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Headbangers

An Evening With Down in Los Angeles

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007 @ 9:54 PM


The Henry Fonda Theater

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By Evil Alex

"I want you to tell them what you saw here tonight and what you felt here tonight!!!!" yelled lead singer Phil Ansemlo, as Down’s two hour set came to a close before a sold out crowd at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California.

He was referring to non believers and nay sayers, those who might doubt the sheer talent, unity and power of this southern tinged New Orleans heavy metal super group, which also features guitar players Pepper Keenan, Kirk Windsten, bassist Rex Brown and drummer Jimmy Bower.

Down performed with no opening band, only an hour and a half long video projected in the center of the club on a giant screen. But this was not the usual mundane attempt to sell a DVD. Rather, it focused on snippets of the band at their most intimate, including interviews, pranks and even conversations, all spliced with heavy metal videos from their influences.

As the pot smoke permeated the entire club, the giant screen projected old school heavy metal videos from artists such as Thin Lizzy, Kiss, AC/DC, Lynard Skynard, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Black Flag. This was tribute to Down’s musical roots.

It was a breath of fresh air for both the youngsters and elders in the crowd as parents with their kids, generations of metal fans all united under the same roof to experience the band that many feared would not play music again, after the tragic demise of Pantera, which also included Brown and Anselmo.

But the night belonged to Down, and the crowd were literally at in the palm of their hands the entire night. But they did not take the stage till after the crowd was in the right herbal mind set.

Simply put, Down’s songs are both poetic, dark and esoteric, mixing both angst and reflection against a backdrop of heavy metal that is equally influenced by Black Sabbath and Black Flag as it is by Lynard Skynard, thrown in with the grooves of Pantera and hardcore ethos of 80s punk.

After over two hours, with a non stop mosh pit, it was evident why Down is a paradox in the musical spectrum. This is a band that has a cult following, with a massive appeal to become part of the mainstream.

Playing a well rounded mix of both old songs and songs off the new album, the very optimistic Over the Under, Down proved themselves as being one of the few bands that will live on into heavy metal immortality. This is more than just a side project.

Anselmo’s request of the fans made perfect sense. Not many places can one experience the unity, catharsis and beauty of heavy metal in its purest form: a smoke filled live show with no bullshit, no egos and only songs that come straight from the heart.

Down’s set list was as follows:

  • The Path
  • Lysergik Funeral Procession
  • Lifer
  • Three Suns and One Star
  • Hail the Leaf
  • I Scream
  • Ghost Along the Mississippi
  • Learn From This Mistake
  • Mourn
  • Lies, I Don't Know What They Say But...
  • There's Something On My Side
  • N.O.D.
  • Temptations Wings
  • Beneath the Tides
  • Losing All
**** a 2 minute heavy metal cover of the War classic song "Lowrider" with the actual drummer from War behind the drum kit!

Encore:

  • On March the Saints
  • Eyes of the South
  • Jail
  • Stone the Crow
  • Bury Me In Smoke



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