|Steve Shalaty Immolation/Vader Tour Blog - Day 1|
|Saturday, 02 October 2010 16:23|
Steve Shalaty Immolation/Vader Tour Blog - Day 1
We rendezvous at Ross' house in Yonkers, New York at 8 A.M. Bill and I had driven out the night before from Ohio and spent the night on Bob's couches. Nothing wakes you up like a quick 15 minute rip through morning rush hour traffic in New York City.
Once we're there, my homicidal rage subsides and I am happy to be reunited with our Death Metal brothers Vader. Vader and Immolation have a very long history together that reaches back far beyond my joining the band and there is a deep mutual respect between the two bands. Our bus arrives right on time and we pack the trailer military style and hit the road.
Our first show is in Baltimore and in my tour mode excitement, I forgot about the miserable stage situation at the club we were about to play. With 5 drummers on the bill, equipment compromises had to be arranged. This is the usual scene on the first night of the tour and it always proves to be a miserable night for most drummers involved. I busted ass all night to help every drummer move and arrange his gear. This is a must in my opinion. 5 drummers on a tour is pretty much like a built in stage crew. We ended up with 2 drumsets on stage and 2 on the floor. Here's the breakdown and my first impressions.
The opening band played on the floor, (very good sports) we've all been there. The drummer had a beautiful Mapex birch kit and sounded really good. Unfortunately I missed all but the end of the set because the kids gotta eat. I helped move the kit off and got ready for Lecherous Nocturne. Alex played his kit on stage in front of mine. This was a great way to see Lecherous for the first time. Alex's furious open handed style was like an engine at the center of the stage. He uses many different styles of blast and has great double strokes with his hands. He's also a stamina player and goes all day switching from blast to blast in different time signatures. Great relentless stuff.
Next was Pathology from California. Dave was using Alex's rack and tom set up with his kick and cymbals so we switched out the gear and tried to set Dave up as quick as possible. He didn't look too optimistic about the stuation and apparently decided to take it out on his Paistes. Pathology pounded out their set with Dave thrashing his big crashes and powering his way through like a pro. This guy hits disturbingly hard and has a great Bill Bruford signature snare that cuts great during his blasts.
After the set, we tore down the kit and Abigail Williams set up on the floor. Ken's kit is a supercompact single kick with double pedal set up that he moves around on like lightning. Ken is a very controlled player with smooth technique and speed on tap. I don't think I saw him strain for a second the entire set.
Then it was back up to the stage with Vader. I shared a kit with Paul once in Holland and I knew our set-ups were nearly identical so it was prearranged that we would share my kit for the tour. Despite claiming to be out of practice, Paul blazed through the Vader material at an impressive clip. He is another hard hitter and does not get light, even when the tempos rise. I think he definitley has what it takes to fill the shoes of the great Vader drummers before him and I can't wait to see what he does on a "good" night.
Now its my turn and I'm a little nervous, as I switch out the cymbals with Paul. As soon as I sit down I feel better and I try to loosen up. "The Purge" is our opener and we blaze through it, "Majesty and Decay" , "Once Ordained and, "Father Your not a Father" without a break. Its at this point that I realize I've been a little too tense and my left arm is gettting tired. From that point on I tried to really concentrate on relaxing a bit and I managed to come through the set list with only a few stumbles. Not what I wanted, but not horrible for the first night. I felt like I had the speed but just overdid it early. All in all the entire tour package was in good spirits and were optimistic about the next show.
More to come... Steve Shalaty