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ANNIHILATOR Live In Dublin, Ireland With Photos!

By Justin Ryan - Dublin, Ireland, Contributor
Saturday, October 10, 2015 @ 11:29 AM


At The Button Factory On October 1

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All Photos By Justin Ryan

"I'm just wondering when we were last in Dublin. I certainly remember being here with JUDAS PRIEST quite some time ago, I think it must have been around 1943! Just kidding, it was 1991, anyone remember that show?" guitar maestro Jeff Waters asked the capacity crowd in tonight's venue. The 1991 visit was thrash metal masters ANNIHILATOR's debut live performance in Dublin at the now extinct S.F.X Center, as support to JUDAS PRIEST on their Painkiller album European tour. Although two further appearances had also been made at The Ambassador Theater in 2006 as support to TRIVIUM, tonight's (Thursday, October 1st, 2015) show was, incredibly, in their thirty-first year, the Canadian group's first ever headline show here.

A venue that doesn't host many metal shows (thankfully so, given the security's objectionable practices outlined below) that come through Dublin, The Button Factory (formerly The Temple Bar Music Center) on Curved Street was jammed packed to its eight hundred (approx) person limit as the headliner's advertised stage time of 9:15pm approached. Scanning the crowd before the house lights were turned off, there was an interesting mix of ages at the show. Quite a few older thrash veterans who now have enough years on the clock to suggest that they may have been at the aforementioned PRIEST show were in attendance, as were large numbers of fans in their early twenties who wouldn't have been born when the classic albums Alice In Hell (1989) and Never, NeverLand (1990) were originally released. The new generation of teenage thrash metal fans were also large in number, many of whom were attired in t-shirts depicting album art work from outstanding records such as MEGADETH's Peace Sells...But Who's Buying, METALLICA's Master Of Puppets, IRON MAIDEN's The Number Of The Beast and many of ANNIHILATOR's back catalog.

At 9:17pm, the venue lights were cut and "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by the SCORPIONS was played over the house PA system as the gig's intro. An indication of the crowds vocal prowess was showcased by their participation in its chorus, the crowd decibel count was raised even higher when the band stepped out on stage at 9:20pm. In addition to group founder and ever present member Jeff Waters(lead guitar and vocals), the band's current touring line up consists of rhythm guitarist Aaron Homma, drummer Mike Harshaw and bass player Rick Hinks. The title track from one of three songs played on the night from the excellent King Of The Kill(1994) record was chosen to kick start proceedings, which was followed by a trio of tracks from the bands latest studio offering Suicide Society. Although the new album may induce a raised eyebrow or two for listeners during its first three tracks, it does contain enough highlights over its remaining six songs (particularly "Death Scent" and several guitar solos) to keep fans happy. "Snap", which it has to be said, is very similar in sound to RAMMSTEIN's "Ich Tu Dir Weh" (as another track "My Revenge" is to METALLICA's "Damage, Inc.") preceded the song "Suicide Society" tonight, whose main guitar riff sounds like material influenced by MEGADETH's 2004 comeback record, The System Has Failed. The uptempo, blistering thrasher "Creepin' Again" brought material from the new record to a close for the evening. "No Way Out" from 2013's Feast album was then performed flawlessly, before three songs written before 1993 were delivered. The always impressive track "Set The World On Fire" went down a storm with the audience as did "W.T.Y.D."; the crowd's vocal support of its chorus received a nodding, smiling approval from the formidable, mohawk hair styled Jeff Waters. "You know, Dublin, that song is not easy to play because of its many different parts. My favorite part of the song is probably when we finish playing it!" quipped the bands front man when the stunning title track from their second studio album Never, Neverland had been completed. The frantic "Tricks And Traps" followed and it was during this song that the stage front security's crowd control measures came into question .A number of fans who either found themselves on their way over the front barrier or were engaged in pit activities were instantly ejected from the venue by security. There was no PA pre-show warning by venue management of any particular house regulations, so if the venue has rules that are not compatible with heavy metal concerts, why did they accept the promoter's booking of ANNIHILATOR in the first place? The band were completely unaware of this but fans close by looked at each other in disbelief at the security's antics.

After the security incidents passed, the crowd at the left hand side of the front of the venue were able to refocus their attention on the show. "It says on my set list here, drum solo...okay Mike, you're on!" was Jeff Waters' (who turns fifty years of age next February 13th) introduction to a focused, impressive four minute skins exhibition from Mike Harshaw, which received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. Like guitar exhibitions at a live show, when done well, drum solos can be very entertaining and rewarding for both the crowd and drummer. However, it's a thin ice situation as its success is dependent on it being limited to a reasonable amount of time; if too long, the audience's attention usually wanes. Speaking of ice, the punky vibe of "City Of Ice" was played following the drum solo, before the concert was concluded with three golden oldies "Brain Dance" and the classics "Phantasmagoria" and "Alison Hell". "They asked us to cut it short tonight", were Waters last words before the nights final song was delivered. Not elaborating on who "they" are, it may explain why this (brief but overall memorable concert) and recent others performed in Dublin by SEPULTURA and PARADISE LOST were quite short in duration (ninety minutes or less). Maybe the same promoter who staged each of the three concerts, at two different venues, knows the answer to that question?

Setlist:

  • "King Of The Kill"
  • "Snap"
  • "Suicide Society"
  • "Creepin Again"
  • "No Way Out"
  • "Set The World On Fire"
  • "W.T.Y.D."
  • "Never, Neverland"
  • "Tricks And Traps"
  • "Bliss"
  • "Second To None"
  • "Refresh The Demon"
  • Drum Solo
  • "City Of Ice"
  • "Brain Dance"
  • "Phantasmagoria"
  • "Alison Hell"
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Justin Ryan


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