Larry West recently caught Iwresetledabearonce on tour with Otep as they stopped through The Blockley in Philadelphia, PA on June 26, 2010.
Harder and faster. Louder and ruder. Pushing the limits of taste and being more extreme than the next guy have been a recurrent theme in metal since the 80’s. A constant pissing contest amongst Heavy Metal bands to see who was heavier than the next. This sometimes resulted in astonishing achievements like Slayer’s Reign in Blood, but also gave way to interesting bands such as Faith No More who would bend anything and everything while challenging the stereotypical “metal” sound.
Then you have Iwresetledabearonce.
Reaction to this group of avant-garde “metal heads” has been everything from repulsion to aw. Combing grindcore with more genres than you could imagine, they take everything from electro-dance to jazz-prog, to even hillbilly. The band applies a similar song formula that made extreme prog veterans, Dillinger Escape Plan successful. Their new album It’s All Happening, released by Century Media in 2009, made an astonishing debute at 121 on the Billboard Top 200. They’ve even gotten “Mr. Belding” himself, Dennis Haskins to be the principal in the late-80’s/early 90’s “revival” video for “See You In Shell”. They are, in countless ways, a band seemingly built for ridicule, yet able to take enough humor in itself that even insults seem to do nothing more than to build their fame. In short, they really are the band you love to hate.
Opening for alt-metal band Otep, they came on the stage at a local Philly bar filled with both regular boozers and people there for the headliner. A band that seems to rely on light-hearted nostalgia opening for a band that bleeds black ink, and rebelling against a world that seems to hate you – it was a seemingly odd fit. Before the show, I decided to give them a fair shake. Even with such an odd hodgepodge of a sound that is Iwrestledabearonce, I enjoyed what I heard. I was actually excited to see them live.
Krysta Cameron, the lead singer of the band came out wearing a kid’s Furby costume with a plate of food out for herself. It was ravioli. As the show started, she started to eat…and then regurgitate on stage. The grindcore riffs and insane keyboard came pouring out of the speakers and she let out a mighty scream! Out of the small crowd of roughly 50 concert goers, 7 made the mosh pit hell by practicing their karate moves and moshing like crazy! It was like seeing G.G. Allen and Wendy O Williams wrapped up in one package with the ferocity of a car crash.
I’ve been to shows. I’ve been to a TON of shows. I’ve seen people get the crap beaten out of them, singers get pelted with bottles, and I’ve seen Marilyn Manson shock and awe in the flesh. Never, in nearly 10 years of concert going have I seen ANYTHING like this.
Periodically realizing that they were going to have a tough time with the crowd, Iwrestledabearonce went into various covers of metal songs, including Pantera’s “Walk”. This helped to keep a crowd engaged that had all but ignored the last two hipster-metal bands (Stray From the Path and Bury Tomorrow).
Iwrestledabearonce is incredibly talented and complimented by the amazing vocal presence of Krysta. She has an amazing range, which actually drew me into the band the most. Her range varies from a guttural growl that can make you cringe, to an incredible high end of tuneful notes that she can hold for a good 10 seconds.
When it was all said and done in about 30 minutes, the stage was wrecked. There was food and water everywhere. The entire performance space had to cleaned.
Iwrestledabearonce is not about the live shows or the image, it’s all about the music and he music itself stands up. The melodic interlude of “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon”, trump even the toughest efforts from long-time metal bands like Lacuna Coil. In a lot of ways, they’re like a pineapple: Rough and a little scary looking on the outside, but insanely tasty and sweet once you get by the rough exterior.
Iwrestledabearonce will be re-releasing It’s All Happening as a 3-disc set, complete with one disc of re-mixes and a DVD.
For more info go to: www.Iwrestledabearonce.com
Iwrestledabearonce Upcoming Shows:
Iwrestledabearonce supporting Otep:
Jul 8 2010 7:00P The Charleston Oasis w/ Otep Charleston, South Caro, US
Jul 9 2010 6:00P The Pit Jacksonville, FL
Jul 11 2010 6:00P Floyd’s Music Store w/ Otep Tallahassee, Florida , US
Jul 12 2010 6:30P Seville Quarter w/ Otep Pensacola, Florida , US
Jul 13 2010 7:00P Fire Jackson, MS
Jul 14 2010 7:00P The Parish @ House Of Blues w/ Otep New Orleans, Louisiana , US
Jul 15 2010 7:00P New Daisy Theatre w/ Otep Memphis, Tennessee, US
Jul 16 2010 6:00P The Blue Goat w/ Otep Salina, Kansas , US
Iwrestledabearonce on VANS WARPED TOUR
Jul 20 2010 8:00P Merriweather Post Pavillion Columbia, MD
Jul 21 2010 12:00P Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Virginia Beach, Virginia
Jul 22 2010 8:00P Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte, North Caro
Jul 23 2010 12:00P Vinoy Park St. Petersburg, Florida
Jul 24 2010 12:00P Cruzan Amphitheatre Miami, Florida
Jul 25 2010 12:00P Firestone Amphitheatre Orlando, Florida
Jul 26 2010 12:00P Lakewood Amphitheatre Atlanta, Georgia
Jul 28 2010 12:00P Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, Ohio
Jul 29 2010 12:00P Marcus Amphiteatre Milwaukee, WI
Jul 30 2010 12:00P Comerica Park Detroit, Michigan
Jul 31 2010 12:00P First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Tinley Park, Illinois
Aug 1 2010 12:00P Canterbury Park Shakopee, MN
Aug 2 2010 12:00P Sandstone Amphitheatre Bonner Springs, KS
Aug 5 2010 12:00P Northlands Grounds Edmonton, Alberta ,CA
Aug 7 2010 12:00P Utah State Fairgrounds Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 8 2010 12:00P Invesco Field Denver, CO
Aug 10 2010 12:00P Cricket Amphitheatre San Diego, Ca
Aug 11 2010 12:00P Pomona Fairplex Pomona, Ca
Aug 12 2010 12:00P Sleep Train Amphiteatre Wheatland, Ca
Aug 13 2010 12:00P Idaho Centre Amphitheatre Nampa, Idaho
Aug 14 2010 12:00P Gorge Amphiteater George, Washington
Aug 15 2010 12:00P Washington County Fairgrounds Hillsboro, Oregon