On Tuesday November 6th 2012 I had the opportunity to see The Cancer Bats with DevilDriver and GWAR at The Ace of Spades music venue in downtown Sacramento. Although I have been a Cancer Bats fan for many years, this was my fist time seeing them live. The last time I tried to catch them I showed up late and missed them. Luckily at that concert though, I was able to see BTBAM for the first time.
Aces of Spades Music Venue – Sweet Place
I was really pleasantly surprised to see how cool the Ace of Spades venue was. Although it does not have the best acoustics or sound, the vibe of the place is really cool. With 4 separate bars and a large floor area, there are plenty of different angles to catch the music from. One of the bars is even part of an upstairs balcony where you can watch the bands play from above.
Because it is an all age venue, they have the bars partitioned off. This is nice because if you are old like me and just want to toe tap, head bob and sing a little, you can avoid the pit all together. Then again, if you want to pit, there is plenty of floor space to do it.
Cancer Bats – Dead Set on Rockin…
This was kind of a weird bill for them to be on, because I classify the Cancer Bats is more rock or at the most Canadian hardcore. They are like the older burlier lumberjack brother of Billy Talent and Hot Water Music.
However I have to say that the Bats really rocked it and got a primarily DevilDriver and GWAR crowd going pretty well. Although I was looking forward to hearing my new favorites, “Old Blood” and “Road Sick” off of their new album Dead Set on Living, the Bats played a set of many older songs. Regardless, it was cool to hear “Sorceress”, “Lucifer’s Rocking Chair” and “Sabotage” (Beastie Boys Cover) live.
Overall the Cancer Bats were great live and had a really cool party vibe brought on primarily by the lead singer Liam Cormier’s stage presence. After the show I spent about 15 minutes talking to Liam at the merch table, and he was a cool down-to-earth guy to chat with. We talked about everything from lyric meanings from the album and where CB fits in the metal scene to tour stories with bands like The Chariot and He Is Legend.
DevilDriver – Genericore
I’ve never really been a huge DevilDriver fan, but before the show I wanted to give their newest album Beast a fair listen. There were a few songs I liked from the record including “Dead to Rights” and “Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)” but overall it was a little too generic metal for me.
It was kind of the same thing with the show. Plus the venue was really bass and snare, as many venues are, and thus you really couldn’t hear the guitars that well unless they were soloing. When you have a pretty much straight up metal band, the most important thing is typically the guitars. When you can’t hear the guitars, the experience really suffers.
GWAR – Wish I would have watched more…
I have to be honest and say that I only stayed for two songs. This is not because I didn’t want to watch GWAR. This was because my already tired girlfriend Amber, was begging me to get home. Although we went there to see the Cancer Bats primarily, I couldn’t leave without seeing at least GWAR on stage. After all these years of hearing about them, it was really entertaining to see them live, even if it was only for a few minutes. I mean how can you go wrong when you start a show off by cutting off a guy’s head and spraying blood into the audience?