The day was a Saturday. Fantastic! No work tomorrow. The place? Trees Dallas, one of my very favorite venues in Big D. Generally, really good lighting. Ahem…until they hired someone to work the freaking fog machine overtime. Don’t get me wrong, I like “a little” fog on stage, but shooting for the “rolling into London style” fog all damned night? Let’s leave that in England shall we? As a photographer, it’s a nightmare to deal with.
One of my very favorite bands from Sweden, ENFORCER was co-headlining a tour with WARBRINGER. Locally they snactched up DREAMKEEPER and THE BLACK MORIAH. Power metal group DREAMKEEPER opened the night inside the foggy Trees forest. These guys are headed up by multi-talented Taylor Dennis, who is a total badass on the six string as well as bass guitar. One of the more solid bands in Dallas. After filling the hall with more fog, then out came THE BLACK MORIAH. Gathering their name from the historical horse drawn hearse which takes a dead man on his last trip to boot hill, these banditos of black thrash blew up the stage with their \m/etal mayhem. Wish they would have blown up the damn fog machine.
So, six months prior to this show, I bought my ENFORCER ticket. I know Canadian drummer Chris Stephenson (OLD JAMES) who played skins last time I saw them. Chris is as nice a guy as you could meet, and was going to fill in again, but could not make it work. It would have been nice to see him again. Stockholm-based ENFORCER released their latest album Zenith back in April and I had the opportunity to review it. The troupe who are best known for their style of speed \m/etal toned things down a bit from previous albums in lieu of a more rounded effort. I was only lukewarm on the disc, but I had seen them previously and knew they were completely killer.
Led by vocalist/guitarist Olof Wikstrand, they brought some of my very favorites like “Undying Evil”, “Mesmerized By Fire”, “Live For the Night”, and “Take Me Out of This Nightmare”. I was a bit disappointed in the fact that there were probably less than 75 people there, especially for a Saturday. These guys normally play for thousands. Wilkstrand attempted to get the crowd to sing the chorus to “From Beyond” but with so few people in the house that was sort of a flop. I did the singing because I love this song, but it was not a great moment. The crowd could not possibly overcome the band. They abruptly stopped their set and I went to the merch table, where Olof and Jonathan Nordwall (guitar) were greeting fans. Of course I got photos with them.
I am grateful that WARBRINGER gave me the opportunity to take pictures. If they hired the fog machine operator to make it as damned difficult for me to take anything decent, well that SOB got paid a ton of money. By the time they took the stage, you could barely see them at all. I was not too familiar with the group from Ventura, California but they have a ton of fans. Slicing the fog with their brand of thrash \m/etal, the guys laid down heavy tunes such as “Remain Violent”, “Firepower Kills” and “Living Weapon”. From the smallish crowd frontman John Kevill got about 15 people circling the floor to “Living in a Whirlwind”. It was more like a “whirlpool”, but hell, we all were having a great time. Everyone but my Canon 6Ti, who fucking hates fog!!
Other than the not-so-hot attendance for such big names (or perhaps it was the fog obscuring the crowd and I just couldn’t see them), everyone in attendance had a blast. Four really great bands laying down killer tracks makes for a great night. The weather outside was perfect while the forecast inside of Trees called for heavy fog. Did I mention the fog was freaking horrendous? Anyway, I thank WARBRINGER for letting us shoot the show. I did my best, but hell, you get what you pay for and this night the fog machine guy got the most money. Salude’.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH/M EHRLICH PHOTOGRAPHY