36 Crazyfists with special guest Toothgrinder: Show Review by Matty

May 27, 2015 by: Shauna O'Donnell

Written by: Matty

36 Crazyfists with special guest Toothgrinder

Live at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, Iowa
Sunday, May 24th, 2015
Who said that rock-n-roll was all glitz and glamour anyways?  Who said that it was an easy lifestyle?  Whoever believes this, I would like to have a chat with you from what I’ve experienced lately with bands and shows.  I am thankful that the interview with 36 Crazyfists is getting rescheduled.  You will be seeing it right here on MUEN Magazine in the coming week or two weeks.  I texted the vocalist to see where he wanted to do the interview and he texted back stating that they were unsure of the status on whether or not they were able to play the show at the Vaudeville Mews on Sunday night.  I was thankful that they were safe and that one of the bands drove from Des Moines to Iowa City to pick them up while their RV was getting serviced.  I can’t think of a worst time for a vehicle to breakdown, with Memorial Day weekend, let alone an RV or a tour bus.  Unfortunately, Sleepwave was unable to make the show.  They had several Iowa metal bands called HeavyWeight, Dueling At Dawn, and The Curse of Hail all warm up the Vaudeville Mews crowd for 36 Crazyfists and Toothgrinder.  Toothgrinder was the next to take the stage.
I was quite intrigued with Toothgrinder’s sound as a band.  The metal band out of Asbury Park, New Jersey were straight up metal kind of like Between The Buried And Me, but with the occasional reggae and psychedelic rock, and blues lick into their music.  The band, which is composed of Justin Matthews on vocals, Matt Arensdorf on bass/vocals, Matt Mielke on guitar, Jason Goss on guitar, and Wills Weller on drums definitely won the metal faithful over with their tight as skinny jeans riffs, their unique vocal stylings that Justin and Matt Arensdorf possessed in their vocals, as well as the insane shredding and noodling that Mielke and Goss did on their guitars.  They played cuts off of their EPs entitled “Turning of the Tides” and “Schizophrenic Jubilee”.  You could have two separate audiences for Toothgrinder.  One audience could represent the type of metalhead that wants nothing but aggression and crazy breakdowns in the music, and the other type is more of a thinking person’s type of metalhead that really likes the musicianship, noodling, and technical guitar and rhythm section and the intense, yet patient progression in the metal music.  Toothgrinder offers that perfect compromise for those two audiences.  They were also very polite and cordial with their fan base after their set.  Please give Toothgrinder a “like” on Facebook here and also follow Toothgrinder on Twitter here. The mystery that surrounded the night was whether or not 36 Crazyfists were going to play.
Based on the title of the article, I gave you the spoiler, however, if you got to this point in the review, I want to thank you for continuing to read this review.  At about 8:00, 36 Crazyfists, out of Anchorage, Alaska, finally made it to the venue. They could’ve easily postponed the show, especially with having to play a show in Denver, Colorado the following night.  This particular situation reminded me of why 36 Crazyfists have been around for over 20 years.  If there’s a stage and if there’s an audience, they’re willing to play whether it’s in front of 10 people or 10,000 people.  I was anxious to see one of the more influential bands in the underground metal scene utilize they’re heavy riffage to kick some teeth down some throats tonight.  Boy, they did just that.  Honestly, a lot of younger bands would’ve been completely flustered if they had to deal with what 36 Crazyfists dealt with on Memorial Day weekend, however, they handled it like seasoned professionals that has been doing this for over 20 years.  Aspiring bands and musicians, please take notes on how to handle adversity and an unforgiving road.  36 Crazyfists ripped through the 45 minute set as if they had some extra aggression to dish out.  Steve Holt absolutely plays tight on the guitar while Brock Lindal commands the crowd like a professional frontman in his vocals, while Mick Whitney and Kyle Baltus just destroy it at the rhythm section.  The range and the diversity of styles that they play makes you appreciate their hard work and effort that they put into crafting a song and playing it live.  The crowd moshed to cuts such as “Bloodwork” and “As Am I”, while singing like angels to the set closer “Slit Wrist Theory”.  What I appreciated was that 36 Crazyfists try to play as many songs as they could into the limited time that they had for their set.  The fans were extra appreciative of them working through blood, sweat, and tears just to play in front of an audience in Iowa.
36 Crazyfists has three shows left with Toothgrinder(unfortunately Sleepwave had to drop off the tour due to vehicle issues).  If you’re in Portland, Spokane, or Seattle, please RSVP and get your tickets to the show here.  They will also be playing in Donington Park and Download Festival in England, while playing a Warped Tour show in their hometown of Anchorage.  They also have several tour dates with Defiled before providing direct support for In This Moment starting on Monday, June 29th at the Babcock Theater in Billings, Montana, with the tour conclusion being on Thursday, July 23rd at Phase 2 in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Check out tickets and tour date information here.
Please check out 36 Crazyfists at the following locations:
Check out their latest music video entitled “Swing The Noose” here.
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