So, off I went last night to the Cathouse for my first trip to see Biohazard, with two questions on my head. The first and most pertinent was whether the band were any good live. The second was whether I could still cut it in a moshpit. It had been a while.
Sadly I didn’t make it along in time to see local boys Psyko Dalek kicking off the night, but I did catch most of the Italian support band, Arrhythmia. They seemed pretty decent with a pretty strong Lamb of God vibe going on. Definitely a band I think worth keeping an eye open for when they’re back in town. In addition to some really good tunes they’ve perfected something I love about metal – the ability to simultaneously sincerely thank a crowd whilst giving them the finger which always adds a touch of class to the proceedings. Quality stuff.
As I was waiting for Biohazard, it dawned on me that despite the many, many times I had been to the Cathouse, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a gig there. I’m pretty sure I would’ve remembered the giant pillar right in front of the stage!
By the time the band came on at around 9:30 the crowd had picked up although sadly you wouldn’t confuse it with being sold out. There was a decent mix between old and new fans as you would expect from a band that formed in 1987. By the time the band tore into second track, a phenomenal ‘Shades of Grey’ from 1992’s Urban Discipline album, the pit was in full flow. I was biding my time.
Lead vocalist Billy Graziadei took a moment between songs to reminisce about the band’s last visit to Glasgow when it appears they had a few bottles thrown their way and Billy was inviting more of the same tonight. In addition he pointed out the band had plenty of space onstage and gave an open invitation for a bit of stage-diving, as long as it was done with respect given to the bouncers, which I thought was a nice touch. However, this did give rise to possibly the worst stage dive I’ve ever seen. The guy got on stage and stayed there for nearly a song looking very lost before virtually crawling his way back into the crowd. Not so punk. Me? I was still biding my time.
As someone who was only a casual observer when it came to Biohazard prior to the gig, I had done a bit of research before arriving. Getting a hold of most recent album Reborn in Defiance I was pleasantly surprised how good it was given it was their first in 7 years and first without erstwhile vocalist and frontman Evan Seinfeld. Tonight the new stuff stood up extremely well, particularly ‘Vengeance is Mine’, alongside older cuts like the outstanding ‘Urban Discipline’.
The energy and interaction between band and crowd was superb throughout, culminating in a powerful version of ‘Punishment’ which saw someone from the crowd being pulled onstage to help out on vocals and he was joined by a few more.
The band finished up by telling us that they would be back in 2014. On this showing, I’ll be back, front and centre. OK, maybe more back and to the right. If the answer to my first question was an unequivocal yes, they are excellent live, then the answer to my second is no; I can’t handle it anymore. Still, it felt worth it at the time.
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