Friday 21 August 2015

'The Road to Death to False Metal': GodHunter –vs – Destroyer of Light ‘Endsville’ Tour Diary - Leg Two: Day 10-18

 By: Jake Brazelton & Keegan Kjeldsen

Day 10 - Indianapolis (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): On our very first tour, we played a place called Indy's Jukebox, which got bought out and is now called the 5th Quarter - our stop in Indianapolis for Endsville. Returning there was surreal. The last time, we played with Apostle of Solitude (who showed up this time and were nice enough to give us a place to stay) and the great Black Tusk (RIP Athon). Needless to say, it was a 'full circle' kind of moment, although the murderous stairs have been improved under new management. Conjurer slayed it hard - I was admittedly blazed out of my mind and managed to stand long enough to watch them, albeit through my shades. Yes, I wore my sunglasses at night and I didn't even bash the hell out of my shins. Indy treated both us and Godhunter very well this time. The bathrooms did not. I don't know if it's because there's literally a gym on the top floor and all the body odour just accumulates or if the innards of the bar patrons are just downright wretched (we probably contributed on that front). But all that was forgotten by the great support from a host of old and new friends and fans. The only scent that stuck with us at the end of the night was the sweet smell of love. And weed.

Day 11 - Louisville Kentucky (Jake from Godhunter): Sometimes a town has ways of surprising you. Louisville was definitely one of these kinds of towns. We rolled into town a little early so we could stop by the Lousville Deathfest to check out our buds in Immortal Bird. They were playing in what looked like a warehouse kind of building next to an abandoned silo. Immortal Bird ripped apart a sea of dudes in black shirts and their girlfriends. We then drove down to the Mag Bar which is a rad little dive in a weird part of town. Tonight was just us and Destroyer of Light so we weren't in any kind of rush to get set up. We played our set to Destroyer of Light and like one other dude but that dude bought a shirt. So we were 1 for 1 on fans in Kentucky. The owner of Mag Bar was one of the coolest dudes we met on tour. He kind of looks like a shorter hipster version of Abe Lincoln and told us approximately a million dad jokes while smoking a blunt with us.

Day 12 - Raleigh (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): It was a doomed night at The Pour House after a looong all-night and all-morning drive straight from Louisville. With multiple drivers and room enough for two to sleep, it can be done - but we don't recommend it unless you absolutely know what you're doing. If everyone's tired, pull off at a rest stop and sleep for a few hours. You don't even need to set an alarm when you tour in summer: the sun will helpfully commence with burning you to a crisp as soon as it comes up, a friendly nudge that it's time to wake up and drive. Needless to say, we spent most of our time after coming into Raleigh sleeping, dreaming of Lone Star, nachos, cowgirls and all the other things we miss about Texas. At the bar, The Hag woke us the fuck up with their punishing style of sludge-grunge, as well as Bitter Resolve, whose name fit their sound perfectly. They were aggressive and thunderous, and got the blood flowing before Endsville descended on Raleigh. For future reference: no drinking alcohol in the parks of Raleigh... Unless you have a permit.

Day 13 - Charleston, WV (Jake from Godhunter): #picklemouth 

Day 14 - Pittsburgh (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): We've been known to wax poetic about Pittsburgh, especially about the striking view of the city you get when coming in. Tunnel after tunnel through hills and mountains... then, bam. You come out onto a bridge and see the full majesty of the city: the river, the bridges, the hills, and the unique skyline. We seriously can't say enough good things about it. The weather was close to perfect and the wind was refreshing when up in the hills. But, oh yeah, there's hills everywhere, and that makes loading gear a special kind of pain in the nuts. Still, I'm always happy to return to Gooski's for more pierogies, sausage, kraut and wings: playing on Polish Hill has its benefits. After watching Slaves BC and Outlander blast the smallish room in the back of the bar, we were ready for a tight show, and Jeff and Dick jammed bass on the floor. After load-out (my favorite part of tour), Max from Dendritic Arbor was kind enough to put us up for the night, and we got cuddly with some big, fuzzy cats (my actual favorite part of tour).

