Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grendel / Ludovico Technique / Deathmaschine @ Asylum 13 (Delaware) 8/23/2014

I took a road trip to see aggrotech band Grendel ($24) at Asylum 13 (Mojo 13?) up in Delaware. The trip up took a bit, due to rain, a fuel spill on 95, and general weekend traffic, but coming back wasn't too bad.  I actually saw a couple people I recognized from the DC area gothy scene (Midnight) who also made the trip up!

I got there before doors (aka way too early), as I had never been to this venue (or actually any) in Delaware before. Asylum 13, aka Mojo 13 according to the big sign out front/on top was in an odd place (tho no more odd than Empire in its strip mall), next to a Tex-Mex place, an animal doctor, and a tavern of some sorts.  The venue looked kind of small, but that wasn't a bad thing.

Mojo 13/ Asylum 13. whatever

After a bit of waiting, more rain, and a little bit of almost napping, I got in, and noticed that the venue was bigger on the inside than expected, with 2 rooms that were about the same size, but a little offset from each other. 1 had a large bar and steps and the other had a small stage.  The room with the stage had a sound booth in the back, and a stripper pole (more about this later) on the side, catercorner to the stage.  The stage itself was about 6 inches off the ground, and the floor was about the size of the wood floor at Baltimore Soundstage! There were a couple single restrooms, which were not very clean halfway through the night. There was a free Gauntlet arcade machine (with a wonky wizard joystick) near the men's room and the stairs. The stairs lead to a small curtained back area, which had some chairs and a table where some sort of 'play' activities were going on. Also, someone was getting a massage by some woman who had some point was holding some sort of torch (!!).  I didn't investigate much further.

The bar was pretty big, had TVs at the top, which were broadcasting various EBM/goth/industrial/whatever videos. The service was fine, prices average ($7 Rum n coke), but they did have some beer on draft and it appeared to be a full bar.  There were 2 bartenders and it wasn't too painful getting served.

Merch all bunched up

On the left of the front door were a couple small merch tables crammed in the corner. Deathmaschine had their EP ($5), and a shirt.  L Technique had shirts and some CDs, poster. Grendel had a couple IMO lame shirts, a sticker ($3) and a bunch of CDs ($10-20). I grabbed a couple CDs ($15 for "Harsh Generation" and "Timewave Zero" deluxe $20).

Some of the awesome people at the show, colorful and energetic

The crowd was very interesting, as expected. A lot of strange, sexy, and dark outfits, ranging from spiky bras to leather corsets to brightly coloured tutus (and hair), and a lot of tattoos.  Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, and most importantly, were laid back and accepting.  There was even some skinny old man in a bright yellow raincoat and red bucket hat and khakis who looked very out of place. But, by the end of the night, he was talking and laughing and drinking with everyone!  I didn't really talk to many people, but everyone seemed friendly.  I saw people ranging from metalheads to rivet heads to goth girls to a couple 'normal' looking people to cross dressers, and everyone in between- it didn't seem like anyone was getting too rowdy.

At around 8:15, I saw some people on stage who were playing what sounded like Grendel songs- it apparently was Grendel, doing their soundcheck! I, along with a few other people, watched them play thru part of "Conflict..."  Ludicovo Technique did their soundcheck afterwards.  Despite Grendel being the ones people wanted to see, not many people noticed they were on stage at that point.

Funky Apron, bro

Deathmaschine from Harrisburg PA, whom I last saw  with Hanzel Und Gretyl was up first about 2 hours after doors (!!).  Their lineup seemed to be a little different from last time-they had a drummer, a guitarist, and a vocalist in a leather apron and some skimpy underwear.  His stomping around reminded of Till Lindemann of Rammstein.  They sounded a bit different than last time, but definitely still included the Ministry cover.  The transition between songs was odd, because most of their songs ended abruptly, and the audience was caught unawares which left awkward periods of almost silence.  They had their ramshackle drum on the floor, but I'm not sure if they used it as I was hanging out in the bar during and after their Ministry cover.  They got a pretty decent response, it felt like.

Stalkers gon stalk

Ludovico Technique stalked onto the stage next. Their frontman's makeup reminded me of a cross between Frankenstein's monster and zombies, whereas his guitarist looked like Marilyn Manson or a Deathstar.  Their frontman look was a little freaky, and combined with his Suicide Commando ish harsh vocals was a bit imposing.  The vocals sounded so eerie that they appeared to be recorded. However, having heard the soundcheck earlier, I can say that they were totally live.  They consisted of the vocalist, a drummer, and a keyboardist. The guitars and such were I guess piped in.  They were decent, and got the crowd dancing, but I really wasn't familiar with their material.  The vocalist's mic cut in and out whenever he addressed the crowd, particularly at the end, when we thought they were done. I think he said that someone allegedly demanded another song, so they would play one.  At least that's what I got from in between the static.  These guys had a different type of energy and seemed like they had less applause than Deathmaschine.  I thought they were better than them, but there was something a bit more wall of sound to them (which I appreciated).

