Coal Chamber, Filter, Combichrist, and American Head Charge
The Showbox, Seattle, WA
On an unassuming Wednesday night, insanity gripped the Showbox with a 1, 2 punch, lights out and game over. Coal Chamber and Filter, supported by Combichrist and American Head Charge, made Seattle home for an evening, compiling a lineup that would make even some festivals envious. If you bought a ticket, you know you got your money back, and then some.
Industrial metal band American Head Charge kicked off the evening, playing right into the hands of a Minneapolis-based Rob Zombie movie. The energy of the band was fantastic as instruments swung about, and singer Cameron Heacock found it difficult to remain stoic. His screams, out of nowhere, became murder. Combichrist was just as, um, inspirational, as drummer Joe Letz threatened once again to steal the show with his stick-throwing antics. Singer Andy LePlegua took the stage in a mask lit with red LEDs, wrapping his mic cord around his arm in signature style. It’s easy to assume that their make-up is not to hide behind, but rather to express, as Combichrist gave plenty of love and attention to the voracious crowd.
Filter began their set on a series of unfortunate technical errors. For their first song, “You Walk Away,” the mics were out for both singer Richard Patrick and guitarist Oumi Kapila. Bummer of a way to start a show. As fans screamed in horror, trying desperately to alert the band, Patrick rebounded with, “Let’s redo the song. Seattle has waited almost 15 years to hear this song, let’s do it.” Although fans rejoiced, it wouldn’t be the last of their woes, as mic issues plagued most of the Filter set. Patrick tried earnestly to adjust, screaming harder in compensation. During fixes, however, he held lovely banter about ‘rock – then and now,’ touching on everything from NIN to past drug use. Human tendencies aside, this dude can still burn up a stage and scream like a champ.
And last, but definitely not least, Coal Chamber headlined this evening at the Showbox, guns blazing. If you weren’t already physically consumed from the three previous bands, this band put the nail in your coffin. Between the spinning, head-banging, running, and flying in the air – all the while continuing to play – this set was exhaustive, even to watch. Singer Dez Fafara donned a classic, jazz-type microphone, internally lit with LEDs. The result? The inside of his mouth became a spectacle with every scream, which made him look insane. Their crazy lighting made for some awesome shadow effects, as Fafara whipped his mic about. With serious intent, fans tried to crowd-surf their way onto the stage; a glowing, red disco ball hung overhead and filled the house with what seemed like ill-fated magic. Fafara took a few moments to speak of their past, and recognized that they were still together because they’ve let bygones be bygones, telling the crowd that life isn’t worth being mad, and to simply just apologize. TKO.
Review by T. Monte
Photos by Sunny Martini
American Head Charge