After no longer being on a bus full of shitty cramped people for several days, I finally got to my hotel room. That joy was shortly lived when I had to actually get up and drag myself down the block to check in for press near The Aztec Theater. Which wasn’t that bad, since it was beautiful out! On the first day ofPhil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Festival III, some people were bright-eyed and ready for a good weekend or even just the night of metal, others were jet-lagged, cranky and wanting to just get started. Everything about the fest was localized to less than a 2 block radius of busses, tourists and locals. Aside from how awesome the venue looked on the inside, a Whataburger was right down the street. More on that later.
Doors opened 5 pm and fans filtered in and begin posting up and getting beers for the evening that they cannot wait to unfold. Promptly at 5:30 Child Bite come to the stage and after a quick sound check they are primed and ready to strike the opening chord on this weekends festivities! A mix of early hardcore and surf rock, vocalist Shawn Knight let loose with a furious howl. War Beast followed, then Exodus and soon after the EYEHATEGOD pure wall of volume and feedback, and there amidst the whirl wind of it all stood an un-phased Mike IX Williams. Williams seemed very irritated that the sound guy didn’t know how to handle mixing him and the band. Jimmy Bower had a mid-set cigarette.
Now we begin the headlining section of the evening, the home stretch, everything leading up top the one on the bill, the one and only King Diamond. Sadly, I am going to take a second to divert the readers attention from what seems to be a super mega-fun awesome festival to talk to you about what happened outside of our little bubble around the same time as our show; just over the pond. At another rock show in Paris, France people were attacked and killed while trying to enjoy The Eagles Of Death Metal concert. Reports slowly came in via social media and to be quite honest I’m sure it left a lot of us wondering what’s next? More so, who was next; afraid it even could be us gathered en mass like we were. When Superjoint hit the stage in San Antonio our great leader Philip Anselmo came to us not only as the singer of a band, but as our friend and equal to say “They will not take this from us, they can not stop us from having our fun. That is what they want. We are family we are here to rock and have fun. This next song is called ‘Fuck Your Enemy’!
King Diamond kicked off his headline set with ‘Welcome Home’ and the sing-a-longs had begun. A slew of strobe lights, falsetto singing, and screaming fans filled the air at the start of this two-hour set. Classic songs and Merciful Fate covers led up to the 40 minutes we had all been waiting for, Abigail! From ‘Arrival’ to ‘The Black Horsemen’, every song sounded as crisp a the first time they were played live back in the day. It was a great end to the first night of the festival.
WORDS BY ANDREW FRANCIS
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