Well, that wasn't what we were expecting at all! We were expecting a badass show on Monday night when Austin, Texas' The Sword stopped in at 12th & Porter — we've seen The Sword enough times to know what we were getting into. What we didn't expect was a packed house on Monday night, especially considering there really wasn't a whole lot of promotion. And usually when The Spin is like “Let's go to a metal show," the crowd consists just of us, our intrepid sidekick/photographer "Br00tal Porkchop" and six scraggly heshers from the outer counties. Especially on a Monday. Except for this Monday, which was packed with the greatest assemblage of double-denim and black hoodies we've seen in ages. It totally ruled.
It could have ruled more, however, had we done our due diligence and memorized Young Widows' catalog beforehand. We're kicking ourselves for only being sorta familiar with their output prior to arrival — the Louisville trio's take on post-hardcore aggro-beauty is right up our proverbial alley. At times sludgy, others soaring, Young Widows evoke the classic Midwest post-punk era, which makes our scruffy nogoodnik hearts go pitter-patter like the paws of puppies across freshly fallen snow. Yeah, that might be a weird metaphor considering The Spin's usual curmudgeonly demeanor, but there was something about Young Widows that warmed our heart. We also put up our Festivus pole on Monday, so we're just brimming with good tidings and cheer and shit like that.
And The Sword definitely didn't harsh our mellow, that's for sure. The four-piece trad-metal outfit ripped through an hour-and-a-half of pure riffage, leaning heavily on 2010's hard sci-fi-themed Warp Riders — our personal favorite in their exceedingly badass catalog — before pummeling through classic cuts from 2006's Age of Winter and Gods of Earth. The crowd — who, again, we totally weren't expecting to be there — was lively, excited and full of energy, but not so much energy that they felt like participating in the aborted attempt at a circle pit. And that's cool, 'cause moshing in your 30s is dumb. (Lead singer J.D. Cronise agrees with us!)
And there was lots of headbanging! And goat-throwing (the gesture, not the animal ... we saved the animal-tossing for the after-party)! While our affection for the mustachioed melodicism of The Sword may not win us any cool points with the cod-piece-and-corpse-paint set — The Sword is more Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow than Reign in Blood — it was heartening to see so many people crammed into 12th & Porter on a Monday night. The heavy music scene here in town hasn't always been the most visible, but if 2011 (and this show in particular) is any indication, we'll be seeing all that change in 2012. Which is fine by The Spin — there might not be as much room to stretch out, but metal is way more fun with a packed house of excited, scraggly heshers than six or seven of them standing around looking listless.