Hard to believe that we are rapidl approaching one year of living with the Covid-19 pandemic. What may be the strangest part of this forgotten year is that we as people have begun to normalize the lockdown. Hollywood tentpole films now debut on streaming services, sporting events march on with empty stands and the only way to catch live music is either dusting off concert film of yesteryear or watching a band’s official live stream. Gatecreeper is the latest to try their hand in a bare venue and played a blistering set from Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.
While it still takes a minute to get used to cracking music followed by eerie silence in these live streams, Gatecreeper put on the type of show that I fully expected from them. With a sound that can be described as Obituary put through Scandinavian filter of golden era Entombed, I wanted this to be a down and dirty death metal performance and that’s what was sold. As far as production and stage gimmicks all we get here is a backdrop, lighting that shifts from moody green to hot reds and strange purples, and most importantly a strong stage mix. You don’t really need the extra bits when it’s numbers like ‘Boiled Over’ and ‘Patriarchal Grip’ that really display the fireworks.
And that’s not a shot against bands that do feel the need to gussy up their stage show in this virtual show era. All they’re trying to do is make sure that the audience walks away satisfied and that they got their money’s worth even if they’re watching from home. So, if you want to bring the smoke machines, lasers and pyro then all the power to you. All I’m saying is that the barebones Combat Records style approach works too.
With vaccination numbers rising it’s safe to assume that live attendance is an attainable goal by the end of 2021. Until then stay smart and safe. Go ahead and order that Shamrock Shake for $10 via Door Dash and wait for it to arrive forty-five minutes after you ordered it.