Scum of the Earth tour infests the Trocadero

scum.jpgThe Scum of the Earth tour finally made its way into Philly on Sunday, and I jumped at the chance to see one of my favorite bands, Soilwork, play. I had already seen Through the Eyes of the Dead in the past and knew they could put on a good show, and I was looking forward to Throwdown’s simple yet heavy sound taking the place by storm. Excited, I walked into the Trocadero only to find the venue a little less packed than I had hoped, with hardly any of the floor area filled. On top of that, it looked like Through the Eyes of the Dead was not going to play after all, as there was no merchandise of theirs among the other bands’ products.

My suspicions about Through the Eyes of the Dead were confirmed once local and unannounced group Dawn of Correction took the stage. The vocalist said they were called at the last minute to replace a band that could not make it and thanked the crowd for supporting metal and coming out on a Sunday night. The local band played five songs and was much better than I had thought they would be. The vocalist had a strong presence and the band raised the bar higher than expected for the acts to follow.

Up next was Delaware-based group World Lost, who sadly did not put on the same quality show as the band before them. The vocalist did not have as much charisma as Dawn of Correction’s and the band’s lyrical content sounded consistently cheesy. They overstayed their welcome with seven songs and their breakdowns started to bring out my least favorite type of concert-goers: the slam dancers.

Punching the air, jump-kicking, doing back flips and just overall flailing their limbs around, the slam dancers grew in number as War of Ages took the stage. This Christian metalcore band from Erie, Pennsylvania brought a heavier sound than the bands before them. They played seven brutal songs and entertained the crowd with their riffs and breakdowns and also gave the slam dancers a lot more material to make fools out of themselves to. This was the first time I had listened to War of Ages and I was pleasantly surprised, I just wish the crowd had saved its karate for the dojo and let the band be the entertainers.

At last, it was time for Soilwork! These melodic death metal masters dominated the bands before them and played material off of their last five albums. By this time, the entire floor area was filled with people and the concert had more of an exciting vibe to it. The pit opened up and there was much moshing, providing for a more fun-filled experience than the other bands did. Opening with “Sworn to a Great Divide” and ending with “Nerve” (the band’s best live song), Soilwork played for a good 45 minutes. All the instruments were solid and the vocals were just as consistent as they are on the albums, making them unsurprisingly the best band of the night.

Throwdown was last to take the stage and was welcomed by many fans chanting the band’s name. Though never complex, Throwdown’s music made a great transition live and they were easily the most intense band of the night. Vocalist Dave Peters was downright horrifying and I felt that if I didn’t mosh like he demanded everyone to do I was going to get punched in the face (this is positive thing; most vocalists do not have that kind of presence). The rest of the band was good as well, but it must be hard to not play solid with songs as linear as the ones they performed. So while being in the crowd was fun, it was extremely difficult not feel somewhat bored with Throwdown’s song structure, despite their intensely-fueled live act.

Overall, the night was a blast, with Soilwork stealing the show and Throwdown coming in a close second. World Lost and War of Ages brought some unwelcome fans, but their music was, for the most part, exciting. I wish Through the Eyes of the Dead had played, but local band Dawn of Correction did a great job of opening. With such a powerful show I can only look forward to attending more at the Trocadero sometime soon.