Sunday, May 4, 2003 @ 10:33 AM
Animal Live at The Splash in Y
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REVIEW BY: Chuck Myden
Out on a short tour to support their debut release 900 LB. STEAM, Animal tore apart The Splash. The musicians that make up Animal are some of the most powerful live performers I’ve witnessed in awhile. Each individual really stood out on their respective instruments. Ex-W.A.S.P. members Randy Piper and Chris Holmes traded off guitar licks the entire show. Both players pushed each other to a higher level in a friendly battle of “guitar wars.” Chris Holmes was like a caged lion thrashing around on a small stage. Randy definitely hasn’t lost any of his guitar chops and he definitely looked like he was having fun on stage as well. The rhythm section of Frankie Garisto (drums) and Burn Coldewey (Bass) laid down a powerful rhythm that kept the adrenalin pumping. Frankie hit the drums hard, without missing a beat, and showed why he is a drummer that’s highly demanded. He’s the type of drummer, that when he hits, you feel it in your chest. Burn was a constant ball of sweaty energy bashing out his bass lines. The snarling vocals were provided courtesy of lead singer Rich Lewis. He belted out the songs with a vengeance.
The set list consisted of almost the entire 900 LB. STEAM release and a few W.A.S.P. songs for the W.A.S.P. fans. Backed by a huge Animal logo, they started off the set with a 1,2,3 punch/kick in the nuts with “900 Lb. Steam,” “Pissed Off” and “Wild Child.” The energy vibe of the crowd increased with each song. Next, they ran through a nice mix of songs off from 900 LB. STEAM that was met with the approval of the crowd. “Dog Food,” “Another Victim,” and “Medicine Man” were heavy hitters with crunching power. (At about that time in the show, I noticed the crowd starting to make their way over to the merchandise table purchasing Animal’s disc. More on that later.) “On Your Knees” and “L.O.V.E. Machine,” off of the first W.A.S.P. release from nearly 20 years ago, were slightly heavier than the original versions and Rich Lewis sounded incredibly like a pissed off Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. They finished the set with their album closer “Hunting Season.” The speed guitar jam at the end of the song was amazing.
The crowd was fairly decent with standing room only around the stage. Not a packed house, but not a small crowd either. The end of the show came and the band began to leave the stage area. The crowd started to voice their support for the band as the chants for “one more song” began. It was nice to hear the crowd yelling for one more song with passion. After a brief huddle, the band decided to close out the show with the W.A.S.P. song “Animal (F*** Like A Beast).” It was good to see a band play an encore where the crowd actually demanded it. They were all set to head backstage and call it a night, when the crowd just wouldn’t give up. A little pet peeve of mine is when bands go through the motions and plan encores to be a part of their set. I feel that some integrity is lost when bands do that. So, kudos goes out to Animal for coming back out at the wishes of the crowd and not making the encore a part of the regular set.
Animal is definitely a band to check out if you like hard, powerful songs. Just bring your earplugs because these guys play LOUD. I heard a number of people after the show mention that they haven’t heard a band play that loud in recent time. Another thing that deserves to be mentioned is that the crowd was a good mix of old and new school rockers. The band won over the crowd that wasn’t familiar with them. Proof in point and as I mentioned earlier about the crowd heading to the merchandise table- I watched their stacks of CD’s at the merchandise table dwindle down to one by the end of the show. How cool is that? It’s not every day you go to a show and see bands move CD’s like that. Great show. Great band. Period!
On a little side note, I missed the first two opening bands. Sorry goes out to those bands. It was unintentional -- just that damn mapquest got myself (and even the bands) lost. I did catch the Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Ozzmosis. They are out of Dayton, Ohio and if you happen to see them playing in the area. Go check them out. They were definitely entertaining.