Municipal Waste @ The Observatory – 11/26/2018
After a three-week run, The Speed of the Wizard Tour featuring Municipal Waste played its last show at The Observatory in Santa Ana on Monday night November 26. Originally slated to be a co-headline tour with High on Fire who had to cancel their touring plans due to medical issues with Matt Pike, Municipal Waste had some of their friends in different bands join in in different cities and on this night in Santa Ana the punk-supergroup OFF! joined the madness along with Toxic Holoaust and The Haunt.
The madness kicked off at 7:00pm sharp as Fresno’s The Haunt took the stage to kickstart the crowd into metal mode. With their classic, old-school New Wave of British Heavy Metal Iron Maiden-esque gallops and melodic guitar solos, The Haunt proved to be a worthy opener on this night. Although somewhat of an odd pairing with the rest of the bands as they are much more crossover-thrash/punk based, The Haunt definitely made some new fans at The Observatory.
The Haunt Photo Gallery
The underground thrash-metal kings Toxic Holocaust were up next and as soon as the opening note of “Gravelord” was heard the pit opened up, body surfing began and never let up the entire set. Toxic Holocaust mastermind Joel Grind who once played guitar along with vocals in a live setting has switched over to bass as he belts out his lyrics along with Charlie Bellmore on guitars and Nick Bellmore on drums. Grind is a master at creating old-school thrash with a crossover punk element and he also is a boss in the studio having recently mixed and mastered Power Trip’s Nightmare Logic CD. The set included all the “hits” such as “666”, Nuke the Cross”, “War is Hell” and the set ended with the brutal “The Lord of the Wasteland”.
Toxic Holocaust Photo Gallery
At this point the fans were primed and ready to go after the onslaught of Toxic Holocaust . . . the band OFF! Hit the stage next and although this is a group of well-known punk legends; Keith Morris from Circle Jerks/Black Flag on vocals, Steven Shane McDonald from Redd Kross/Melvins, Dimitri Coats from Burning Brides on guitar and Dale Crover from Melvins on drums – it was a little unclear if many in the crowd knew this. Regardless OFF! Played a 45 minute set of short, simple, super-fast raw songs much in the spirit of Circle Jerks (to no surprise). This group of veterans may be a bit older than in their “heyday” but they have not lost a bit of angst and all are masters at their craft. These guys are a fun band it was surely a great addition to this lineup in place of High on Fire.
OFF! Photo Gallery
The moment everyone has been waiting for was finally upon as the crowd was chanting “Municipal Waste is gonna F@#k yo up”, the band took the stage and kicked off with “Bourbon Discipline” then into “Sadistic Magician”. Now Municipal Waste is a band that welcomes fans onto the stage to jump back into the crowd, this initially had security quite busy until vocalist Tony Foresta stated for security to relax and let everyone have a good time – from there on out the night was nonstop crowd surfing onto the stage and then fans jumping back out into the crowd . . . a VERY crazy, insane show to witness.
Municipal Waste is without a doubt the reigning kings of crossover thrash with songs like “You’re Cut Off”,” Terror Shark”, “Slime and Punishment” and many more – short, fast, breakneck thrashers that force you to headbang. Guitarist Ryan Waste would often take center stage with bassist Philip “Landphil” Hall and guitarist Nick “Nikropolis” Poulos to jam out in unison while way in the back, drummer Dave Witte hammered his drums.
The band was in fine form as this was the last night of the tour and the band members seemed to have enjoyed more than a few pre-show cocktails but never once diminished their ability to perform. This night brought out a few gems such as “Guilty of Being Tight”, “Bangover” and “Nailed Casket”, the band played 24 songs and of course ended the night with “The Art of Partying”. Municipal Waste has come through Southern California a few times in 2018 and this was without a doubt the most brutal.
Municipal Waste Photo Gallery