Saturday night came around and I was back to the Saint Vitus bar for what I hoped would be the highlight gig of my pre-MDF journeys – doom gods Pallbearer, death doomsters Loss and and noisy industrialists Sewer Goddess – and it turned out to be a very enjoyable and drunken night.

I jumped on a very packed train while listening to Pallbearer’s killer album Sorrow And Extinction and in my excitement I had to resist the urge to headbang. I enjoy catching the train as you see quite a broad cross section of people and my 2 rides included a super preppy looking guy with the worst bow tie (but a hot girlfriend), an elaborate African American guy applying make up, a Mexican black metal fan, and a femme fatale woman who should have been at the David Lynch music night I went to on Sunday. I scoffed a very tasty chorizo burrito from the Mexican place next door and then hooked up with the decent sized group of Australians who had finally arrived in New York.

Sewer Goddess started with slow droning guitars, a woman singing and a whole lot of industrial noise produced by a huge array of electronic equipment. I had expected them to be noisier in the Merzbow sense but a better comparison would be 90s era industrial bands like Dead World or Candiru which was certainly fine by me as I love those bands and their mechanised sounds. The vocals were singing at first and not quite loud enough but she changed to a more aggressive style which sounded great. I wasn’t quite sure but it looked like the guitarist was smoking a pipe on stage. I was very impressed with SG as it’s not often I see bands like that.

Pallbearer had the biggest crowd of the night which is not surprising as they are a easier on the ear than the other 2 bands. I scooted towards the front with my beer and frantically texted my Aussie friend Nikki as she’s a huge fan and I couldn’t see her. Their setlist was the Sorrow And Extinction album in its entirety and they sounded amazing! Every band I’ve seen as Saint Vitus has had flawless sound and Pallbearer sounded exactly as loud and heavy as they needed so I was stoked. Foreigner was first with gorgeous soaring solos but next was my favourite song Devoid Of Redemption and boy was it heavy!! The faster bit that kicks in at 3.45 on the album version was CRUSHING!! (doom cliche I know but it’s very fitting). I was in headbanging heaven and had a blast. The Legend slowed things back down (check out footage here) but the pace picked up again with the excellent An Offering Of Grief with it’s amazing climax. Given To The Grave closed their set and was pure doom. Their set really highlighted how well written their music is as some doom doesn’t translate too well live but their jammy style of letting the music breath well really works on stage. To put it bluntly Pallbearer were bloody awesome!

Loss had a hard act to follow and the crowd had definitely thinned somewhat. They had an equally heavy sound although a quite different approach to doom. To be honest I was on a bit too much of a high from Pallbearer that I only watched one song and the wandered to a booth in the bar and began my main mistake of the night – drinking rum with fellow Australians! Loss continued playing in the background and despite only having 6 songs on their setlist they seemed to play for hours. Here is a photo of mid boozing session of tons of Aussies and a token American. I counted 12 Australians at the gig which was quite impressive.

While the excessive boozing and tales of drop bears continued we received word that Pallbearer were playing a secret show at the Acheron bar so after a few more drinks we then stumbled out onto the street with several people having the magical address in their phones and somehow caught 3 taxis from different locations on Manhattan Avenue and all arrived about the same time. The band wasn’t ready so we piled into a bar next door (which had a painting of Vladimir Putin on the wall) and the Captain Morgan rum assault continued. By this stage I was getting pretty tipsy (aka drunk) and managed to mostly miss the first Pallbearer song Devoid Of Redemption – d’oh!! Apparently they also played the other 4 songs off Sorrow And Extinction and finished with a quite loose jam version of Gloomy Sunday. I can mostly remember it and I know I had a great time! The poor Pallbearer drummer looked to be pretty knackered by the end.┬áHere’s a shot I stole from Kait and it’s about as blurry as I was at that stage.

After they finished I hung around with a couple of Aussies but lost track of the others but since I’ve sobered up I’ve realised they were probably just in the bar next door that I totally forgot about! I somehow made it back to my hotel in Manhattan although during the trip I managed to both vomit and get a bloody nose. Doing Australia proud!! Thanks to the nice (and no doubt horrified) person on the train who gave me some tissues for my nose. Let’s not mention the hangover that resulted….

All in all an excellent night with some fine bands, good friends, an excellent burrito and way too much rum.

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