El Club, Detroit, MI – 08/22/2018
10 years have passed since the last live show from Godflesh in Detroit; we were starting to think we may be cursed to never see them set foot onstage again, with previous booked gigs getting canceled at the last minute. But, here we are at the El Club in Detroit for the return of the grindcore/industrial masters, Godflesh. The venue opens at 8:00pm with a patio that opens at 7:00pm; by 8:00pm, the patio is already heavily populated with hungry fans looking to experience the mechanical and physical onslaught and heaviness that only Godflesh can deliver. Local DJ Marc Church kept the crowd entertained, as well as local electronic group Fluxion A/D.
Word gets around that the band has been delayed at the border; Godflesh played in Toronto the night before and was traveling from Canada to the States. With that, we are all wondering if this night will get canceled like the previous shows. Will they get through in time for the show? How late will they be? Will they get here at all?
But back to the club – the event was billed as an “all ages” night, meaning that the proceedings have to end around 11:30pm for the kids under the age of 18 to get home per Detroit city curfew. The crowd is anxious as the opening band goes on a bit late, not knowing that Godflesh had been held up at customs. Finally, there is a good sign! People on the patio see Justin K. Broadrick, G.C. Green, and the crew walk into the venue – at long last, Godflesh is in the building! The band set up onstage, got the video set up on the house projector, did a quick soundcheck by adjusting the amps and effects pedals.
Then… Godflesh takes to the stage!
The room is filled with pounding bass, pummeling drums, heavy and screaming guitar riffs, and vocals ranging from swirling streams that pull you in to deep echoed screams that smack you in the face. The duo of Broadrick and Green started their set off with some selections from their mid ’90s releases like “Mantra,” “Messiah,” and “Merciless,” continuing with a selection of tracks from the newest album, Post Self
; specifically, the album’s first five tracks, from the opening title track to “Be God.” Ending the set was a pair old-school tracks from earlier records like “Spinebender” and “Like Rats.”
Following the main set was an encore of the classic track “Streetcleaner,” and what had to be an above and beyond and a much deserved and appreciative encore for the crowd that stuck around while the band was hung up at customs and experienced the canceled Detroit gigs in the past – a bonus encore of “Christbait Rising.”
Detroit thanks you, Godflesh!
Website (Godflesh), Website (Justin K. Broadrick), Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
Website, Bandcamp, YouTube
Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp
Article/Photography by Phil Conners – courtesy of Phil Conners Imaging