Photos By Terrible Mystery Snapper
How do you know when you’re at a metal gig? When over a hundred people get on stage for as long as they want and leap into a swirling mosh pit filled with another few hundred metal heads on a war path. Exodus are in the village and as one bouncer comments, the band request it this way.
The night starts off slow with a smaller than ideal turn out for tonight’s opening act, Man Must Die but quickly into their set word seems to spread and the band have managed to collect their very own group of diehards who garrison themselves around the front for some Scottish metal. Lead singer Joe McGlynn repeatedly informs the crowd of the bands love for Dublin in his hard Scottish accent before unleashing rage with a fine pair of chops. Demanding a mosh pit form, the crowd half heartedly oblige but frankly most of us are too sober for that carry on and no-one wants to wear themselves out before tonight headliners, no matter how good the support is. Man Must Die finishes their set leaving the crowd in a frenzied state of anticipation. Nothing more confusing than a support band you actually want to see more of on the night.
A sudden attendance explosion, one pint, two smokes, a quick spiel for Phantom FM and it’s finally time for metal. Exodus appear under the fine, classically played opening of The Ballad of Leonard and Charles before opening the gates to a night of old skool, teeth cutting gore driven indulgence. Within moments of the bands arrival, fans explode in front of the stage and without invitation, the diving starts. Current singer Rob Dukes does his best to block out the mass of fans leaping onto the stage, hugging him, patting his head and posing before taking the plunge but he also makes no attempt to stop it, so long as people play nice. Beyond The Pale (nice that he’s thinking outside Dublin) and Iconoclasm follow from this year’s Exhibit B: The Human Condition and 2007’s The Atrocity Exhibition…Exhibit A respectively, showing the undeniable talent this band still has for writing some of the best thrash songs in the business.
Joking to the crowd, Dukes announces that tonight’s fans are …… not acting as metal as we could be (you’re all “gay”) and himself and the band would appreciate a notch up in the enthusiasm (“start a fucking old skool pit”). With that the packed crowd ignites and a giant pit opens in front of the stage in classic 80’s fashion. Circle pits always need something very intense from the band to feed off and the classic A Lesson In Violence provides everything the crowd need to keep going. Children of A Worthless God follows, again showing the strength of the bands newer material before Piranha from their classic Bonded By Blood album brings the old skool element back into play. As the end appears, the band raises the bar with Blacklist and War Is My Sheppard from their 2004 masterpiece, Tempo of the Damned. Two of the most ferocious metal compositions to appear for decades and ones that see half the crowd rush the stage for the final chance at stage diving, some even managing to sing into the mic with Dukes during WIMS.
Coming back for an encore, Exodus return to their eighties gold to close the night. Bonded By Blood and the infamous Toxic Waltz send the venue into chaos while the raspy, heaving glass cutting force of Strike of The Beast delivers one final classic blow before the band finish the night with new song ,Good Riddance.
Another great night from all at Dublin Metal Events and good to know that while bands like Exodus are largely ignored by the main concert promotion companies in Ireland, despite being able to pack venues with several hundred people, there are smaller collectives out there who take the time to bring great music to our fine emerald shores.