Words & Photos by Alan Snodgrass
While much of American was glued to their televisions for the Game of Thrones series finale, the real shit was going down at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco where Death Angel was wrapping up their “Humanicide” Tour with a hometown headliner.
The streets outside the DNA Lounge were oddly quiet as things kicked off early with openers Phantom Witch. Next up, Dress The Dead …. the word is out on these guys, and by the time they took the stage, the room was reaching capacity. With Craig Locicero (known for his time with seminal thrash metal band Forbidden) on guitar and Kayla Dixon (from Witch Mountain) on vocals, the band wailed through a set that highlighted their talents … they are a band that simply should not be missed. Striker took up the main support slot with their Anthrax-meets-Maiden brand of metal from Edmonton and while the crowd was attentive, they stayed fairly sedate, opting to observe rather than participate … no doubt saving up their energy for what was about to unfold.
Death Angel is one of the best live bands out there but when they play the San Francisco Bay Area, there’s truly no holding back. Fiery from the first notes of “Thrown To The Wolves,” Death Angel held nothing back as the packed floor opened up into a frothy pit. And then an odd thing started happening … fans started climbing and surfing onto the stage only to walk down the side stairs to get back into the crowd. After this happened a handful of times, frontman Mark Osegueda called them out for “taking the elevator down,” and from then on it was game on as the front rows got pummeled by flying bodies.
For the fans accustomed to the annual Death Angel Christmas shows, this show proved to be a nice way to mix things up. No holiday cheer, just Bay Area thrash at its finest. And with a new album (“Humanicide”) due to drop May 31, of course there were new tunes … “Humanicide,” “I Came for Blood,” and “The Pack” dropped on the crowd in a rapid 1-2-3 punch. The 90 minute set highlighted a band tight from a month on the road but clearly relaxed and happy to be home. San Francisco was happy to have you back.