May 2017 01

Diesel, Pittsburgh, PA – 03/21/2017
DOPE/Combichrist - Blood Lust Death Tour 2017


T’was a mild, spring-like Tuesday evening on Pittsburgh’s South Side at Club Diesel, and a line snaked down the block outside waiting for the doors open. Even for a school night, there was a great turnout and the club was pretty packed. A nice mix of people was in attendance – some older rock & roll vets and some energetic young bloods mingled on the dance floor.


Davey Suicide took the stage first. Having formed in 2010 and hailing from Hollywood, the vibrant rockers have toured extensively over the last seven years and just released the third full-length album Made from Fire. Davey Suicide had a rough couple of years with the band’s former record label, going public with the band’s struggles in a video that went viral and garnered a lot of support from fans, musicians, and many others who happened upon it. The group finally got its day in court and was able to regain control of the music, videos, and recouped some of the outstanding funds the group was rightfully owed. Having been finally freed of the last several uncertain years of battle and strife, one could feel the renewed sense of energy and perseverance pouring out into the performance.
The band rocked its heart out and really succeeded in rallying the crowd and pumping up the energy in the room. Theatrics played a role in the performance with Davey donning his ringmaster coat for “Too Many Freaks,” later emerging in a hooded robe with twisted horns for the next song. Davey is already tall, but when standing on a small platform onstage, he presided over the audience and no one could take their eyes off him. Band mates Niko Gemini and Derek Obscura were also enjoyable to watch as they interacted with one another and swapped sides of the stage on and off. Gemini hopped onto Davey’s riser a few times to stun the crowd with his wicked guitar solos, and this guy can really wail! Drayven Davidson was absolutely killer on drums. The band closed on the 2013 hit “Generation Fuck Star,” which proved a fan favorite and was well received by the audience, many of which were getting to see Davey Suicide for the first time.


Next up was September Mourning, and for those not yet familiar, Emily Lazar – a.k.a. September – created the band as part of a transmedia project that tells the story of a human/reaper hybrid with the power to give good human souls a second chance, but in the process, disrupts Fate’s plans. The music is only one of the vehicles used to convey the tales of September; she also partnered with legendary comic book artist Marc Silvestri of Top Cow Productions to release the story in comic book form.

September’s costume and intricate makeup are visually stunning, with the rest of the band members portraying the other reapers integral to the story, dressing the part as well with spike-studded hooded robes and the drummer donning a creepy skull mask. September Mourning is pure hard rock with a pleasant pop edge. The “Soul Collection” of togetherness began, and fans were wowed with “Eye of the Storm,” an absolutely fuzzed out rock tune layered with September’s ethereal vocals. September and the reapers act out some of the stories told in the songs – theatrics, movement, posture, and props bringing drama and intrigue to the set. Fans swayed and danced to the pop anthem, “Skin and Bones,” a cool and slightly spooky cover of “Stand by Me,” and the extremely beautiful “Children of Fate.” To close the set, the crowd helped to sing along to the chorus of September Mourning’s latest track, “20 Below.” It was difficult not to be entranced by September as she stood upon the platform onstage, singing her heart out, telling her story, and whisking you away to get lost in September’s land of Mortem.


With the crowd sufficiently pumped up by Davey Suicide and September Mourning, the place felt alive and electrified – the Tuesday night jolt needed to prepare for the headliners, Dope and Combichrist. Throughout the tour, Dope and Combichrist alternated being the closer from night to night; this night, Dope took the stage next as the excited crowd pushed toward the stage as the band came on. Three large video screens provided a fun twist and illuminated the stage, the videos featuring key lyrics to the songs, interesting visual light displays, and iconic movie clips in between songs. The most memorable clip was Samuel L. Jackson’s famous Ezekiel 25:17 speech from Pulp Fiction, which gave the crowd a chance to catch its breath between songs. Edsel Dope also took a few moments to share anecdotes with the audience; in particular, he mentioned that they would always catch hell from fans if they didn’t play their famous version of N.W.A.’s “Fuck tha Police.” The crowd cheered in anticipation, and Dope did not disappoint as the group performed the song with fervor. Other highlights of the performance included a rowdy cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” and the unbelievably catchy classic, “Die, Motherfucker, Die.” Dope was extremely engaging and sounded fantastic, rocking out older hits and new favorites from the latest album, Blood Money Part 1. Dope celebrates its 20th year as a band in 2017 and it’s quite evident they still love it and are truly in it for the music and the fans.


Last, but definitely not least, Combichrist took the stage to close out the incredible evening with a bang. Singer Andy LePlegua seemed in a playful mood; his stage presence is always high energy as he jumps up and down to the beat, moves all around the stage, and does so with a sly smile on his face, all between his signature screams of course. A few times, he crooned the lyrics a la Sinatra and playfully bantered back and forth with audience members. There are always antics afoot with Combichrist; the drummers engaged in a game of trading their drumsticks with each other by throwing them mid-air, mid-song, from one side of the stage to the other without missing a beat. Guitarist Eric13 and bassist Brent Ashley are slightly less unhinged, but keep the strong momentum going with their amazing string skills and spookily sexy, stoic demeanors. Combichrist played some older classics from the more synth heavy days like, “Get Your Body Beat,” loads of fan favorites such as “Throat Full of Glass,” “What the Fuck is Wrong with You?,” and “Maggots at the Party,” and new hits off the latest album, This is Where Death Begins, like the hypnotic “Exit Eternity” and the anthemic “My Life, My Rules.” The group absolutely succeeded in closing out the evening on a high note. Fans ate up the energy as a pit started on the floor, and everyone was banging their heads.


Truly, every band featured at the show gave 110%. Everyone sounded spot on, was energetic, visually interesting, and engaging with the audience. One thing that made the experience even better was just how incredibly genuine each band was as they took the time to thank and interact with fans, sign merch, and snap photos after their respective sets. The Blood, Lust, Death Tour was not to be missed – each band is unique in their style and sound with something to offer everyone.


Article by Sarah Heiber (SHeiber)


Photography by Heather Donovan


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September Mourning
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September Mourning


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