Mudvayne @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (12/16/2008)

Logo - Mudvayne

Artist: Mudvayne
Venue: The Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: 10 Years, Snot
Date: 12/16/2008
Label: Epic Records

Having seen them a number of times over the past couple of years, I had to say that with the show that Mudvayne puts on for their fans that they are worth checking out when they come to your town. Tonight’s fun would probably be my last Metal show of the year by the looks of it and it was the perfect closer to what amounted to be an incredible list of shows. December was quieter than some of the other months this year and I found it to be a bit of a reprieve in some sense. Last week we found In Flames visiting and that was fun and just this past weekend was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra who served up the Holiday heaviness in perfect order. Tonight’s Metal menu would not only feature Mudvayne, but also 10 Years and Snot. The fun would take place at The Fillmore NY and after some excellent pre-game hanging at the nearby Watering Hole, I would find myself with friends at a sold out venue. Here is how the story went for those of you who did not take part in it.

Snot: They have long been an underground cult favorite of many and I had to say that I was not too up on them outside of knowing that the death of their lead singer Lynn Strait found the band breaking up and adventuring into other territory. Guitarist Sony Mayo eventually joined Sevendust for awhile and on that bands returning guitar slinger would return to the Snot fold and bringing along Tommy “Vext” Cummings as their new singer. They hit the stage with a headlining sense of energy that was very commendable. The crowd was into them from the moment they began which was not something one normally sees for an opening act. Vext was all over the stage and jumping onto the speakers that were left on the front of stage for the Mudvayne set and this put him right into everyone’s face. While I couldn’t say that I knew the bands material I had to say that he seemed to be holding up well with delivering each tune. Mayo was playing like a man possessed and I did enjoy what he did for Sevendust during his tenure. He must have been super charged to find this kind of response for the return of the band that is held so close to his heart. I am sure that writing will commence on new material after this tour based on the true acceptance of how they were doing things tonight. I had to say that I liked Vext in this role much more than what he had done with Divine Heresy, a tenure that was precarious at best. Nice work guys. 10 Years was coming up next and them I had seen in the past so was interested in doing so again.

10 Years: I had only caught 10 Years in concert once before this particular show and oddly enough it was at another gig that Mudvayne was appearing on. That show was headlined by Korn and since they were the first band up the show was very short for them. Singer Jesse Hasek intrigued me that evening as he was all made up in face paint and had these really long dreads and the manner in which he was singing was rather hypnotizing. Tonight he was no longer using that look but the band was certainly a lot tighter than I remembered them being that night. The larger core makeup of their set list came from the bands latest release “Division” and while this was a release I did not yet own, I had to say that it all sounded great in the live sense. This is definitely an album that I will look into getting a copy of soon and I recommend that you do the same. They handled the stage well and were also getting a nice reception to their sound which was rather different from the opening band Snot and of course would be different from the upcoming Mudvayne. The guitar work was sound this evening and while I am not sure which one is which, it seemed that Ryan was the most animated of the pair. I see a headlining appearance in the bands future as the material is strong enough to command the main stage on their own. Thanks for keeping the momentum building 10 Years, you sure didn’t slow things down tonight and now let’s clear the path for the one and only Mudvayne.

Mudvayne: When I last caught Mudvayne I believe that they were performing alongside Sevendust and I was impressed at how well the two bands worked together at what they did. The album of support of the time was “Lost And Found” which I liked a lot but their newest release on the fans would be “The New Game” which was also preceded by an interesting release called “By The People For The People” which was a bit of a compilation that also found some new numbers being introduced to the fans. The band would hit the stage like a hurricane and I expected this and lead singer Chad Grey came out wearing a full orange gorilla body suit and sporting a blood-soaked face and orange Mohawk. Based on the overall energy he was putting out there to the crowd I don’t know how he didn’t fall onto the stage floor as that suit had to be hot under all those lights in the already steaming venue. The crowd was on their feet and propelling themselves into the arms of the waiting security folks while guitarist Tribbett often stood motionless in top hat and goggles as bassist Ryan Martine delivered acrobatic bass patterns. Sadly you could hardly see drummer Matthew McDonough behind his kit based on the way it was set up and how much higher on the stage it was. He is an exciting and grooving drummer that seems to be using the drums as a lead instrument as much as his bands guitarists are using theirs.

Grey kept the gorilla suit on for a decent amount of time for the early part of the show and it was commendable to say the least. They opened up with one of my favorites from the repertoire “Not Falling” and for every second of the show all you could see were approving fans and media folks alike. I also enjoyed tunes like “Negative 1” and “Happy” and while I would not realize this until after the show found it interesting that the band didn’t play one tune from the newest album and instead focused it on the ones that preceded it. That was a first for me so I assume when they return that we shall find a very strong core of “The New Game” being delivered. There was nothing less than incredible energy during this set and I could safely say that Mudvayne were probably playing at the best that I had ever seen them. I left this show drained myself and I was not doing any of the most pit stuff or slamming, it was strict head banging and running around to capture the best moments that I could for the visual side. One can only hope that some of this was recorded on video for eventual release.

That being said, there were some people left out in the cold because they didn’t think that the show would sell out so quickly. I have to say that with a venue like this holding only about 1200 people, if you are remotely curious about what goes down with this band on the stage then you should get your tickets well in advance to ensure that you can at least check it out once. I would say that this was a great way to close out my musical year of adventuring but when I realized that Trashlight Visions former guitarist and singer Acey Slade would be debuting his new thing in a couple of days I knew I would have one more show to do before the holiday rest settled in. Happy 2009 in advance.

10 Years Set List:
1. Russian Roulette
2. Eleven A.M.
3. All Your Lies
4. Paralyzing Kings
5. Beautiful
6. Drug Of Choice
7. Actions And Motives
8. So Long Goodbye
9. Wasteland

Mudvayne Set list:
1. Not Falling
2. Silenced
3. Negative One
4. Death Blooms
6. Fall Into Sleep
7. Cradle
8. World So Cold
9. Nothing To Gein
10. Prod
11. Happy
12. Dig

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