If you were by chance hoping to catch Hate Eternal last night at the Exit/In, well, you were shit out of luck. The Exit/In website reported the show canceled, though sources with the venue, promotion agency and the bands were unable to confirm or deny. At 6:30 p.m. we received word that the show was indeed canned, but that some semblance of the lineup would be appearing that night at the Muse, tagged to the end of a hardcore show featuring Dawn, RTS, Deconsecration, Karoshi, Brainwreck and The Castle Is a Tomb.
When we arrived we got the skinny from Skeletonwitch, who were originally scheduled to open at the Exit/In. Hate Eternal's van broke down, keeping them from arriving in Nashville. Music City Booking and the remaining bands attempted to salvage the night with a discounted ticket price, but the Exit/In ultimately opted to keep its doors closed instead. Toxic Holocaust drove to Atlanta, Soilent Green took the night off and Skeletonwitch hustled their way onto the bill at the Muse. Metalheads arriving at the Exit/In were informed that the show was canceled and that Skeletonwitch would be playing across town, and a surprising number made the trek. All in all, the ticket price dropped, and the best band on the bill was now headlining a smaller venue with the cream of Nashville's hardcore crop (hardcore as in not Hatebreed).
Say what you will about the Muse, but they can handle a 7-band bill better than most venues in town. Music started at exactly 7 p.m. with little wasted time between bands. And just because you don't go there doesn't mean there wasn't a crew of crusty kids enjoying the hell out of themselves. If it wasn't cool, at least it was fun. Okay, so a stolen laptop full of your personal information showed up there once—we'll admit, that's pretty fucked up.
The majority of the Elliston Place refugees showed up just before the 'Witch played. The chasm separating punks and 'heads isn't quite what it used to be, so the Ohio five-piece ended up with a decent sized crowd. Now, here's a rule for attending a metal show at the Muse—don't stand in the middle of the room. Obviously things are gonna get kinda physical up close to the stage, but the middle of the room is for the circle pit. If you want to avoid flailing limbs criss-crossing your face, stay out of the middle. Yes, it's dumb, and a lot of these kids are maybe too young to recognize how stupid they look, but don't misdirect your annoyance—the old dude with the tattoo on the back of his head pushing around kids ten years younger than him is the real tool. Luckily, Skeletonwitch's thrash metal is largely devoid of those cheesy breakdowns that often spawn the circle pits. Instead, we were fed chunks of speed metal riffs with guitar harmonies lifted from the Maiden handbook. But as good as the band was, the music was almost secondary to how, even as we've been discussing the number of bands that skip our town, a group of locals were able to help turn around what could have been another really shitty night on tour in Nashville.