Down at Marquee Theater, 9/11/11

Categories: Last Night

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Down
Marquee Theatre
Sunday, September 11

You have to feel bad for opening acts. Upon arriving at the Down concert last night, Ponykiller had just ended its set and In Solitude was in full force, playing their hearts out on the stage for a half-full Marquee Theater.

A handful of energetic metalheads bobbed and weaved up front, but other than that the crowd was standing still and somewhat quiet. There was little doubt that the crowd was here because of a fanatical devotion to Down -- or at least singer Phil Anselmo.

As the lights dimmed in preparation for Down to come on, the atmosphere shifted. Fans the band has garnered over the past 20 years of existence packed into the pit.

For the uninitiated, Down is made up of Phil Anselmo (Pantera) on vocals, Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity) on guitar, Kirk Windstein (Crowbar) on guitar, Patrick Bruders (Goatwhore) on bass and Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod, Crowbar, Down, and Superjoint Ritual) on drums, making it an official heavy super-group.

Fans tossed plastic cups almost empty of beer, cheering and chanting "Down! Down! Down!" (which happened several times throughout the bands' set). The second the band walked on stage with Anselmo leading the way, the entire venue erupted in applause. While I know Down is a popular band, I can't help but wonder if most people are attracted to the music because of Phil's affiliation with Pantera. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't one of those people.

Upon surveying the crowd and pumping his tatted arms into the air, Phil honored the troops and fallen soldiers and the fact that it was September 11 in gravelly voice, swigging from a beer. Then he shouted "This one goes out to all the smokers in Arizona! And if you don't smoke...well, you should," before launching into the grueling, shredding opening number, "Hail."

On the opening note, the crowd simultaneously began head-banging and moshing in a large oval pit that lasted for the entire show, and was surprisingly friendly. When it comes to metal show moshpits, you never know what type of people may be taking out their aggression, from shank-holding skinheads at Slayer to punks stomping around at Pepper.

At Down, tall dudes with dreads skulked around in between smaller guys doing roundhouse kicks and a handful of older girls trying to prove they were badass by swinging at anything that went by them. However, anytime a person went down, three others were there to boost them back up.

The set lasted almost an hour and a half, and covered a nice range of Down's hits from their three studio albums. Phil liked to converse with the crowd in between the songs, all the while with the CFH tattoo on his skull glistening with thrown water, beer and sweat, explaining if there was a significance ("The song is for Dimebag!" before "Lifer," which was met with a tidal wave of devil horns and screams); or thanking the crowd ("It's awesome you guys came out on a Saturday night! Let's party! Oh...wait it's Sunday").

The difference in the crowd's aura was like night and day compared to the opening bands, where that usual metal show scent of stale beer and sweat was nowhere to be found. Phil shouted "good night" to the crowd the after "Eyes of South," swigging bottled water and spraying it all over the front couple rows. And to the constant chanting of the crowd, the band came back on stage and closed out with "Stone Crow" and "Bury Me In Smoke."

Down's Setlist:
Hail
The Path
Lifer
Lysergik
Pillars
N.O. Dying
Losing All
Ghosts Along
Underneath
Temptations
Something on My
Eyes of South
Stone Crow
Bury Me In Smoke

Critics Notebook:

Last Night: Down, Ponykiller, and In Solitude at the Marquee Theater.

The Crowd: A mix of heavy metal fans ranging from teens to mid-30s donning black T-shirts, a majority of which displayed Pantera and CFH tattoos and logos.

Overhead in the Crowd: "Look at his legs. They are the size of my arm! Those are the most ridiculous pants I've ever seen," pertaining to the skintight black pants worn by In Solitude's lead singer.

On a creepy note:
Pantera pretty much disbanded after 9/11 because they canceled their European tour due to the situation, and just never got back together. There was more than one time I heard a fan mention that in the crowd.

Personal Bias: It was great to see Phil stomping around the stage in his usual form. But if I was to choose between my favorite band with ex-Pantera members, I would stick with HELLYEAH.

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Location Info

Map

Marquee Theatre

730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

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11 comments
QUA1L
QUA1L

Hellyeah sucks.  Hard.  

Pisces2282
Pisces2282

All I can say is wow.... I hope this isn't your day job....

just sayin'
just sayin'

I didnt even need to see how she butchered the setlist to know that this person has no business reviewing a metal show. I knew that as soon as she said that she preferred Hellyeah. With apologies to Vince, Hellyeah is fucking horrible. A bunch of guys from Peoria, Illinois pretending to be rednecks. And the lamest band name ever. And just so you know, Down put out 2 records before Pantera officialy disbanded.

Cee Jay Theriault
Cee Jay Theriault

Worst written, most pointless article EVER. Lauren Wise, you should be ashamed to have your name on this shit.

Irate little man
Irate little man

Wonderful journalism, plenty of spelling errors to boot. Get your facts straight with song names. This is why heavy metal is journalism is shit right now. Female or not you look like an idiot.

Mark
Mark

ARE YOU F"N KIDDING ME ! YOU'RE NOT A FAN ! " Stone Crow " ? It's " Stone the Crow " Hail the Leaf not Hail .. I bet you cant even name 3 of the 4 members of Pantera AHOLE!

Sindustmark
Sindustmark

Ok wait, i just realized a chick wrote this review. Ok, i take back everything I said. Good job for a chick. At least u like metal somewhat.

Sindustmark
Sindustmark

Why do idiots who arent fans get to write these show reviews? "Hail"? A Pepper refernce in regards to moshing? You prefer Hellyeah? You admit to being more of a Pantera fan? Yea right. Down has been its entity for YEARS and true B.R.O.E.S. are there not because Phil was in Pantera, but because they are LIFERS from the NOLA days. What a POS article written by an obvious not-fan of Down or any of the other bands such as Crowbar and COC. Go read the lyrics to War Nerve by Panter and that will tell u all u need to know in regards to Phil's opinion of the misinformed media

Disbar candy andy
Disbar candy andy

Funny thing is that you don't know the names to any of the songs.  You were obviously given a set list from somebody which was mostly abbreviated.  You then write those abbreviations in your article.  I was unaware that Walmart has a school of journalism.  Oh well.

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