She was a very good dancer

At this point, the floor filled up even more, and it was hot as a mother in the main room. I am not sure what ventilation they had apart from the door, but I was sweating a lot. I don't know how some of the more delicately made up attendees didn't have their mascara running.  The DJs certainly got people moving and grooving, and the sets were mostly harsh and fast songs, which I really enjoyed.  I was used to an eclectic mix ad Midnight, with an occasional harsh song, and mostly slower or more gothy or laid back tracks. At around midnight, Grendel was to take the stage, as indicated by the nicely top hatted MC, who was thanking the crowd for helping celebrate the 3 year anniversary of this Asylum 13 venue. That's a pretty great celebration, especially for a niche scene like this- really cool for them! Now, for some reason Grendel was taking longer than expected- so the MC floundered a bit, commenting on one gentleman's top hat, stacking that top hat on top of his, asking the crowd where they finally got to see Grendel after about 10 years (ASYLUM 13!), where they died of heatstroke (ASYLUM 13!)!

Derp Generation

After a short delay, Grendel took the stage to a prerecorded intro, and a packed floor!  Vocalist VLRK (aka JD Tucker) was decked out in a very high and tight, a military style tac vest (tho nothing seemed to be in the pockets), black pants (which later turned out to be very un metal black coo-lats), black boots, and black leather gloves. He looked like a skinnier version of the WWF's Big Bossman (RIP).  He had a guitarist, the same drummer from LT, and a female vocalist/Macbook player (Mel Allezbleu) in some outrageous white people dreadlocks. She was still cute and def had some attitude that was reminiscent of KMFDM.  There was a small projector, illuminating the curtain behind the band with mostly a Grendel logo, but a Dell screen at some times, too- to which VLRK (slightly miffed) commented was an "interesting" image.


That the crowd was excited was an understatement, because there was moshing for the first couple songs, and it was kind of rowdy! There was a fellow metalhead, in a metal (kutte) vest  (Iced Earth at the top!) who was banged around a bit, but he looked like he was giving as well as he was taking. There was so much energy, with people jumping, moshing, fish pumping, shouting along, goth dancing, and the pole was seeing a lot of action.  There were about 10 people who used the stripper pole throughout the evening- 2 men, 8 girls (hey, we don't discriminate, the one gentleman (or whatever he prefers to be called) in the green and black outfit was about as good or better than (in terms of physical skill) a couple of the girls)).  It got pretty wild as points, as the dancers on the pole could be in various stages of (un)dress, from a skirt and bike shorts to some side tie bikini bottom and pasties.

The female vocalist

I didn't know all the songs, but the ones I did know sounded pretty great. I think I was admittedly a little disappointed at my favourite "Timewave Zero," because something with the vocals seemed a little off. I think "EPR //EDP" didn't come off as good as it could have (too repetitive? It was way better live).  The female vocalist sang on "Dirty" and "Chemicals..," which certainly enhanced those songs.

The drummer had a fun time, even!

Overall, it was a bit of a chore to get up to DE with the traffic and the rain, and then there was the wait for the show to start!  But once Ludovico Technique got the crowd more warmed up (along with the pretty good DJs- Mighty Mike Saga, Project 2, and Electric Commando  ), and Grendel exploded on the stage I was glad I made it out.

Next show: Crue Tribute? Aris!?

DeathMaschine (9:03-10:18)

  • ? I will not forgive you
  • ?come to the slaughter
  • ? all my heroes, hatred
  • ? fast
  • ? rap ish
  • ? TV Screen
  • Burning Inside (Ministry cover)
  • ?
  • ? No religion
  • ?
 Ludovico Technique  (11:03- 11:45) (may be out of order except Devotion)

  • Introduction to Treatment
  • Beyond Therapy
  • Heal My Scars
  • Potential
  • Deeper Into You
  • This Life
  • Dead Inside
  • --
  • Devotion
Grendel (12:10- 1:05)

  • Intro
  • Harsh Generation
  • Conflict Instigation
  • Chemicals + Circuitry(V.2012)
  • Soilbleed
  • One Eight Zero
  • Timewave Zero
  • EPR // EDP
  • Hate This
  • Dirty
  • Zombienation
updated 8/28/2014: Ludovico Technique setlist