“It’s time to legalize marijuana for all purposes in Oregon. You’re sandwiched between two fuckin’ states that fuckin’ want to do that, so let’s fuckin’ be the first ones to start doing it right. Seriously. Because if you’re going to fine me $1,600 for smoking fuckin’ weed in front of people that want to smoke weed, something’s wrong.” Chris Barnes, Six Feet Under – Hawthorne Theatre – 07-20-13
When the Hell In July Tour was announced featuring Heavy Hitters Six Feet Under with direct support from Decrepit Birth and Cannabis Corpse, we knew this would be one hell of a stoney night for Metal! Usually when thinking of Six Feet Under, 420 is a number that might come to mind, but not on this night of Death and Destruction as our new number is 1600 (we’ll explain later). Coming off two successful recent releases 2012’s Undead and 2013’s Unborn obviously feeding off one another, you would expect to get a taste of fresh rolled tunage and get a new high, but this tour was about the classics and it still tasted great.
After missing a few earlier bands like Portland’s up and coming Nemesis and Florida’s Daley Plaza (which includes Chris Barnes’ nephew), weed cult rippers Cannabis Corpse from Virgina hit the stage and was just what the Dr. ordered, yep, that Doctor. Zipping out tunes like “Lunatic of Pot’s Creation”, “Gateways to Inhalation” and “Where the Kind Live”, Cannabis Corpse energized and inhaled the crowd with every hit. Taking weed Metal to new Highs, Cannabis Corpse also brought along the famous “Weed Monster” for added chaos and excitement to a already great opening set.
Next up was Santa Cruz’s own Decrepit Birth, a five piece electric, deathly toking machine! I wasn’t familiar with Decrepit Birth, but from the opening statement by lead singer Bill Robinson “Where’s the ganja at?” I knew we would get along just fine! Of course the Portland audience is always prepared for these situations, a fellow handed Bill a couple of joints and the electricity began. Obviously credentialed to play with any band torching the opening tune, Bill’s good mood would get sour real quick going into a rant about how the Hawthorne Theatre prohibited a beautiful opening Death Metal safety meeting on stage. Being a professional band playing professional music, Decrepit Birth sucked it up and blew through a crushing set including a classic Death tune “Chrystal Mountain” joined by the crowd. This was a perfect setup for the night’s headliners, Florida’s Death Groove Masters, Six Feet Under!
To most in the Death Metal world, Metal Blade Record’s Six Feet Under needs no introduction as they have a catalog that stands completely on its own in many ways. Chris Barnes, silently walking to the stage, flashing his infectious and sinister grin to an unsuspecting room, guitarist Steve Swanson, bassist Jeff Hughell, and brand new drummer Marco Pitruzzella took control and busted straight into “Silent Violence” and “Revenge” and it was on. Before we could even get to the next tune “No Warning Shot” Barnes informed us, the Hawthorne Theatre venue threatened the band with a $1600 fine for smoking on stage and this did not sit too well with the crowd or Six feet Under at all! Barnes, being a passionate and educated Freedom Fighter, preceded to ignite the crowd with a war cry for legalization in the state of Oregon. Luckily for us this is not the first or last time Chris has spoken on the subject. (See above for quote and audio).
Of course you guys think Barnes fired up a Bong on stage and stuck it to them but you would be wrong because being smart and carrying the Metal sword is more important. Obviously getting a extra hit from the $1600 threat, the band rolled right through fan favorite classics like “Victim Of the Paranoid”, “Human Target”, and “DeathKlat” which the crowd loved and embraced as their own. By now, Six Feet Under was at full force closing out with “Day the Dead Walked”, “Seed of Filth”, and Barnes’ previous band’s classic “Hammer Smashed Face”.
Together Chris Barnes and Steve Swanson have basically become a machine, adding new 7-string bassist Jeff Hughell, and newer drummer Marco Pitruzzella makes the machine, oiled. A major noticeable difference was Ola England, guitarist who was not present and Swanson took his Riffs to another level as being the sole guitarist is nothing new for him. Hugell played a seven string bass to perfection even breaking a string in full kill and not skipping a beat! Pitruzzella, the new guy on drums who played with Hugell in their previous band Brain Drill, seems to be a little more technical in his approach to the tunes than previous drummers. Of course Pitruzzella can play and if Barnes is good with him, he should be good with all you Six feet Under fans, as well.
Time will tell us what Six feet Under has in store for the future, but I have a feeling they are setting us up for an amazing follow-up to the previous heavy releases “Undead” and “Unborn”. Let’s just be hopeful it’s not 1600 days before we get Six Feet Under back to the NW area. The first run of the Hell In July tour is basically over and they will be hitting the east coast in the fall. On behalf of Portland I’d like to apologize to Six Feet Under and all the bands for the painful $1600 threat! See you all next time guys and save a space for me on the bus please, joints on me! Cheersz!
Special thanks to Earsplit PR!
Check out a previous episode from April 2nd 2013 featuring a exclusive interview with Chris Barnes