Music As A Weapon 4
Disturbed / Killswitch Engage / Lacuna Coil / Chimaira

4/20/2009 - Tullio Arena (formerly Erie Civic Center)

Here is the band line-up and approximate times.

2nd Stage
2:30PM-2:50PM Headbang Winner (20 Minutes)
3:10PM-3:30PM Headbang Winner (20 Minutes)
3:50PM-4:15PM Crooked X (25 Minutes)
4:30PM-4:55PM Bury Your Dead (25 Minutes)
5:10PM-5:40PM Spineshank (30 Minutes)
5:55PM-6:30PM Suicide Silence (35 Minutes)

Main Stage
7.00PM-?? Chimaira
?? - ?? Lacuna Coil
?? - ?? Killswitch Engage
?? - ?? Disturbed

Ok, first a little info for those who don't know what this is.
This has been billed as a music, tattoo, and lifestyle festival.
This is from the description on the official website.
"In addition to presenting the best in rock music, Music As A Weapon IV also features a collection of the greatest tattoo artists from around the country offering their talents to attendees in each city. Attendees will also be able to check out an extreme sports complex where freestyle motocross, BMX, and Skate teams will perform, a Technology and Gaming Zone, and a Vendor Village, all for a fan-friendly ticket price."

This whole thing really intrigued my daughter and I. As Erie is not a big venue, and we were curious to see how they would pull this off there. Well, the extreme sports part was not going to happen. That was right on the website (some locations wouldn't have that, while others would not have on-site tattooing due to local laws).
We figued the second stage and vendors and such would be outside at the adjacent baseball field.
Well, we never got to find out, as the outdoor portion of the show was canceled due to the weather.

Here is a quote from a blog on the official site.
Yesterday we were in Erie, PA, where we unfortunately were forced to cancel the outdoor festival. The winds were somewhere around 40 or 50 mph! The tourbus was literally shaking when I woke up that morning. So rather than risking the destruction of the stage and tents and the well-being of the bands and crew, they called off the festival and moved most of the sponsors inside.

Now that that is out of the way, on to my account of the day and my opinions :-)

Well, I took the day off work, and my daughter skipped school for this show.
Doors were opening at 2 PM and we didn't want to miss any of it. We wanted to experience the whole thing.
Her friend Zak came over around 1PM as he was riding in with us. This was his first concert ever and he was excited.
Not so much for us. Something like my 26th concert, and my daughter's 11th. So, we are kind of old hands at this. But not so jaded that we take it for granted. There is still that bit of adrenaline that starts pumping when you get to the venue.

Well, we get to the venue a little before 2, which is when the doors are supposed to open.
One problem though. There are signs on the door saying that the outdoor events are canceled due to the weather,
That meant no 2nd stage or any reason to be there that early. We hung out for a while to get the scoop, and the word was the door would open at 6 as the main stage would start at 7.
That meant 4 hours to kill.
Luckily I am familiar with Erie. We decided to head up to the mall. While in the area we stopped at our favorite store before hitting the mall. That would be Books Galore. It's a little used book shop that also carries comics and some gaming stuff.
Zak was amazed as we went through all the different rooms filled with books (the building used to be a house long ago).
After browsing in there for who knows how long, we hit the mall.
Wandered around, Brit and Zak got some Subway, I passed as I was still stuffed from chowing down on left over pizza before we left.
Headed back to the venue and parked in the parking garage a little before 6.
By that time the line waiting for the doors to open was huge!
Wrapped around the block!

We got in line and waited. Not very comfortably either. Remember the outside stuff was canceled because the weather. It was mid 40's and very windy. Then it kept threatening to rain with a few sprinkles here and there. The doors did open at 6, but it took another full half an hour to make it up to the doors.
There I saw what was taking so long. Security was pretty tight. They were patting down everyone going in. Not the normal visual inspections that they usually do here. This was full pat-downs. Jacket hoods, pockets, ankles, etc.

Finally got inside and hit the bathrooms. And set that as the after concert meeting spot.
Which we had to explain to Zak. The odds of us staying together the whole night were slim-to-none.
So we needed a place to meet. The bathrooms were the primary. With the secondary spot being the door going to the floor.
Which is where we went next to get our wristbands to get onto the floor.
After that I went outside to have a smoke, and they went to look around a bit. That way Brit could show him around and he could experience the whole thing.

We met up on the floor just before the lights went down for the show to start.

First, I will say right up front, I'm not really a big fan of any of these groups. I like Disturbed enough on the radio, and the other bands were always just 'ok' when I heard them. So I went into the night with little as far as expectations and just wanted to have a good time with some live music.

And I got that.

01. Power Trip
02. The Flame
03. Secrets of the Dead
04. Dehumanizing Process
05. Destroy and Dominate
06. Pure Hatred
30 minutes  

Chimaira was good. A great choice for the opener. Lots of energy and good tunes. Nothing really stood out for me. And I'm not a big fan of the cookie-monster vocals. But it was fun, energetic, and really got he crowd going. The band was very professional and did a good job of connecting with the audience.
A song or 2 into the set and my daughter and Zak ditched me and moved up. As expected.
I'm old and not into the moshing anymore. I just enjoy live music, seeing the show, and experiencing the event.
They are young and full of energy.
Besides, I was busy making adjustments to my mic, and the levels on the DAT recorder I was using for the first time.
Missed the begining of the set as I had the mic plugged into line-out instead of the mic jack.
The video I put above doesn't have the greatest sound, but it does come from roughly the same area I was in.

After the set, I headed outside again for a quick smoke. Then back in again, where I waited for them inside the doors to the floor. They had gone to go get shirts.
While waiting, the next set started getting introduced and the lights started going down.
Man that was a quick change.


