Dec 2012 29

Atlanta, GA, The Shelter, 10/23/2012


May the dedication and united nature of the Atlanta scene never be questioned! The day of Assemblage 23 and Espermachine’s Atlanta tour stop began with catastrophe – the bands’ tour van (nicknamed Sexual Chocolate) suffered a massive breakdown in South Georgia, roughly four hours away from the venue and with no replacement van available for another day. Logically, that should have marked the end of the day and the cancellation of the Atlanta show, but logic has no place when it comes to the will and want of the Atlanta scene. Nathaniel and Bobby (promoters and DJs of Atlanta’s top electronic/goth/industrial club The Shelter) sprung into action, obtaining a rented van and an SUV and embarking on a several hour adventure to save the bands. Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, the fans were spreading the news and preparing themselves to rock the venue like it had never been before to show the bands that this city was worth the stop no matter what stumbling blocks appeared.


The doors opened and, after some well deserved delay, the promoters and the bands arrived on the scene, setting up promptly. In the interest of saving time, Espermachine elected to sit Atlanta out, giving Assemblage 23 the night to itself. The band checked live and fell right into the night, performing a mix of classic and new songs, from “Drive” to “Spark,” “The Last Mistake” to “Let Me be Your Armor,” remixes of “Document” and “Naked,” and many more. The crowd was on its feet, dancing and cheering the whole night through, much to the joy of the band – after a day like theirs, this was just the reaction they needed. The band gave it their all in spite of their day, with Tom Shear serenading the audience and live drummer Mike Jenney giving what may have been one of the most energetic and gleeful performances this writer has ever seen in this genre to date. This is probably for good reason, though, as Atlanta marked Jenney’s last tour with the band; Jenney will soon become a father, and wanted to be there for the birth of his child with his wife.


Assemblage 23 thanked the crowd for their unyielding support with multiple encores, with Shear telling the crowd, “Most people walk off the stage and make you scream for them to come back, but I’m just going to stay up here and keep playing music if that’s okay with you.” The band closed out with “The Cruelest Year,” thanked the audience for their dedication, and moved into the crowd for photos, autographs, and conversation.


The next day, the bands obtained their new van (christened Vanuel L. Jackson) and moved on to the next city. Shelter promoter Nathaniel returned the rented van to the dealer, who remembered him as “the guy who was trying to save the band.” When Nathaniel told him that it had worked, the dealer screamed a loud “ROCK ‘N ROLL!!!” Even Georgians not in the Atlanta scene were rooting for everyone, and it was a rousing success.

Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)


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