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Damageplan Live in Ottawa

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Correspondent
Sunday, June 27, 2004 @ 11:29 AM


Damageplan Live At The Capital

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So, anyway, there's been this big debate over the past year or so since Phil Anselmo formed another 700 side projects which inevitably led to Pantera's dissolution over which of the post-Pantera bands were ever any good. So where do I stand, you're all wondering? Myself, I thought personally, while the first Down album was decent, the second one repeated itself too much for my tastes and bogged itself beneath its own mediocrity so I wasn't too upset that they broke up afterwards. After I heard the first Superjoint Ritual album, I was sold. Even though Anselmo and Rex Rocker were alienating Vinnie and Dimebag, that Use Once And Destroy debut still crushed. Ditto A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred. Too bad that Anselmo decided that self-promoting his new band and album was also a good excuse to cite Vinnie and Dimebag as the main factors as to what went wrong with Pantera, because if you ignored Phil's growing absence of professionalism SJR really were on the verge of filling the void left by Pantera with its trademark mélange of old-school death, thrash, crustcore, punk and hardcore that Anselmo had envisioned as being the next progressive step after Reinventing The Steel.

That's pretty much changed now that Damageplan have arrived. At first I was wary of the delicate balance between underground metal and mainstream metal that their first song "Breathing New Life" presented but it grew on me eventually. Wish I could've said the same thing about local opening act Drillpoint but seeing as I arrived in time to catch their last song of their set there's not much to say anyway. The general opinion was that they tended to play their breakthrough hit some 6 or 7 more times under different names just to confuse the audience. To summarize... the musical version of dishwater. The CD was supposedly a good deal at only $10 though....

Headliners Damageplan wasted no time in taking the stage and belted out their biggest--er, only hit "Breathing New Life" and then straight into "Crawl." Actually, excluding "Blink Of An Eye," "Moment Of Truth" and "Soul Bleed," everyone got to hear the whole New Found Power CD played out in its entirety. "Reborn," the aptly-titled "Wake Up" (dedicated to the people in the back row who weren't in the shirtless moshpit happening beside me) and "Save Me" followed afterwards and it was around that time that my voice was starting to give out from screaming. Really, I should've had maybe more than one beer even if it wasn't exactly cheap at close to $4 a cup. Then the Best Dude was ushered out wearing this oversized red and white top hat. He poured bottles of vodka into our mouths and for most of us, well, we needed it. Hokey gag aside, it was practical as the vodka helped strengthen my own vocal chords and kept me going for about another hour or so (I do believe he was a roadie and at one point I actually thought it was Vinnie Paul himself during soundcheck). Even the party of Hooters waitresses -- and, sadly, their boyfriends -- next to me also got a couple of free beers courtesy of the lead singer before the band launched into a raucous and extended version of "New Found Power" followed by "Fuck You" and "Blunt Force Trauma." We all knew the words, and much like Cristina Scabbia when everyone knew the words to "Heaven's A Lie," it took the singer by surprise. The obligatory Pantera set closed off the encore with "Walk" and "A New Level", most notable for the duet with Drillpoint's singer and offstage, some guy almost getting his nipple ring ripped off while in the moshpit. I never did see the appeal of that. Nipple rings, specifically.

So, anyway, you know how everyone's said that bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, because of their longevity and influence on the hard rock scene for so long, helped spawn an intricate family tree of talent from decades past? It looks like Pantera's well on its way there even though they themselves are no longer a band what with, well, Phil hating everyone and all. So if Pantera, by classic rock standards, are like the Deep Purple of our generation, Damageplan could assume the role of Heaven & Earth or something (Superjoint Ritual could be Rainbow with a lot of pentagrams and tattoos, I guess). Only difference is that Damageplan's actually made some new fans by coming to lesser out-of-the-way places like Ottawa and I personally have yet to hear "Breathing New Life" played on any radio station here. Then again, with Cannibal Corpse and W.A.S.P. being among the other top names in metal making their way here this summer, maybe Damageplan must've helped spread the word around. Or they read the concert reviews here. Either way they've done their roadwork for many fans that night. Now the ball's in Superjoint Ritual's court...

Setlist in no particular order:

"Breathing New Life"
"Crawl"
"Reborn"
"Wake Up"
"Save Me"
"Explode"
"New Found Power"
"Fuck You"
"Blunt Force Trauma"
"Cold Blooded"

Encores:

"Walk"
"A New Level"

http://www.damageplan.com



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