Lacuna Coil  
01. To the Edge
02. Fragments of Faith
03. Swamped
04. Spellbound (interupted)
05. Spellbound (complete)
06. Our Truth
22 minutes  

Lacuna Coil really made an impression on me. The combination of the music and the vocals had a really tribal vibe to it that just kind of struck me. The drummer was fun to watch and the lighting and such complimented the performance very well. The crowd was not nearly as energetic during their set, but seemed to enjoy the vibe also. It was more about enjoying the music than it was about moshing or rocking out.
Too bad they had some power issues that interupted Spellbound. After that was fixed they performed the song again in it's entirety. Sadly they cut their set short though.
Well, not exactly short. But since they had to repeat Spellbound, we missed out on Daylight Dancer.

We had hung back a bit for this. The crowd wasn't packed too tight and we had a nice semi open area about 10 feet back from where I was for Chimaira
This video is from roughly where I was at during the show.

After the set, it was another trip outside, then back in again.
This time Zak and Brit made it back in before Killswich started.
Though they moved up a lot farther than me before the show even started.
I took my usual spot in the middle, halfway between the stage and the mixing desk.


Killswitch Engage  
01. A Bid Farewell
02. Fixation on the Darkness
03. Light in a Darkened World
04. Rose of Sharyn
05. Absolution
06. Arms of Sorrow
07. Last Serenade
08. My Curse
09. End of Heartache
10. Holy Diver
50 minutes  

I can't really say much. I barely remember the performance at all.
My attention was focused on all the moshing and pitting around me. Early in their set they split the floor for their "wall of death". Where they split the floor down the middle and leave a gap for people to mosh.
You can get an idea from this YouTube video.
I ended up on the right side of the floor, where I was part of the wall on my left. Then a pit also formed on my right. So I was busy watching for hurling bodies on both sides of me. Add to that family in front of me (mother, father, early teen daughter, and what I think was her aunt) and some other non-mosh-types behind me. I had my hands full watching out for them also, while lending a hand to some other experienced 'pitters' at controling some of the more violent moshers that would come through our area.
All I remember is that the band was loud, energetic, and running all over the place.
Also the one guitarist was hilarious in his between song comments, and antics on stage..
And the stage set up with the digital wall behind them was cool.

Back outside. This time on top of a smoke, I also had to switch batteries and the tape in the DAT recorder.
Still made it back in in plenty of time.
Hooked up with my daughter and we compaired stories of what happened to us.
Zak was still up in the front somewhere. He didn't want to loose his spot.


01. Voices
02. Liberate
03. Just Stop
04. Prayer
05. Meaning of Life
06. Land of Confussion
07. Remember
08. Stupify
09. Medley - Hell / Shout /Criminal / Diefy
10. The Night
11. The Game
12. Inside the Fire
13. Stricken
14. Ten Thousand Fists

15. Indestructable
16. Drum Solo
17. Down with the Sickness

88 minutes  

Disturbed was great!
Great sound, performance and crowd involvement.
Especially with stuff like Land of Confusion (check the vid above)
I really enjoyed their set. The only complaint I had was that after a while, all their songs start to sound the same. After about an hour I started getting a 'been there done that' kind of feeling, and started thinking when was the end coming.
It didn't help that it was getting really warm inside, and I still had my sweatshirt and jean jacket on.
(1st because it was cold outside. 2nd because I needed somewhere to keep the DAT recorder )
So I was getting uncomfortable. And I hadn't had anything to drink since before the show started.

Though when they came back out for the encores, it was a blast.
I had hung back for this, as I really wanted to watch the performance and not have to fight my way through people and deal with moshers. When the lights went down for the enchor though, a bunch of people started leaving.
I figured why not move up while I had the chance.
I easily made my way to about 10-15 feet from the stage.
I stayed there comfortably through Indestructable, and the drum solo.
Then when Sickness started it all went out the window.
The singer started the song from the mixing desk!
Yeah, that's right. From the back.
So most of the people turned around.
He was on a platform that rose up from the mix desk, so he was up there, towering over the audience.

I took the opportuity to go for the rail. I figured why not. Might have a shot at some guitar picks, or drum sticks.
Made it to within 1 person of the rail.
Once the singer made his way back to the stage it got a little rough up front.
A couple people tried elbowing me out of the way, and I held my grround. They weren't happy as apparently they had been in that spot for a protion of the night, and wanted it back. Too bad, so sad.

I was impressed at the singer's voice. He can be very melodic when he wants to be.
Also, for the first half of their set, his speaking voice was driving me crazy. It sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it.
Finally it hit me. He sounds like Frank Zappa when he talks on stage.

Then it was over.
Time to fight through the crowd and get off the floor.
I looked around, but didn't see Britny or Zak at the secondary meeting point, and didn't stick around to wait for them.
I headed upstairs to the bathrooms.
And there they were
We made our way out, and compaired notes and stories of the evening.
Got to the car and just kind of colapsed there for a few minutes, enjoying the comfort of the seats, and the cool air.

It was a little after 11 when we got out of the arena. And about 12:15 when we got home.
By the time I ate and got to bed, it was after 1, and I had to be up for work in the morning.

Was it he best show I've ever been too? No. Not even in the top 10.
But I wasn't expecting it to be.
I had a great time, though I wasn't so spent at the end of the night that I couldn't move (a sure sign of a killer show). But I also wasn't bored and would do it again given te chance.
It really helped that the gaps between groups was short.
Most of the time it was all I could do to make my way outside for a smoke, and get back before the lights went down for the next act.
Not like my last show where it took 40 minutes between Buckcherry and A7X.

All in all, a good time. And something any metal head should do at least once.

My daughter's review can be found here.