Review and photos by Nathan Daniel
Formerly Cytota, SHVPES (apparently using an ‘A’ in a band name doesn’t cut it anymore) hit the Rescue Rooms stage to an underwhelming crowd, to say the least. It seems as if there are little more on the floor than there are on the stage for the openers tonight. Undeniably, this doesn’t fill SHVPES with confidence. Nevertheless, they rip through the first couple of tracks with conviction and pace. Those at the bar eventually join the awkward dwellers in the ‘crowd’ as they begin to take notice, whilst more filter in from the cold outside, too. They attempt to connect with Nottingham, but struggle through no fault of their own. Typically of smaller shows or opening acts, the fans are a little scared of getting close to the barrier. With the charisma and presence of his father, though, Griffin Dickinson bridges the divide between audience and crowd, going hard in the pit.
All Hail The Yeti. Another interesting band name. A bloody interesting band, too, so it seems. Like a grown-up’s fairy tale, they sing of beasts and mythical creatures. Finally, after a few years together and after significant line up changes, they’re currently embarking on their first ever tour across the pond, under the wing of 36 Crazyfists. Hollywood tattoo artist cum Metal vocalist Connor Garritty leads us and the band on a march of stomping, bone-crunching tracks tonight, accompanied by string work Mastodon would envy.
Garritty’s vocals are brutal and rumble throughout the now noticeably more crowded venue. For a band playing their first ever Nottingham show, they must be pretty pleased that a few fans down at the front are screaming each and every lyric right back at them. They make no mistakes when commanding the crowd and have no issue with doing so, even in the unknown. These guys, like SHVPES, may well be big in the years that ensue.
Now for the main event; the grand finale; the headliner. Tonight, they are 36 Crazyfists. Its probably unbeknownst to most just how steeped in history they are. 36 have been around for 21 years now. That’s a timespan lengthier than that of Nirvana, Linkin Park and System of a Down. Not a feat of which many bands playing a Friday night Rescue Rooms gig can boast.
This tour is in support of their latest release: Time and Trauma, which weighs in at album number seven. Over the journey of their back-catalogue, the Alt-Metal Alaskans have acquired a reasonable fan base and have jinked in and out of the now laid to rest Nu Metal (RIP, we all loved you).
Tonight, whilst all about the here and now, is more so a celebration of the band’s career. They play a select cut that spans across 6 albums, which is enough material to please all present tonight. From the brilliant ‘Also Am I’, that’s eased in mid-set, to electrifying classics like ‘Bloodwork’ and ‘Slit Wrist Theory’. These two in particular receive ludicrous reactions that put the biggest grin on frontman Brock Lindow’s face. As the night goes on, its blatantly obvious just how humbled and gratuitous he is for the amount of fans that have come out to his band.
Tonight, they are animated and brash and demonstrate exactly what a rock show should be all about: energy and excitement. They get the pit well and truly stirring with the aid of a thunderous kick drum and bass guitar, as Lindow’s vocals soar high above. It’s also apparent just how capable of delivering unholy, bloodcurdling screams he is. The almost 20 song set they power through is pure brilliance, and lacks none of the ingredients that a good show should contain. Its only hurdle is a guitar hitch mid set, which we later find out wasn’t actually meant to be part of the set.
36 Crazyfists have an undeniable ability to connect with the fans and show them all that they’re just as fresh and relevant as ever, even over 20 years on. I don’t think they’re a band we’ll be losing any time soon.