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Cattle Decapiation and The Locust Bring the Pain

The Locust and Cattle Decapitation played hard for the wretched crowd at the Grog Shop in Cleveland on April 9, and I was there for the blood.  PHOTOGRAPH BY SHAWNA CHANNELL

The show was good.  The Locust’s material from their newest (New Erections) was well-received by the crowd at Grog Shop, an assorted bunch from geeky-looking cats in glasses to hairy punks wearing shirts that read, “Jesus is a cunt.”  Yeah…

Backwards as life is sometimes, the opening act stole the show.  Whoever decided to have Cattle Decapitation start things off was going against the grind, which wasn’t a bad thing by any means, just not something I’m really used to.  Putting on a monstrous show, Travis Ryan and Co. tore that place up right from the start, roaring and screaming against Josh Elmore’s riffs, his schizophrenic tempo keeping pace with Michael Laughlin’s drums, all along the flow of Troy Oftedal’s bass. 

What does Travis think about playing in Cleveland?  “Look man, I'm just glad we're away from that Brooklyn show.  Felt like we were on display for a bunch of art critics at a fucking coffeehouse.  We can appreciate that sort of thing, but our music in that environment is stupid.”

Indeed, the overall wretchedness Clevelanders have in their veins spurts in full glory for a show like this.  Blood and mayhem; the streets of Cleveland Heights spilled with punks’ blood that night, and all slept well.

Daughters followed Cattle Decapitation, and the crowd loved them.  I couldn’t let go of how much they sounded like a slightly more hyper version of Danzig, but maybe I was just a shade eager to finally see The Locust live.  The audience, on the other hand, just got rowdier and rowdier, the way a rock show is supposed to go down.

The pit got furious straight away when Cattle Decapitation was on stage, and they kept it up through the Daughters’ set, exploding when The Locust came on.  I took down three people myself, not to mention got knocked out cold by some wild brother’s elbow.  One chick thought it was Mardi Gras, and tried to “crowd surf,” only to get dropped like a missile smack on her head.

When The Locust came on stage, bones started breaking.  Some tall, shit-talking cat next to me got three teeth knocked out, his blood splattering on his girlfriend’s Hot Topic t-shirt.  Oh my goth!  She screamed in horror, as her tuffguy boyfriend bawled his eyes out.  “Don't come thinking you can ‘dance,’” Ryan says later on when I ask him for advice to give to folks coming to their shows.  “We have absolutely nothing to floor punch to.”

Then Gabe Serbian, drummer for The Locust, grabbed a copy of Kotori, and started eating it.  The bug eats the owl!  Oh, sweet irony!

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