Egyptologist death metal legends Nile played to a raging group of metalheads Thursday night at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. The band has been touring in support of their latest record “What Should Not Be Unearthed” with local openers at each show, showing support for every local scene they encounter.
This particular day I was finishing work for a recent freelancing gig I had picked up. It was a different topic than I had been used to writing about, so I took a bit longer than I expected – which caused me to inadvertently sabotage plans I had initially made – giving myself, Eric and Andrew (the party of new plans I followed through with) some unwanted afternoon drama. That didn’t stop us from drinking, grabbing burgers at the Union Square Friday’s (where en-route I was shocked and saddened by the death of actor Alan Rickman) and more drinking before merrily walking down to 23rd street’s Gramercy Theatre. For some reason my accomplices were wearing balaclavas, but that’s another story altogether.
Known to start and end shows early, we expected to miss one of the Gramercy’s openers because a) they were local and b) Andrew was not a fan of Day of Doom, whom he had seen before. Unfortunately for us, it was the one time the Gramercy Theatre decided to start the show late. We sat down in the bleacher seats and watched from afar, choosing to conserve our energy (and sober up) for Nile.
Day of Doom
When Andrew expressed his opinions of Day of Doom, he was putting it lightly.
This band was so bad that for the first (and hopefully last) time in my life I actually fell asleep at a concert. Not only that but this was moments after a) Eric also fell asleep and b) their singer compared showcasing their new material to his preferred style of intercourse. Day of Doom’s music consisted of generic old-school death metal that made you want to throw on your headphones and listen to the actual bands they were trying to imitate.
I legitimately felt sorry for their drummer, who while having the Gob Bluth “I’ve made a huge mistake” look in his eyes was also the only one of the trio with any stage presence. He was also clearly the most talented member of the band. After two songs I woke up just in time for their closer and more whiny banter from the singer, encouraging the crowd to “bring their mothers and sisters” next time because apparently there weren’t enough girls at the show.
Rule number one for aspiring musicians: Fake it until you make it (aka act like you’re the greatest thing in the world no matter what. People will like you better). Also do not beg for sex – especially when the center of attention is YOU.
While they sounded better and were much more energetic than Day of Doom, we were so bored that we didn’t want to risk sitting through another bad local act. Instead we wound up watching them from TV sets in the downstairs lounge, where we gathered to check out the merch and sober up on Gramercy´s tap water. We were also disappointed when we discovered that a chiasma is an exchange of genetic material in chromosome strands during meiosis and not a piece of furniture you can buy from Ikea.
Seton Hall University´s WSOU (Pirate Radio) station had a booth in the lobby as they were one of the sponsors for the show. The station’s representatives were very much into themselves and didn’t do any actual promotion other than stand next to their booth which contained a roulette wheel of prizes you could potentially win by spinning the wheel and landing on said prize. None of us cared since we weren’t intrigued or approached by the reps who consisted of college kids that were happy to get free tickets to a show.
Although Nile had some pretty cool merch – including limited edition vinyls of their Relapse catalog, a flag and shirts; they only had small and extra large sizes of their best t-shirt designs available. Being a medium, I was a sad panda until moments later when Khiazma wrapped up their set. We stumbled up the stairs knowing we’d finally be getting our money’s worth.
It was both mine and Andrew’s first time seeing the Egypt obsessed Nile. Not only had the venue filled up dramatically by this point but the place exploded the minute the headliners took the stage. My partners in crime ventured into the pit (balaclavas and all) while I found a comfortable spot to bask in Nile’s glory (on a side note, guitarist Dallas-Toler Wade was wearing a Pit Bulls shirt. The Pit Bulls are a large fraternity of metalheads from Dallas, Texas which Insinnerator/Thy Antichrist bassist Benjamin Shanks, a friend of mine is a member of (and the person I’m willing to bet money on for giving Wade the shirt).
My time in said comfortable spot would not last long as my cronies grabbed my five-foot three, 165-pound frame and crowdsurfed it for the first time in almost a decade. This would repeat itself seven more times throughout Nile’s set to the point where various members of the front row were referring to me as “Rangers Guy” thanks to the hockey jersey I was wearing (they lost 3-1 that night to the bloody Islanders). During this time, we met up with Jane (who was the earlier plan I had botched) and Kevin, who was so drunk it took me a good minute to recognize him.
Nile absolutely slayed and the crowd responded with their hyper-violent moshy roar of approval. Their set consisted of a little bit from each of their eight albums, including “Sarcophagus,” “Serpent Headed Mask” and “Ithyphallic” – satisfying everyone in attendance. Their latest material went over so well with the crowd (a rarity) that they added a third new track to the set on the spot which was also well received. They closed with “Black Seeds of Vengeance,” the title track from their second album (2000) and sent a bunch of headbanging New Yorkers home happy (also a rarity).
As for the five of us, we grabbed some grub at a nearby diner, headed over to the famed Coyote Ugly Saloon and had a few more spirits before taking a ride home on the subway.