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NEWSTED And WILSON Put On The Most Energetic Show I Have Ever Seen

Shows are supposed to be fun. Shows are supposed to be the crowd getting into the music and the performers having an absolute ball with it. When I saw Newsted and openers Wilson, the crowd-to-band-fun ratio got a little lopsided in favor of the bands. These two bands weren't just having fun. They were fucking ecstatic to be on that stage.

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So let's look at the bands in the order they performed, shall we?

Wilson are party fucking rock, plain and simple. If you're looking for a super heavy version of AC/DC that's going to thrash the living hell right out of you with a live show, then Wilson are your band. Wilson got up on the stage that night and let you know that you were in Wilson's house now, and for the next period of time, they were going to have a blast whether you were along for the ride or not. Right from the get go, the band launched into a brief intro tune that started just as soon as it stopped with the full force of the band. Everyone was paying attention now. For the rest of their set, the band never once stopped moving and trying to engage the crowd through any means necessary, including guitarist Kyle Landry climbing up into the ceiling and hanging from the rafters upside down while playing the rest of whatever song they were playing at the time. Not to be outdone, vocalist Chad Nicefield head-banged the entire set, jumped on things, stood on the crowd's barrier, and even grabbed a giant bass drum with the word "fuckery" taped on the outside to play while running around like a madman in the crowd. Antics aside, the performance was flawless and all their gear sounded amazing. There's really nothing more to say on that topic; Wilson put on a goddamn flawless show. To summarize, there's absolutely no reason you should miss Wilson if they're in your area. Unless you hate having the most fun at a live show and despise great, energetic music being performed to a tee. Then don't.

Now it was headliner Newsted's time to shine, and shine they did. The band, who includes surprisingly shred-tastic shredder Mike Mushok of Staind now, came out and warmed up to what can only be described as a Black Sabbath jam titled "AMP" just to get the juices flowing. Jason addressed the crowd, and away they went into the realm of having a great time. A lot of the material Newsted did was new, which makes sense given his Metal EP is only four songs and the one release he has out now, but killed it nonetheless. One of the standout moments amidst the new material was a sludgy-as-fuck song called "Nocturnus." It was everything I love about drone giants Sunn O))) in terms of that growling sustain and slow-paced crushing detail on the drums, but brought in a lot of bluesy heavy metal riffs with a tinge of doom on them. Newsted can write modern heavy jams along with classic thrash; who knew? The band also covered Metallica's "Whiplash" and closed with Motorhead's "(We are) The Road Crew," which was a good move to rein the crowd back in from not knowing some material and on a basic level, just having a good time with some classics. As spectacular as the performance was, I couldn't help but notice Jason smiling the entire time through, thanking the crowd constantly for being there and supporting him and his band, and seemingly like he was genuinely doing what he loved up there. This wasn't about attendance or sales. This was about passion for the music. Between songs Jason would look like he didn't even know what to do with himself out of pure excitement, and that's what got me most of all; seeing that passion.

If you're having a good time on the stage, you've got the crowd. If you're having a great time, you've got fans for life. I'm the latter now.

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The Prodigy, Meshuggah, Bring Me The Horizon, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage are also on the bill.