This was my first time being “on the inside” of a show. I’ve gone to concerts since my dad took me to see The Presidents of the USA at the Showbow in Seattle when I was 9. And as fate would have it, my first photography gig was at the Showbox in Seattle! Due to the fact that The Presidents called it quits back in 2016, I compromised by shooting equally legendary bands (albeit, in a completely different scene) in Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel for Decibel Magazine’s 2019 tour.
I was eager and nervous, (as most virgins are) to get into the show and “set-up” so I got there about 15 minutes after doors opened. Got in with no issue and introduced myself to the real professionals with a minimum of two cameras hanging from their necks. I had one. After a bit of chatter with the others behind the barrier, and some commentary from the peanut gallery about an “annoying tall-ass photographer” (Hint: That’s me.) Blood Incantation came out and started their sonic assault. They are a band I’m somewhat familiar with, but they are heavily praised in the underground metal scene by those who know them. It was a dense blend of death and doom metal with some real technical aspects thrown in during guitar passages. They were impressive for sure, but their songs got a little drawn out and too dense for me not having known their material well previously. Usually you get three songs in the photo pit before the security boots you out, but Blood Incantation’s shorter songs hover around the ten minute mark so we only got one song to do our business.
Next up was a personal favorite of mine in Necrot. I saw them play Northwest Terror Fest last year and they impressed the hell out of me. This year was absolutely no different, blistering through their 40-50 minute set that still felt too short. Necrot’s a 3-piece old- school dirty death metal outfit that is full of riffs and great drum beats. If you haven’t heard or seen Necrot yet you HAVE to change that, they are stellar. Unfortunately for me, like Blood Incantation, Necrot’s set was flooded with red light and was hard to shoot but I still got some goodies.
Third on stage was one of the two legends gracing the Showbox tonight, Morbid Angel. The band came out with an intensity, proving they are still passionate about their music. They started with the first two tracks off of Kingdom DIsdained before taking a break to compliment our city’s fine selection of marijuana. Steve Tucker was as personable between songs as he was ferocious during the songs. Morbid Angel really woke the crowd up, as a lot of the people were here for the living legends on the bill. People big and small started to crowdsurf, much to the annoyance of the young fans in the front, they’ll learn to love it or move one day. Morbid Angel continued for at least an hour, playing hits spread out from their massive back catalogue.
Last but certainly not least were the consummate professionals Cannibal Corpse. If you don’t know you’re not reading this, but Cannibal Corpse is so fucking good live. Corpsegrinder looks absolutely effortless just powering through Red Before Black all the way to I Cum Blood. While Corpsegrinder and his tree trunk neck are hard to look away from, the rest of the band is equally as impressive throughout the night. Alex Webster’s bloody bass adds a perfect atmosphere aesthetically and sonically. Pat O’ Brien & Rob Barrett both were shredding with ease the entire night. And Paul Mazurkiewicz’s beard was equally as impressive as Corpsegrinder’s neck. HIs drumming wasn’t too shabby either.
I’m pretty great. Just ask me, I’ll tell ya.