10.12.12: GHOUL x Dr. Know x Beowulf x The Mentors x Witchaven

I had been waiting almost exactly 2 years to see GHOUL play live. In those two years, I had five separate chances to do so, and each time was met with some kind of cock block; police interference, sickness, opposite sex being cunty, car troubles etc. Well, all the stars in the universe must have aligned on Friday, because I actually was in attendance when GHOUL ripped the shitty Key Club apart.

The line to get in was long, and moving very slowly. Friends were frantically informing me via text that I missed Witchaven, which is okay because they perform every 38 minutes in Los Angeles. Impatient crusties, and thrash kids alike began to irritate me with their “I’m 38 cents short, can I bum some change?” spiel. Thankfully, I got to will call before wasting my breath, telling them all to get a pair of khakis and join the workforce. As I approached the window, a hilarious sign caught my attention. Behold!

…and the award for most disliked venue in Los Angeles goes to The Key Club. After trolling away on various social networks about this new policy, I finally made my way inside to catch The Mentors, who were already a couple of songs into their set. I’m not sure what I was expecting from an El Duce-less performance, but it wasn’t great. Sickie Wifebeater, and Dr. Heathen Scum just kinda stood around, while Mad Dog gave a half-hearted vocal performance, or maybe he’s just a big fat guy playing drums, and singing at the same time. Stamina is a motherfucker when you’re overweight. There’s not much else to say. Mad Dog told dirty jokes in between songs, and they played some classics like “When You’re Horny, You’re Horny”, and “Going Through Your Purse” which the 40-somethings in attendance very happily ate up.

Uh, I never listened to Beowulf in my life, but I thought they had to be special if they had higher billing than The Mentors Lite. I was wrong. I was getting very bored at this point, choosing to watch from the balcony, making fun of their lead singer because he was clearly celebrating Halloween early by dressing like Mike Muir. Basic ass crossover doesn’t do it for me, but the pit was getting crazy. After what seemed like an eternity of the same fucking song being played, Dr. Know took the stage to a turnt up audience ready to show these Nardcore legends some moshpit props.

Dr. Know momentarily cured my boredom, then they played for about 45 minutes longer than I wanted them to. They absolutely blew all of the other openers away though. Their energy was unparalleled, and folks were receptive of their brand of crossover/hardcore, but I still think that hardly anyone knows who they are in 2012. Kudos to them if they’re gaining some popularity this far into their career. The moshing was as intense as I had ever seen at any show in Los Angeles, which was making me nervous because I planned to get turnt during GHOUL’s set.

Finally! GHOUL took the stage to a rabid bunch of hooligans ready to knock some teeth in. I promptly put my glasses in my pocket just as “The Lunatic Hour” began, because there was no way I’d be able to drive home with shattered lenses. It didn’t take long for things to get messy. Beers were being tossed, and people were slipping and sliding all over the fucking place while trying to make some elbow-to-face contact in the pit. I myself ate shit 3 or 4 times during the first two songs, which was nothing compared to what I had to endure for the rest of the night. It was truly the roughest mosh pit I’ve ever been a part of, and it only got more intense as GHOUL continued to play. Just when I thought I’d hear the loudest pop of the night for “Splatterthrash”, the crowd would easily outdo themselves during “Bury the Hatchet”, or “Rise Killbot Rise!” As far as the show aspect goes, GHOUL might be the most entertaining band I’ve ever seen. From the costumes, to the in-between-songs banter delivered with a thick Eastern European-ish accent about “Gangnam Style”, and subtle diss at Sunn O))) being as ‘heavy metal as it gets’, it was all fun, and worth the previous 4 hours of being bored. My favorite parts of GHOUL’s set were definitely when Killbot came out during “Rise Killbot Rise!”, and when the ghoulish Pope came out to spray us all with fake blood as we were trying to beat each other to a pulp.

Even though I took a beating for most of GHOUL’s set, I managed to slip out of the pit to enjoy a few songs without getting knocked upside the head. It was a really cool site to see pretty much everyone in the venue having a fucking great time. If people weren’t moshing, they were dancing, jumping, throwing the horns etc. I waited 2 years to witness this, and it more than exceeded my expectations. Bands like GHOUL are the reason why I love this culture, and why I keep this blog. Now, lets just hope I don’t have to wait another 2 years to see them play.

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