The Blood Lust Death Tour featuring Dope, Combichrist, September Mourning, and Davey Suicide in Omaha, Nebraska on March 16, 2017.
The Blood Lust Death Tour featuring Dope, Combichrist, September Mourning, and Davey Suicide came to Omaha’s Sokol Underground on Mar 6, with opening acts Before and I Burn and September. Last time I saw 6 bands in a single show was for a large outdoor summer festival. This experience was quite different as the show was indoors, in a basement, on a Monday evening, in March.
The Blood, Lust, and Death show kicked off with Before I Burn, a modern metal foursome from Omaha, taking the stage for a 20 minute set followed by an equally long set from Iowa’s September. Both bands are familiar among the regional circuit, so it’s nice to see local heroes getting a chance to open for national touring bands. A disadvantage of having 6 bands on the bill is a lot of gear to setup/teardown between performances, forcing bands to roadie for themselves in full stage outfits and makeup. Before I Burn and September held their own with the limited stage space available, while the general attendance audience slowly trickled in.
Hollywood’s gritty metal core band Davey Suicide was the first of the touring bands to appear on stage for the Blood Lust Death show and shifted the show into full gear by ripping into ‘Hustler Queen’ from their 2013 EP. These guys immediately grab your attention both visually and sonically. Their face paint and special effect contacts make them look like extras out of a Mad Max movie. Each member had fantastic stage presence, you can tell these guys are cut from the Sunset Strip and influenced by all the key metal heavy weights. Led by lead singer Davey Suicide, of the same name, these guys wasted no time tearing through their 40-minute set. They played a few new tracks from their forthcoming LP “Made From Fire”, including ‘Dancing with the Reaper’, ‘No Angel’, and ‘Too Many Freaks’. They closed out the set with 2012’s ‘Generation Fuck Star’, the song that initially put them on the map. They flawlessly merge a modern metal sound with hair metal like stage personas, all while almost looking like comic book villains.
Speaking of comic books, September Mourning (another band that shares their name with the lead singer) is a conceptual project whose music, videos, and live performances revolve around comic books telling the story of September Mourning, a female human-reaper hybrid, that gives human souls a second chance at redemption. They are touring in support of Volume II, their first full length LP, released last year , alongside the second issue comic “Hand of Fate”. Their live performance for the Blood Lust Death show began with an intro story playing over the PA as four large reapers slowly made their way across the stage. The reapers dropped their masks and cloaks revealing September Mourning and her band, and opened with ‘Eye of the Storm’ from the new record. Dressed in signature white with pasty white makeup, September Mourning is an alluring presence on stage, and a stark contrast to her band of dark clad reapers. There were a few technical issues during the first half on their set. Her microphone cut out entirely during the beginning of their cover of ‘Stand By Me’, but thankfully it was restored before the first chorus. ’20 Below’, their latest video and single, has a catchy pre-chorus vocal scale that September Mourning taught the crowd and cued them when to come in throughout the song. Their set was woefully short at only 25 minutes, and they appropriately ended with ‘Children of Fate’. I’m a fan of everything about this band. They provide great visuals, great music, and a bold concept. I wish they could have been on stage a little longer.
Next up for the Blood Lust Death show was Combichrist. With two drummers, flanking each side of the stage, it took a little more time to get everything aligned and ready for their performance. Primary drummer Joe Letz appeared on stage first, in black face paint with red orange lipstick, red orange wig, and a corresponding red orange bikini top. He grabbed one of his floor toms off the riser and had an audience member hoist it up as he began the primal rhythm of ‘What the Fuck is Wrong with You’. The rest of band joined in for a heart-pounding version of the opening number. Combichrist has been around for 14 plus years, but this was their Omaha debut, and they did not disappoint. Their electro-industrial brand of music really hits you hard in the chest, and they never let the energy wane for a second. Singer Andy LaPlegua frequently stood atop the monitors fist pumping while engaging the crowd and paced the stage like a caged tiger. They played at least a song or two from each of their studio releases throughout their hour-long set. LaPlegua had the audience chanting along through ‘Zombie Fistfight’ and ‘My Life my Rules’, and everyone jumping throughout the industrial-discoesque ‘Get Your Body Beat’. They wrapped up with ‘Sent to Destroy’ from 2009’s Today We Are All Demons LP.
And finally, it was time to see Dope‘s performance for the Blood Lust Death show. The recently reunited classic line up of Dope with Edsel Dope, Acey Slade, Virus, and Racci Shay. Video screens now spanned across the back of the stage and displayed static black and white images while the band launched into a blistering version of ‘Blood Money’ from their latest LP Blood Money – Part I. This was followed by ‘6-6-Sick’. Dope has always been a hard edged no apologies band, and they quickly reenergized the room as they tore into ‘Violence’. Bass and drums weren’t as loud or punchy as Combichrist, but the band was tighter and more polished overall. Edsel Dope sounded great and as gritty as ever. Dope has always taken liberties with cover songs throughout their career, and Edsel advised the crowd “We are going to play the stupidest song you’ve ever heard in your life” before playing their rendition of Dead or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round’. Their covers of ‘Rebel Yell’ and ‘Fuck the Police’ were also included in their one hour set. Most of the evening the video screens depicted random violent or distorted images, but during ‘Nothing For Me Here’ they displayed the play-along graphics from Guitar Hero, as the song was featured in the game. Then they played Samual L Jackson’s signature scene and quote from Pulp Fiction prior to ‘Die Motherfucker Die’. Dope concluded with ‘1999’, also from Blood Monday – Part I, not to be confused with the Prince song. When the last guitar chord was silenced, the band said good night, abruptly left the stage, the lights came on, and the show was over. No encore.
Dopes angst driven, violent themed music was the prefect exclamation point for the day. Omaha endured stormy weather that afternoon for the Blood Lust Death Show, including hail and high winds that continued until shortly before doors opened at Sokol Underground. This had an unfortunate impact on the overall turnout for the show. Edsel Dope took notice stating “There were a few more people last time we were here, so I thank you for coming out and braving the tornadoes and shit.” This show deserved a capacity crowd. I left with my ears wanting more, but my feet were ready to go home after nearly 6 hours on the concrete floor, and I ingested enough fog machine smoke to skip breakfast the next morning. Overall this was a fantastic show for industrial metal fans, and a bargain ticket for the talent on stage.
Show review by Vince Andreasen
Photos courtesy of Winsel Photography in Omaha, Nebraska. ©2017.