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Full Metal Texas Takes Over SXSW

At day two of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, the Full Metal Texas extravaganza held at Emo’s was an all-day, all-metal affair, featuring a ‘surprise’ second appearance — the worst kept secret of the day — by New Jersey’s maniacal Dillinger Escape Plan.

The venue is split, with an inside and outside stage. The sludge-caked doom of Iron Age was followed by the female-fronted, chicken-suited chaos of Iwrestledabearonce. Darkest Hour smashed and bashed, while Israel’s Orphaned Land brought their brand of exotic metal, which really reminds me of a more underground version of System of a Down, if you can imagine that.

Animals as Leaders also played, with Darkest Hour guitarist Mike Schleibaum telling Noisecreep, “Tosin is like the Steve Vai of metalcore. It’s got the chugs, but he is influencing these kids more than Vai and Joe Satriani because these are kids. They will be the ones picking up guitars and starting bands.

Schleibaum also commented on Dillinger Escape Plan’s extensive, sound-sensitive light show, which they didn’t employ during their Thursday afternoon set. He said, “The program works with lights, and the first few days, [Dillinger guitarist] Ben [Weinman] was going crazy trying to get it right. It’s sound sensitive.” He said it’s a stunning concept, and it looks amazing after working out the kinks.

As for Dillinger’s set, they elected to play inside the venue, packing it like sardines. The sweat-soaked Weinman was diving off the stacks of amps, and when he leapt off them onto the stage, my shins hurt. It was an always-entertaining set by the DEP.

For those not so interested in banging — their heads, you perverts! — and moshing, Harley Davidson had a demonstration for those concerned with motorcycles. There was simulator cycle, which I indeed rode, and it really feels like you are pressing the clutch and shifting gears and pumping the gas as you ride to live and live to ride — without moving an inch. After signing my life away on the legal release form’s dotted line, I rode the Forty Eight. It’s a brilliant marketing move, to get those on the fence for riding cycles to make that crucial turn towards riding and owning.

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