As a headbanger of 25 years it did my heart good to see heavy metal still stirring the blood of young people at the Mudvayne concert Wednesday, November 20 at the House of Blues in Chicago. The small, ecletically decorated classical-style auditorium nicely complimented the young music lovers, mostly dressed in black, though nicely decked out in their own eclectic piercings and tattoos. Like the freaky appearance of their audience, Mudvaynes screaming vocals and in your face lyrics demanded that you stop, look, and listen to what is on the minds of these young adults.
You need to walk your own line, focus inward, and f--- the politicians, preached lead singer Chud McDonald. If youre going to follow anyone, dont follow those faggots. This is just one of his anti-establishment comments made between songs.
Mudvaynes disdain for politics was spelled out in the lyrics of The End of All Things to Come, the bands opening number. As if mimicing their anger over the current world order, their set opened with intensely bright strobing white lights focused right into the audience and underscored by whacks to the double bass drums by drummer Spug Gray. I felt like I was being shot by an automatic weapon, and finally had to look away for fear of having a seizure. My attention, however, had definitely been captured.
It appeared as though Mudvayne were rebelling against beauty and ego as well as the current state of world politics. The predominant red light of their show never offered viewers a clear look at any of the band members. Chud, Spug, bassist R-ud Martinie and lead guitarist Gurgg Tribbet each wore ghoulish makeup with large areas of black around their eyes. If they were going for the part-alien look, they definitely appeared otherworldly.
Because Chud screams rather than sings his lyrics, I couldnt follow all he was saying, but you could pick out the true Mudvayne followers by those who were lip syncing the songs. Despite the unusual time signatures of some of their songs, the quartet sounded tight. Though there was not a lot of dancing, there was an abundance of crowd surfing, and a mosh pit formed and reformed throughout the evening. But not once did I see fans get rude or out of control. Im not sure if this was because of the House of Blues strict alcohol policy, or because of the fans respect for their fellow man.
Security staff composure was impressive at the show as well. Each crowd surfer was allowed to ride to the front of the stage, where they were gently funneled down and to the side by large staff members. Mosh pits were closely monitored by an attentive staff member with a large flashlight, but I saw no one being hauled off against their will or thrown out. It is if they understood what all headbangers know, that moshing and body surfing are displays of our love of the music, not of anger. Or perhaps Mudvaynes call to question authority had gotten to them, too. Are these children of the Woodstock generation finally listening to their parents? Long live rock-n-roll!
Mudvayne Concert Photos