Vader

Live at the Whisky in

Los Angeles, CA

October 14th, 2010

Vader was the preceding act for tour headliners Immolation on this visit to Los Angeles.  I was a bit surprised to see them as an opener and not billed as coheadliner as these guys are legends with a quarter century behind them and over a dozen full length CD releases.

Early promotions were saying that this tour would have them playing "De Profundis" in its entirety which is an album I am not too familiar with so it was hard for me to tell what was done and what was not.

The set opened with the lights dimming and the band taking the stage to the "Imperial March" aka Darth Vader's theme song from Star Wars. Unlike other bands, who have actually done their own metal rendition of the song, this was taken straight from the orchestra sound track of the movie.

Vader's sound is often stated as Death Metal and they are definitely one of the originators of this sub genre but they also border on Thrash Metal with the speed and ferocity of the guitar and drums. The audience flew into a mosh pit frenzy which taxed the standing room of the small Whisky from the first song.

Due to the space constraints and the way the security demand an open isle at all times surrounding the small square floor, people were getting pummeled without any option other than stand back at the bar or upstairs.

The majority of the crowd were good natured head bangers having a good time but there were a few moshers out to hurt one another with flying elbows and pushing people in the back, including me with my camera.

The sound was very good and I think Peter's vocals sounded even better than on CD. The dual guitars had every head nodding and despite an insane volume for such a small club, the mix retained its clarity and individual parts.  I guess being close enough to the band to hear their own amps and cabinets really helps as well.

My personal favorite song of the night was the last one which the lead singer announced is from their brand new CD "Necropolis" so at least one song was new.

I did have a few small issues with the show, none of which had anything to do with Vader's performance or within their realm to control. I found the lighting situation really annoying. The lights were all at strength from behind the band with almost no lighting falling on the band itself. We ended up with strobing hot lights in our eyes giving mostly silhouetted impressions with the occasional foreground burst of light that let us see the band and if I was lucky snap off a crappy picture.

My other beef lies with the promoter, M Productions and here they pulled their usual crap of adding three more bands to an already overstuffed line-up of five bands that are traveling on the tour. Eight bands would be a freaking dream come true if this was a festival and they were all good but this was not the case.

The Whisky has been notorious for this in the past but tonight I was mad because I felt both Abigail Williams who played right before Vader and Vader themselves had ridiculously short sets for how talented they are and instead of an extended set by the people everyone is paying $25 for we get a lot of opening acts that were not that exciting, in my opinion.

Despite my inability to take any good photos and despite my feeling the show was way too short for a band with a 25 year history, I still thought it was an awesome show.  

Peter is a very personable front man even with his hands full playing guitar and they definitely had the audience in thrall this night.

Immolation were also really good and although in some ways I wish Vader would have had the top slot to allow for more material, especially from the new album, I am very glad I went and experienced these guys.

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