Earlier in the week I was preparing myself for a couple of tremendous metal nights in Vancouver. I was geared up to check out Devin Townsend with Animals As Leaders and the very next night, Death DTA. When I woke up in the morning a day before that run of shows, I was surprised to find out that Sean Reinert, the touring drummer for Death, was no longer on the tour due to health reasons.
Now obviously they needed a replacement. Care to wager a guess on who?
Ding, ding, ding! If you guessed Gene Hoglan, you’d be right on the money. Who better to step up as the touring Death drummer than the best drummer Death ever had. It’s a rather simple answer to their problem.
So this obviously made my next couple of nights that much better knowing that my boy Gene would be in town. What would go on in those days was miles ahead of my initial thoughts of what would transpire.
Devy and AAL easily killed the Commodore Ballroom. It was great show, much like Devy constantly does. He has such a presence about him and he seems like he would be such a rad person to talk to. The DTP mostly played new material as well which was magnificent in my book; I totally dig Z2 and was happy to hear a ton of songs I’ve been hooked on since it’s release.
The next night, however, would completely and utterly blow me away.
Chicken, otherwise known as Rob, is Gene Hoglan’s manager. Super cool dude and for some reason he likes my sick personality. We get along really well and therefore he scores me awesome deals, like giving me exclusive interviews with Gene that no one else gets.
Now I knew I’d probably run into Gene on this night. That transpired but everything surrounding it is what really left me awe struck.
I got to the venue early, chatted with Gene for a bit. I got to watch Death sound check, so it was like they were playing The Philosopher personally for me. I had quite the shit eating grin on my face after that. The show itself was unbelievable. Every band slayed but I particularly enjoyed Massacre and Obituary. Great old school death metal that really got the crowd going.
However, Death was breathtaking. They played all the songs you would want to hear from their catalog, including songs you don’t hear about as much such as “In Human Form” and “Baptized In Blood.” They ran the gamut of every Death record and they were on fire. Steve Di Giorgio is so bad ass he only needs 3 strings on his bass. Bobby Koelble, who was on Symbolic, proved to me how ridiculously talented he is. Gene was Gene, no comment needed. Finally, 26-year-old Max Phelps from Cynic played the role of Chuck and did one hell of a job of it too. That kid’s got some insane chops.
The whole lineup definitely has the skills to pay the bills.
After the show was an entirely different story. I got to shoot the shit with Gene and Bobby, talking shop about Symbolic, Chuck and jazz fusion. I ended up on the Death tour bus with their whole camp and it was a sight to behold. Tiled floors, leather everything, food and booze for days. I was in heaven and I had to take a step back to soak it all in.
“I’m partying with my all-time favorite death metal band.”
Not many people can shake a thought like that.
All the guys were super personable, humble and overall nice as hell. It was a surreal night that’ll go down in my history books of metal folklore.
So what did you do last night?
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.