Concert Review: Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, February 24, The Phoenix

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As I entered the Phoenix on Tuesday night, it was hot, crowded and I detected the scent of weed and BO … yup, must be a big metal show. Sure it was a Tuesday night, I was a bit tired, and probably would have been content just staying home and watching the Parks and Recreation finale, but metal was calling me. And its call sounded like a brutal death growl. Yes indeed, this was a night for Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth.

Behemoth took to the stage to an enthusiastic welcome and told the crowd twice how “fucking honoured” they were to be there (or words to that effect) – once near the start of their set and once again as their set drew to a close. The crowd was certainly returning the love (there were many chants of “BE! HE! MOTH!” throughout the night) and I suspect that there were many in attendance more excited about seeing Nergal and co. than they were for the evenings headliners. And truth be told, after Behemoth’s onslaught onstage (complete with all the band members wearing horns for the encore, because Satan), Cannibal Corpse had their work cut out for them.

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Of course, Cannibal Corpse have been around long enough to have learned a few tricks and any band led by a guy nicknamed “Corpsegrinder” certainly aren’t going to be boring. After 20 plus years in the game, the Buffalo band are pretty much death metal’s answer to a classic rock act. I realize I more or less just lumped the authors of “I Cum Blood” in with Foghat and their ilk, but hear me out – like a classic rock act, you know what you’re gonna get, and while the band may be past their prime, people are still excited to hear the hits. And then there’s the stage banter, a staple of any given rock show. Ol’ Corpegrinder threw out some standard classic rock crowd banter in the form of “That was pretty good but you can do better” style egging on of the crowd. It works. It always does. Of course, unlike a classic rock band, Cannibal Corpse’s banter also includes talk of doing weird stuff to dead bodies, as demonstrated in the introduction to “Addicted To Vaginal Skin,” which Corpsegrinder described as being “… about my favourite thing – pussy! But not the kind that everyone likes.” Stay classy, Corpsegrinder.

While several in attendance may have been more excited about seeing Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse devotees are not to be underestimated either and the diehards in the crowd certainly seemed pretty stoked.  Fittingly, during the second song in their set, “Demented Aggression,” things picked up a bit in the pit, getting aggressive, perhaps even dementedly so. I was amused to overhear one guy exclaiming proudly that he crowdsurfed and that they tossed him around like a ragdoll.  Speaking of getting tossed around, I can’t end this review without giving props to George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher for his helicopter style headbanging. Dude’s got skills.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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