Siberia may not have been packed for this show, being on a weeknight, but it certainly became one of the most memorable after a short time.
Making their very first live performance was the local alcohol-loving Latin thrashers Six Pack. Blending old school metal with their love for the consumption, the three-piece that includes guitarist Rene Roche and drummer P.J. Sanchez rocked the house. One lady was so moved that she threw at least six full beer bottles on the stage, purchasing one after the other, taking one sip, and letting it fly. Luckily, no one and no equipment was harmed and it did certainly add to the show. Solos, high and low, and machine gun drumming made this band’s first show a instant success and made many fans, and at least one enemy. Watch out for Six Pack; these guys mean business.
Baghdad, Iraq, metal band Acrassicauda (a word meaning black scorpion) took stage last, with chugging riffs and atmospheric solos by the two guitarists Mo Al Ansari and Mar2 Grada, blast beats by Marwan Hussein, and a variety of vocal stylings by Faisal Muatafa. The band we first witnessed in the documentary Heavy Metal In Baghdad was just a glimpse at their potential. Having been raised on smuggled-in 1980s American heavy metal tapes, Acrassicauda had to secretly rehearse and perform in a country where they were seen as dangerously different. After the release of the doc, the band was the recipient of death threats from religious radicals, and they were forced to flee their home to other Middle Eastern countries, and finally coming as refugees to America, where they currently reside. Since that time, the band has grown into a entirely new beast; along with their original influences, Acrassicauda has been opened to a new world of music, and new genres of metal, and incorporate these new sounds into their music.
Their show was intense; the old metal and punk guys loved the classic riffs and styling, and the younger rock fans loved having the ability to mosh to it. The entire room seemed to be in a rage at times with drinks flying, hardcore dancers being thrown around by classic moshers, and the ladies swarming around the shirtless guitar player. One such fan claimed, “I turned into an animal when he took his shirt off.”
All in all, this whole show was incredibly spirited and, at times, hilarious because of how much people were enjoying themselves. I don’t know if the metal scene will see something like that again for a while.