Ain’t No Time to Sit Down: Review of Bijou Theatre Heavy Metal Concert

Jody Collins Entertainment, Music 1 Comment

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“Heavy metal at the Bijou?” you ask. Surely not.

Yes, I was treated to a night of metal at the historic Bijou Theatre… and don’t call me Shirley.

I’ll readily admit, upon first hearing that Devin Townsend and Between The Buried And Me were performing at the Bijou, I thought it a misprint. AC had to mean The Valarium. But, like many times before, I was wrong.

Starting off the night, warming up the crowd, was the post-metal outfit Scale The Summit. Gotta admit, it’s the first I’d heard of this band. But they’ve made a fan out of me. The members of SCS appear to be very young in age, but not in ability, being both technically sound and extremely proficient musicians. They have more of a Steve Vai feel than most post-metal band’s usual sludge sound.

Devin Townsend, of Strapping Young Lad / The Devin Townsend Band / Punky Brüster / etc., started off his set right with the exclamation, “Hey my name’s Devin and it only gets worse from here!” Townsend was continually funny and self deprecating throughout. He even went so far as to comment on the “goth” feel of the Bijou, whilst quoting is own bastardized version of Shakespearian text. About halfway through his set he brought out a Flying V, then proceeded to play an instrumental medley of two tracks [Om and Truth] that did, in fact, melt my face right off.

I have a newfound respect for Townsend. He seems to be the P.T. Barnum of heavy metal, bringing fun, excitement and a complete show to the mass of metalheads. In a set full of highlights, it was especially funny to hear him do his own geek version of trash-talking, saying, “the sports team from my area is better than the sports team from your area.” If you have the chance, seeing Townsend and Co. perform is worth the price of admission, even if you’re a non-metalhead.

One criteria for writing this column is to try and remain positive. This site is all ’bout what makes Knoxville a great town. That said, Cynic [the third band to perform], has a tremendous drummer, and guitar players that are on top of killer execution. But the request for audience participating in some sort of yoga stretch and the lead singer pontificating on being “one with the universe” will have to remain in The Nothing for now.

On to better things.

Between The Buried And Me hit the ground running, performing like a well oiled machine. Every member had total command over everyone in attendance. On such a small stage, the band ripped the proverbial “it” up that night. BTBAM kept the tempo up, adding a synth here and there for texture. Adding to that texture was their drummer’s use of gong, which harkens back to Bonzo and Roger Taylor.

It also seems worth mentioning that in a performance sponsored by Vans, BTBAM’s bass player was completely barefoot.

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