To those that think all metal bands sound the same– I wish you would have been at First Avenue on Wednesday night. It was a perfect showing of how metal comes in many different forms and moods and also a show of how metal is far from dead here in the Twin Cities.

Creeping Death got the night started off strong. Although the crowd was still funneling in as this Texas based band blasted throughout their thirty minute set, they had the audience already moving to the aggressive nature of their music. This is a rare occurrence if I’m being quite honest. Metal shows are notorious for being long shows full of stacked bills meaning audience members typically choose to conserve energy and just stand during the first band but that wasn’t the case on Wednesday. Creeping Death’s sound was highlighted by wailing guitar solos and a more modern take on metal. Although it wasn’t quite metalcore, there were definitely elements throughout their set that leaned that way. Although their set was short, it clearly made an impact on the audience and, as they started hauling their gear off the stage, one audience member shouted, “Come back to Minnesota!” and I couldn’t help but cheer for that statement.

Following Creeping Death was Sacred Reich. I caught this band back in March of last year when they opened for Sepultura and honestly didn’t think much of them that night. Something changed and as soon as they took the stage on Wednesday night, I was enamored by their talent. These guys have been around the block. They got their start all the way back in 1985 and, even though they took a small break after the tragic death of their founding member and guitarist Jason Rainey in 2000, they hit the scene again in 2006 as if they had never left. Sacred Reich’s sound has a much more old school approach to metal from higher-pitched vocals at time to moments where it was just straight shredding on the guitars, there was just something a bit dated about their sound. Usually that’s a bad thing for me but they did this classic metal sound so good that I am willing to look past the more dated style.

There was something super charming about Sacred Reich’s performance. From the way that vocalist Phil Rind reminded the crowd that metal isn’t meant to be an elitist community and that all are welcome to the way that guitarist (and Minnesota-bred) Joey Radziwill seemed to command the audience with only slight movements as he played his heart out, the was just something so genuine about Sacred Reich’s set. I’ll be honest, their band name doesn’t do it for me (I honestly find it a bit triggering but that’s neither here nor there) and I had always kind of written this band off but, after seeing them, hearing them, and witnessing the magic that happened on stage on Wednesday night, I’m a true fan and hope to see them again soon.

It has been a couple of years since I’ve seen Municipal Waste live and, if I’m being honest, they were the act on Wednesday night’s bill that I was most excited to see. Whereas Sacred Reich had a more old school approach to their metal, Municipal Waste has a more thrash influence to it. That mixed with their energy and personalities that shine on stage are things that will keep me coming back to Municipal Waste shows as long as they play out. Musically, Municipal Waste had a truly flawless set. It was music that had the entire audience moving. Even those on the sidelines of the pit could be spotted nodding along to the fast-paced beats and, at times, throwing a couple fists in the air here and there. Even one of the older sound guys that works at First Avenue (who I will not name but we all know) was spotted creating a one man mosh pit on the side of the crowd.

Beyond the music of Municipal Waste is their energy. These guys have an endless amount of energy that translates so perfectly into a live show. They have a way of insulting their audiences (it came in the form of some old man jokes on Wednesday night) with a smile on their faces and nothing but love in their hearts. My favorite part of their entire set was when the band got ready to play “Wave of Death”. They explained that they wanted to see 72 crowd surfers during this set and I instantly saw the panic in security’s faces. It was kind of funny and as more security rushed to the front of the stage, the surfing started. Although the number only hit 20, it was one of those fun moments that only Municipal Waste could have pulled off and, after thanking those that surfed and the amazing security staff that kept everyone safe, they went back to their set like nothing happened.

Honestly, between Sacred Reich completely blowing me away and then the fun I had during Municipal Waste’s set, I could have been done for the night and had gone home completely happy but we still had one more band to go. Carcass are legends in the scene. This English metal band has been around since 1985 and, after an eleven year hiatus starting in 1996, came back with a vengeance. Carcass’ sound is extreme and probably one of the more extreme sounds of the night. They have this blend of metal that has a little bit of everything from grindcore to melodic death metal incorporated into it. Being that I’m really only a passive fan of Carcass and, as I’ve mentioned before, really don’t listen to much metal in my freetime, I couldn’t tell you what songs they played or what era said songs came from but I can tell you that the audience was eating up every single note like it was their last.

The thing that struck me about Carcass’ set was, again, the flawless nature of the sound. I know these guys, like some of the other acts on the bill, have been doing this for literal decades but the sound was just so good. I feel like there wasn’t a single note missed or a single drum hit that didn’t hit the speakers with an ear-shattering sense of power. It was one of those sets where I found myself just completely captivated by the musicians on stage because it was clear that they were having fun but also that they knew damn well what they were doing and were doing it well.

Some people think all metal sounds the same but Wednesday night’s show at First Avenue proved otherwise. From trash to metalcore to old-school metal to grindcore– we got many sides of this amazing scene and being able to catch all that in just one night was absolutely a highlight of my week.

Line Up:

Creeping Death

Sacred Reich

Municipal Waste

Carcass

Venue: First Avenue

Smell-O-Meter: Weed, BO, Spilled beer

Sausage Fest Meter: 13 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd: 46

Crowd Surfers: 38 — But there could have been more

Stage Divers: 0

People wearing full-blown gas masks: 1

Mosh-Ability: 10 out of 10

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me: $0

Spotted Flying Through the Air: Bodies, Drinks

Pukers: None Spotted

Idiots Taken Out By Security: 0

How Irritated I Was With Audience: 0 out of 10

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember):

Creeping Death – 0

Sacred Reich – 1

Municipal Waste – 3

Carcass – 1

Celebrity Sightings: Zach of Impaler

Overall Score: 8.8 out of 10

Show on Deck: James Eugene Russell / Faith Boblett / Laamar

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