NAILS w/ Toxic Holocaust and Gatecreeper
Neumos, Seattle, WA

I’ve seen so many great shows at Neumos in Capitol Hill. I have been looking forward to this show, a little worried at the same time since it was announced. I knew this show was going to be insane.

Arizona’s Gatecreeper started things off right with their unique brand of grinding death metal. The sludgy and powerful music got the crowd moving; a fantastic introduction to what was to come.

Toxic Holocaust, a Portland, Oregon 3-piece was up next, and they brought punk-like energy and attitude to their extreme stage performance. The crowd was definitely there to see them as much as the headliner. After all, TH have been around since singer/bassist Joe Grind formed the band in 1999, and they’ve made loyal fans and toured extensively since their last release, Chemistry Of Consciousness. They delivered a fun, energetic show that fostered an overactive mosh pit, but as crazy as it was, they barely scratched the surface of the mayhem to come.

The members of California’s NAILS nonchalantly took to the stage to help set up and prepare for the battle they were about to wage. There was a simple NAILS backdrop behind drummer Taylor Young; Guitarist Leon del Murte set up and began warm-ups; bassist John Gianelli fiddled with his gear, and then took his shirt off. And then moment of truth, with anticipation at an observable high and the venue packed.

Singer/guitarist Todd Jones walked up and it was on. Jones has a knack for being in bands where the band name epitomizes the brutality of the music. The Ex-Terror, and now NAILS frontman immediately kicked into “Savage Intolerance.” This was followed immediately by “You Will Never Be One Of Us,” the title track off their 2016 release, which they were here supporting.

I am pretty sure the band told security not to stop anyone from stage diving. I thought I was “safe” being up front to get my shots. Oh, I got them all right; straight to the head, back, and legs, as I dodged stage diver after stage diver. I have seen a lot of hardcore/metal shows in my time, but this was the most pummeling devastation I have ever witnessed in my life. When your songs are on average 1 to 2 minutes in length and filled with sheer driving aggression, and power what did I expect?

There was a point where there were more people on the stage than the band themselves. It was like they opened the floodgates, and suddenly fans were doing summersaults into the crowd. NAILS continued to bring the pain, and just when I didn’t think it could get any more intense, I was proven wrong. A kick to the back of the head turned on my “Fight or Flight” instinct. Miraculously I made it to the edge of the venue to massage my neck while I tried to comprehend the size of the circle pit in Neumos. For as full as the venue was, it felt wide open. That is if you felt like getting into the pit and beaten to a pulp. What a show! It was incredible to see a band that doesn’t tour much at all.

Nails typically do very few shows, and they were nearing the last few dates of a month-long tour. This was a special night and one of the most intense shows I have ever seen. Even the band mentioned that they had seen intense crowds in New York and on the East Coast but Seattle brought the ferocity out. It must have been the long cold winter and a lot of pent up frustration that NAILS was able to release.

If you ever get a chance to see them live it is a sight to behold, with intense, brutal aggression released through music.

NAILS Set List
Savage Intolerance
You Will Never Be One Of Us
Friend To All
Scum Will Rise
Gods Cold Hands
Life is a Death Sentence
Made to make you fail
Wide Open Wound/ depths outro
I Will Not Follow
Suffering Soul
In Pain
Sick boy – GBH Cover
They Come Crawling Back
Unsilent Death

Toxic Holocaust Set List
War Is Hell
Wild Dogs
In The Name of Science
Acid Fuzz
Lord Of The Wasteland
Nuke The Cross

Review and photos by Neil Lim Sang

NAILS, Toxic Holocaust, and Gatecreeper