A Devil’s Daydream kicked things off in front of the ever-growing crowd. Delivering melodic black metal fit to make your skin crawl, the band admirably played their 20-minute set with intensity. Indeed, their fans and other Dallas metal scenesters were banging their heads and singing along as the sun mercilessly loomed overhead. Sparrows followed with another short, 20-minute set. This was vocalist Jason Hans final show with the band and he was determined to make it one to remember. The crowd had become even larger by the time the band kicked off and things were getting cramped inside the Gas Monkey. Playing songs from their forthcoming album and some familiar cuts, Sparrows delighted the audience with their powerful, somewhat bittersweet performance.
You can always bet on Goatwhore to tear shit up. And tear shit up they did. Blasting their way through songs from their latest album Vengeful Ascension, as well as classics from A Haunting Curse, Carving Out the Eyes of God, and Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun, they were both wild and decisive. The sun had yet to set, but Goatwhore was determined to bring it down. The crowd ecstatically pumped their fists, threw up devil horns, and sang along; though it wasn’t until nearly the end of the bands set that they would incite a mosh-pit. But, once it got going the crowd was clearly pumped. Vocalist Ben Falgoust, with his tall frame and long hair commanded the stage and directed the crowd to sing-along and move their asses. The band behind him was every bit as intense, which sometimes overshadows their skill. Guitarist Sammy Duet’s riffs were incendiary. It takes a special guitar player to hold it down himself when so many other bands feature both lead and rhythm. But, Duet’s got the chops. Bassist bassist Robert Coleman and drummer Zack Simmons are a rhythm tandem that cannot be fucked with – they’re smooth and fluid, yet play their instruments like they’re weapons.
When Satyricon took the stage around 9:00 pm, the venue was completely packed. There was little room to navigate if you had the futile thought of getting another beer during their set. Vocalist Satyr kept the crowd engaged throughout the almost 2 hour show as he delivered a fierce vocal performance that never seemed to tire. The only other original member on tour, the one and only Frost (drums), was something to behold. The crowd could feel his energy and passion from behind the kit. Mesmerizing foot and hand speed, coupled with precision timing, made for an unreal performance. Somehow, all of the sweat from the blistering heat seemed to enhance the atmosphere in a weird way. After all, no one was there to be comforted by the bands soothing sounds. The set covered a wide swath of their discography, from show opener “Midnight Serpent,” from their most recent release, Deep Calleth Upon Deep, to “Transcendental Requiem of Slaves” and “Mother North” from 1996s Nemesis Divina. But, whatever song the band played, the crowd seemed to relish it and they gave the Norwegians a grand send off for their final Dallas appearance. If you slept on this show, you definitely missed out.
– J. Kevin Lynch (words); Corey Smith (photos)
– click to enlarge photos –