Date: October 13th, 2019
Opening Bands: Sick Of It All, Take Offense
Virginia Thrashers Municipal Waste brought their tour with U.K. Grindcore legends Napalm Death and New York Hardcore legends Sick Of It All to the 15th annual Rock and Shock convention to Worcester Mass’ Palladium. The festival is a combination of a Horror movie convention. It’s down the street at the DCU Center, but up the street at the Palladium. It’s business as usual for them hosting the musical aspect of the fest, which in the past has combined tours and even featured huge headliners like Gwar, Danzig as well a host of others. It was an early show with only 4 bands on the main stage, and while there was local bands playing upstairs, I didn’t catch any of those sets as they conflicted with the main stage.
First band up was So Cal’s Take Offense. They played a style of west coast hardcore with a bit of a thrashy bounce ala Suicidal Tendencies. They had really good energy and I wouldn’t mind seeing them again. Next up were NYHC legends Sick Of It All, playing a set jam packed with cool tunes from throughout their 30+ year legacy. It’s got to be hard to narrow down a setlist when you have over a dozen releases out there to pick from. Again, if you’ve never seen Sick Of It All, it’s pretty amazing that after 30 years of being a band they have the same, if not more energy and enthusiasm than when they first started. Craig Ahead, Armand, Lou and Pete Koller crushed through a set including songs from the current album Wake The Sleeping Dragon! with “The Crazy Whiteboy Shit” and “Self important Shithead” as well as some classics like “Scratch The Surface,” “Step Down,” “My Life” and more. At one point in the set Lou begins to tell this story about one of the first times they played the Boston area and how violent the pit was and how people threw garbage cans into the pit, but we’ll get into that a bit later. I can’t stress this enough, put Sick Of It All on your live show bucket list, they are a must see act regardless of your musical tastes.
Up next was a first time for me, U.K.’s Napalm Death. Knowing they’re very steep in punk ideals with their anti-establishment and very pro-equality/human rights I felt the timing of this fit right in for me. It should be noted that while Shane Embury wasn’t at this tour, however they sounded tight as ever, especially considering the other elephant in the room. Barney Greenway, the vocalist for the band walked out on crutches, apparently recently rolled his ankle, but more importantly STILL PLAYED THE SHOW. Even with the energy Barney suffered through and still had great energy behind his vocals and I certainly don’t feel cheated as again, the band still was as potent and extreme as ever. They crushed thru a steep set of 15+ songs including “Scum,” “You Suffer,” When All Is Said and Done,” “The Silence is Deafening” including a cover of Dead Kennedy’s classic “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” Definitely want to check them out again.
Municipal Waste took the stage bringing their fun spirited thrash metal with a cool set up of full stacks complete with cabinets lit up with the green Waste logo. They took command early with “Unleash the Bastards” cutting into other tunes like “You’re Cut Off,” “Thrashin’ of the Christ,” “Beer Pressure” and “Thrashings’s My Business…And Business Is Good.” The energy was great and fun as they ripped into one of the songs from the new EP “Wave Of Death” as they summoned crowd surfers to their new anthem. Busting out my personal favorite “Headbanger Face Rip” and somewhere around “Slime and Punishment” vocalist Tony Foresta throws a trash can into the crowd from the stage, more than likely because of Lou Koller’s earlier story. The fun continued with other crowd favorites like “Sadistic Magician,” “Breathe Grease,” “Substitute Creature” and more before throwing the trash can into the pit again. Honestly one of the most fun bands I’ve seen, never had a bad time at one of their shows.
The show overall was really fun and cool. I know it sounds like a stretch for Metal bands, especially considering the lyrical content of Napalm Death, but everything had a good positive vibe and felt very accepting considering it was a pretty eclectic bill. Also minor observance, I think this might be the first concert I’ve been to all year where they guitars weren’t tuned lower the “D.” Either way this was a fun tour package and if you have a chance to see this tour or any of the bands on their own, I’d strongly suggest it.