1/12/13–Free All-Ages Show @ The Terminal
Saturday the twelfth was, in short, lousy. The roads were covered in new snow, and my phone told me that the temperature had fallen somewhere into the low teens. Leaving the house was a tough decision, but I had a reason to do so: a scanned image of a hand-drawn concert flyer had showed up on my Facebook’s newsfeed, and let me know there was a concert that night downtown at The Terminal. I left before six, but the snow-covered roads (and the fact that I had to go back for a set of earplugs and got my car stuck leaving the house again) put my arrival time at around six-thirty. I found a spot in the Tire-Rama parking lot and stepped lightly through the snow, walking through the Terminal’s fogged glass door. It’s a cold night, and there’s no greater joy than the promise of a warm indoor venue and live music. I can hear the band from outside.The painted concrete floor was slippery with melting snow. I stoppered my ears with my foam earplugs and step over to the show floor. Four bands from the local metal scene were slated to perform. There was no cover that night down at the Terminal; the show was on to celebrate the birthday of one of Tribe’s guitarists. The crowd is small, but since it’s an all-ages show, somewhat diverse.
The first band is Shangri-La. Theirs is a nu-metal sound, reminiscent of Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage; fast guitars, loud snare, and growled vocals. The lead singer actually drums for one of the other bands on the lineup, Assnyne. Most of the members are young, but I can tell they do what they do for love of the game. That’s what matters, in my book. They played for about an hour, and wrapped at 7:30.
The next act, the Deadnecks, hadn’t yet arrived by the time Shangri-La wrapped. Since it was only three blocks south, I popped off to the Rainbow for a Pabst and a chat with some friends. I came back around 8:30 to find the Deadnecks doing a sound check. Nobody ever said the night would be fast.
The Deadnecks tried something a little different this evening; they opened their set with guitarist Luke playing a lap guitar and bassist Steve on his stand-up bass. They switched back to a regular guitar after two songs, but kept the stand-up bass. However the show was done, Deadnecks showed why they’re Billings’ premiere deathgrass outfit, and why they were a big draw for the evening. They played until 9:10.
Assnyne got started right before ten. This was my first time seeing this local metal group, though they’ve played several shows around Billings in the past year or so. They play good, crunching metal music, with a heavy groove, sounding not unlike more-recent Coal Chamber. They had me nodding along in no time. The set was loud in the small space, but in fairness, that’s why everybody showed up at the concert—The Terminal is a loud, intimate venue, and these bands pushed as far as their equipment could take them.
I was unfortunately called away before the show ended, but I was able to catch up with Deadnecks bassist Steve afterward, and I asked him how the show had finished out. He stated that the final band, Tribe, had played an excellent set…he said it was good to see a classic thrash-metal show, in the style of Slayer or old Metallica. I’ll have to catch Tribe the next time they play, since it’s hard to resist the lure of thrash metal….
At the end of the night, the trip downtown was worth it. I saw some good people, heard some good bands, and got home in time for cartoons on Cartoon Network. I’ll keep any eye on my Facebook newsfeed for the next Terminal show, but anybody who wishes to come along can check out The Terminal on Facebook, as well. No matter the weather, it’s worth a trip downtown!
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