Day 15 - Buffalo, NY (Jake from Godhunter):  I need to tell you guys something. Western New York is beautiful. We tried to leave early so we could hang out at Niagara Falls for a few hours but we woke up way too late so we only got to stop for fifteen minutes or so. The Falls are insane though. Mist in the air, tourists everywhere, and crazy ass ducks chilling in the water right before the falls. Crazy shit. David's cousin who live in Buffalo showed us and DoL a ton of love by cooking us up some burgers and letting us hang out before the show. We get down to Mohawk Bar where we got to watch a drunk guy get thrown out of the bar, call the cops on the bar for refusing service to him and when the cops showed up they told him "Get your shit, take your head out of your ass and get out of here." After all of this, Bastard Lord brought the hammer of doom down on the crowd before it was time for Endsville. Buffalo is an interesting place. I'd definitely play here again.

Day 16 - Brooklyn (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): Driving into NYC during rush hour is an Odyssey of torture that filled me with enough suffering to write three funeral doom records. Pro tip: iPhones can't handle New York. They can't figure out where the hell they are and you end up getting re-routed through Times fucking Square. Yeah, that happened. After our souls and bladders were crushed for several hours, we reached St. Vitus Bar and remembered why we come to New York. It felt like a metal mecca of sorts, and it was awesome to meet up with Immortal Bird again, this time to play a show. While we were unloading in a bus zone, a city bus pulled up right behind us and the driver got out. We were sure it was to tell us to move our asses, but a lady on the bus, the only passenger shouted that it wasn't her stop. The driver shrugged and said, "I'm gonna eat a sandwich at this deli. Sorry", then walked right past us. Got to meet the mighty Frank Huang of Pit Full of Shit. Immortal Bird's performance was brutal and technical, but without crossing into prog territory. After some very loud sets from the Endsville tour, we drank, partied and mourned the toll money we'd parted with earlier that day. We parted ways with tour buddies Immortal Bird, but not for the last time: Death to False Metal Fest awaits in two days!

Day 17 - Salem, MA (Jake from Godhunter): Salem might have been one of the best on this tour. We got into the witchy world of Salem early so we could check out some of the sights before the party started. We got a taste of what the witch trials were like by seeing the re-enactment and dungeon tour at the Witch Dungeon Museum before checking out some of the cemeteries. After we got done with all of our touristy bullshit, we got to one of the most strangest venues we have ever played, Koto Sushi Restaurant. I've never played an actual sit down restaurant before so I had no idea what to expect but fuck Salem, you dudes know how to party. We had people who came out to the show from Boston and some from as far as Maine to see this show. After letting the close the sit down aspect of the restaurant, the bands set up on the floor across from the bar. After the venue filled up, Led to the Grave thrashed and shredded the energetic crowd and set everything up perfectly for Endsville to lay waste to Koto. During our set, an extremely inebriated dude was rocking out a bit too hard and almost knocked over Dick before his buddy took him off somewhere to sleep it off for the night. After wrapping up the music we shared some booze and stories with all of our new friends, it was time to hit the road again. Salem fucking rules and Koto fucking rules.

Day 18 - Hamden, Death to False Metal Fest (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): We've been calling this the 'traffic tour', because we've managed to hit awful traffic almost every drive so far, and the road to Death to False Metal was no different. Jeff walked side-by-side with the van for a bit as we inched along, because sometimes you gotta smoke and we weren't going faster than walking distance. We rolled into the parking lot with little time to spare before loading in gear for Godhunter's set. The Outer Space stage where we both played was agonizingly small - and given the size of the room and the loudness of the bands there, I'm guessing it was incredibly loud. I'm guessing because my hearing has been systematically destroyed already, so who knows. Needless to say, I approve of that: Godhunter, Destroyer of Light and Secret Cutter all shared gear and blasted the audience in what could only be called a 'heavy metal lounge party'. Just outside, metalheads strummed away at acoustic guitars, and finally Archaic Decapitator finished the night on the small stage with their technical death assault. Meanwhile, at the ballroom, Grizzlor's raw, reckless abandon was followed up by the power doom of Demon Eye and Nasty Disaster's nasty brand of heavy metal. Immortal Bird kicked up the harshness and freakout level in preparation for Krieg's black metal blitz. Good people run this fest, and I can only hope that the discovery of another fest with the same name will only be a minor hurdle: while the fest may not be keeping the name, every band performed their asses off. Hats off to everyone involved.