Down knows how to get down

Beer, bud, and lots and lots of tough looking dudes, that’s what metal is all about, right? The lights shine down with a hint of blue on the five men on stage, either sporting long flowing hair or thick totally metal beards. The aroma of marijuana lifted into the air of the Canopy (Down does consider “the most mighty marijuana plant as one of their influences on their myspace”), and immediately horns were thrown into the air and the head banging commenced.
Down got their fans riled up by showing a documentary video on the band before they took the stage instead of taking opener bands on the road. Around 10, when they were about to take the stage, the line outside grew and venue was instantly packed. A majority of the fans looked to be in their late 20’s to 40’s (not the average crowd range I’ve experienced at the Canopy), with about a 90 to 10 male to female ratio. Let’s put it this way, I do not think I will ever be in another public arena that has a bigger line for the guy’s pisser than the girls. The men looked scary, but they were all very friendly and their voices rang loud in the venue, as roughly 75% of the people there were singing along.
Down’s singer, former Pantera vocalist, Phil Anselmo, sported a Black Flag t-shirt, arms the size of tree trunks, and a head bang that could outdo most. For being born in the 60’s, the entire band was rocking hard with an occasional chain smoke session. The music was straight up rock, with heavy Southern influence, and metal riffs. People thrashed around on the floor, and for slower rock ballads sang along loud. Women were held snug next to their men, the floor was packed, there was so much long hair and people drinking out of pitchers opposed to pints, and it was definitely the most vocal show I have ever attended.
Songs like “I Scream,” and “On March the Saints” off Down’s latest were included on the set list. They also played a variety of tracks off their first two records like “Bury Me in Smoke” and “New Orleans is a Dying Whore.” The crowd never let up, which was envious since the smell of pot was enough for a head spin and the smell of spewed up whiskey and beer was enough to vomit next side to the heavy drinkers.
Down was really impressive, even to someone who really doesn’t know anything about metal, and had a hard time distinguishing words from muffled growls. The men of this band are all extremely talented musicians, and Anselmo has an unmistakable voice with a lot of vocal ranges. If there hadn’t been so many aromas in the air, or body heat, the show could have possibly been more enjoyable, but the energy of the crowd and band members was incredible, even for the slow ballads. By the end of the show the outside of the venue was scattered with empty bottles, people were pissing on the sidewalk before the show even started, so needless to say everyone was a mess by the end, but they were all smiling, and really, what can define an accomplished metal show more than a bunch of badass dudes with shit eating grins? Down knows how to get down.

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