Dethklok at the Wiltern, June 6
Sweet blowjobby metal! Dethklok are legend. They are so metal they once played a show in an active volcano. It was so brutal the volcano erupted, slaughtering most of the band's fans. At a show in Finland they used an ancient Norse chant to summon a Godzilla sized, bloodthristy, lake troll to slaughter most of their fans. In fact, most of Dethklok's shows begin or end with the slaughter of several thousand fans.
Dethklok, of course, are the animated metal gods of Cartoon Network's Metalocalypse. The musicians behind the show have taken their act on the road this summer with remarkable success -- the Wiltern was sold out on Friday night. And just like the blood-drenched dethfests you see on television, the real band's shows can be pretty savage. The Filmore almost burned down at Dethklok's previous show in San Francisco. Seriously. And so for their Los Angeles effort I fully expected a few demons to escape hell's fire and slaughter all but the most brutal in attendance. No such luck -- but seeing some dude flailing his package around in a bright-yellow, spandex, Dr. Rockso suit was pretty close.
As far as the actual show, if you're into death metal, I'm sure it was good. The band certainly knows how to play their instruments, with former Zappa guitarist Mike Keneally backing up singer/guitarist, Metalocalypse creator and music school grad Brendon Small. The only song that really caught my attention musically however -- some interested tempo changes and guitar layering -- was the hilarious "Go Forth and Die." Otherwise, most of the songs kind of sounded the same. I wasn't crying when their set ended after only 50 minutes.
Go Forth and Die
The highlight of the show was undoubtedly the Metalocalypse video display, projected on a giant screen behind the band throughout the set. In fact, the band was in the dark for all but the last song, so the entire experience was more audio-visual performance art than actual concert. Seeing Dethklok is kind of like going one of those laser light shows that planetariums sometimes have -- "Laser Floyd" or whatever -- except with crotch eating monsters, topless mermaids and Nordic doggystyle sex.