36 Crazyfists

support Twelve Tribes
author PP date 24/04/07 venue Islington Academy, London, UK

For me, 36 Crazyfists have always represented one of the last bastions of nu-metal, the uninfiltrated castle that has stood proudly while others in their genre have dropped one by one. While I'm a big fan of the Alaskans, I've always thought of them as being slightly un-trendy and too old to appeal for today's metalcore/emo fans, even after the release of their more screamo-influenced new album "Rest Inside The Flames". Consequently, I was surprised to find out that their 550-capacity show at Islington Academy with Twelve Tribes was sold out to its limits, and press had a hard time gaining entrance as the guestlist had been modified to reduce the amount of "plus one's" available to writers. To the band itself, playing at such a small venue must be a bit disappointing, as many years ago, at the height of the nu-metal movement, they were headlining in a sold-out Astoria with over 2,000 fans screaming along to their lyrics. But if this was the case, they weren't showing it tonight as you'll find out later in my review.

Twelve Tribes

The first band to take stage was Twelve Tribes, who we had a chance to interview for about 40 minutes earlier on during the night. Knowing this was one of their final support shows over their career, having the chance to see them close up was just that little bit more exciting than usually. It was a show filled with headbanging, torrid screaming and out-of-control hairdos, as their rasta-haired frontman stormed across the stage back and forth to scream at different sections of the audience respectively. Paying tribute to their hardcore legacy, he performed in the classic hardcore way full of aggression, occasionally dropping down from the stage, running from side to side of the barrier while screaming directly into the ears of the eager fans close by. Towards the end of their set, he was joined by the 36 Crazyfists frontman who added a more screamo-approach to the song he sang (I couldn't make out which it was unfortunately). This was also the same song where the Twelve Tribes frontman had to be escorted away from the crowd by the security guards as he was unable to make it back from his short crowd surfing journey. But perhaps the best part about the Twelve Tribes show were the circle pits, that were actual circle pits. That's right, barely any trend-moshers were present, and people moved around the circle in a chaotic fashion, staying true to the original meaning of a circle pit. All in all, Twelve Tribes put on a good show, it's a shame they are calling it a day after this tour.

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36 Crazyfists

The very first thing the 36 Crazyfists frontman Brock Lindow did was to sing the opening lines to "At The End Of August", take a few steps back, and vault himself onto the crowd in what was an absolutely massive stagejump, leaving me worried for the health of the young ladies near the front. Luckily no one was hurt by "the fat Alaskan", as he kept referring to himself, and he was quickly thrown back on stage by the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, the venue was so jam-packed to its limits, that to enter from the merch room into the actual showroom was next to impossible. One massive circle/mosh pit dominated the venue, stretching from side to side and front to at least half way down the venue. Classics like "Bloodwork" had been modernized to fit in with today's screamo-obsessed youth, and consequently, instead of utilizing a restrained, scratched shouting style, almost all the lyrics were screamed out as they are on the new album "Rest Inside The Flames".

Brock kept vaulting himself onto the crowd at regular intervals, keeping everyone on their toes in order not to break their neck, and soon the whole venue was dripping of sweat, and the air-conditioning did little to clear the heat. It was getting so warm that Brock even had to remind everyone to take care of each other, and to give water to each other as it was being passed to the people at the front. Songs like "Aurora" and "I'll Go Until My Heart Stops" kept the crowd going quite literally like there was no end. Brock also took the opportunity to rage back and forth in front of the barrier, pressurizing the people at the front even further, as everyone tried to reach towards him. Near the end of the show, someone actually managed to grab his mic for a few seconds, before Brock forcefully retained it by ripping it off the hands of the fan. Not that he (or the fan) took this in a bad way, judging by the smiles on both of their faces. As expected, the band finished the show with an encore and arguably their most famous song, "Slit Wrist Theory".

Judging by tonight's performance, 36 Crazyfists is still a force to be reckoned with. They've successfully modernized their style and avoided elimination in the hunt for the heads of nu-metal bands, and have upheld their vivid liveshow relying on big singalongs and heavy screaming. Strongly recommended, that is if you are not afraid of losing a few litres of sweat in the process.

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