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July 25, 2007

Sounds of the Underground @ Congress Theatre: Chicago, IL 07.23.07

Interestingly enough, as I ended my last blog entry with the idea that I was definitely ready for “some more METAL,” I didn’t have the upcoming show in mind. I did, however, get what I had hoped for! SOTU has been a nationwide tour since 2005 and although on a smaller scale, is almost a rival tour for . Despite 10+ hours consisting of 15+ metal, hardcore, and metalcore bands seeming like almost too much for anyone to handle, the 3000 capacity sold at least 2000 tickets, and for most people there, it was probably worth every penny of the $30 spent. 

Jfac_01 Job For A Cowboy

Like some of the other bloggers have experienced, upon my arrival at the Congress, I was told that my name was not at will call nor on the guestlist. After about two hours of trying to get a hold of my contacts, Billboard pulled through and figured it out. (Thanks Kristina!) Unfortunately, I missed a couple of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing:  ,  , , and my favorite Christian hardcore boys, . Even though I couldn’t review them, I know for a fact that they all put on an awesome show, so make sure you check them out. Regardless, my night ended up being very exciting and entertaining, but I will try to mention some of the highlights so this doesn’t become a novel rather than simply a mini-review. 

The first band I actually got to see was progressive metal band . I have heard their music but never seen them live and became excited for their set after a girl in line told me that she was solely there to see them. I was more than impressed with their live show and although I couldn’t really decipher the song titles, I definitely understood vocalist Jonny Davy when he introduced “Knee Deep” which actually produced one of the largest circle pits of the night.



Next up was a very unfortunate set by self-proclaimed “death rap/hardcore hip-hop” artist . Apparently he came about through the metal scene and has played alongside bands such as Napalm Death and Sepultura, but you wouldn’t know based on the reaction of the 2000+ crowd at SOTU. Their entire set consisted of very few songs while the majority of the time was spent fighting with crowd, most of which had wandered out of the pit. Those remaining in front of the stage, and even those elsewhere in the theatre, spent the set booing and throwing anything and everything up on stage. It might have been OK if Necro played it off like they could care less, but instead spent half the set yelling vulgarities into both the crowd and at specific individuals that they felt were mocking them. I don’t know what the crowd response has been on the rest of the tour, but if it’s anything like this, I really don’t know how or why they are on it.


I agreed with a friend from work who was also at SOTU that the best show of the night was by . I really didn’t know what to expect while I was standing in the photo pit when the band came out and began to pound on the two large bass drums filled with water that splashed all out into the crowd. As photographers covered their cameras so they wouldn’t get wet, the kids in front screamed even louder as a result of the dramatic effects. Vocalists Waylon and Jeffrey Nothing both had surprisingly good voices, and the two together, as well as the rest of the band, really know how to work the crowd. Because of the masks, costumes, lights and smoke, watching Mushroomhead really makes you feel like you are watching more than just a band, and they are incredibly interesting. At first I joked that I felt like I was in a haunted house, but a couple songs into it, I was really impressed.





Although I have seen metalcore band at least a few times now, I still enjoy their energy filled set each time. They played old songs as well as a couple off the new album The Big Dirty (out September 4th) including “No Son of Mine” which was awesome.





Metal band   definitely rocked the crowd more than anyone on the lineup. Due to a family emergency with bassist Jim LaMarca, different friends on the tour played the set with Chimaira to help out including Andy Williams from ETID and Paul Romanko from on “Power Trip.” Each of the songs had the crowd forming a full effect mosh pit.




All in all, SOTU is an awesome tour and should be highly respected in the metal/hardcore community for doing their own thing and breaking off from the mainstream Ozzfest. It’s a full day of non-stop shows, so if it has already passed through your city, make sure you catch it next year.

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Nice coverage of the shows you saw. I imagine you'll be heading to Ozzfest on August 10th. I'll be looking forward to your write up if you do. Hope things work out smoother with will call for you!


This is an awesome picture, you not only get to see the singer, but you see the set behind him aswell. On top of that the photo is clean so I can see everything.

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