What do you get when you combine Pantera, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity and Eyehategod – you get DOWN . . . a southern metal sludge machine made up of Philip Anselmo (vocals), Kirk Windstien (guitar), Pat Bruders (bass), Pepper Keenan (guitar) and Jimmy Bower (drums). The New Orleans based supergroup played The Grove in Anaheim, CA on Saturday night September 10 as part of their small “year of XI” tour that plays North America through 9/24 and ends with 2 hometown shows in New Orleans on 10/29 and 10/30. Opening bands Pony Killer and In Solitude killed time with decent performances until Down hit the stage at a few minutes past 10:00pm. The band walked onstage and took their instruments while a very rowdy and energetic crowd greeted them with great anticipation. Once Phil walked onstage and the band hit the first note of Lysergik Funeral Procession the crowd erupted and the constant moshing and body surfing into the photo pit began. This was without question one of the rowdiest, craziest and enthusiastic shows I have seen in quite some time. The fans that come to a DOWN show are truly die-hards – all being fans of each members respective bands outside of DOWN as well as huge supporters of DOWN themselves.

Kirk Windstein and Pepper Keenan are riff masters and lay down some heavy, chugging guitar mastery. Each being known for their sludgy and catchy riffage in Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity they are a monster duo playing in the same band. Jimmy Bower is a master skin basher and Pat Bruders rounds out the rhythm section. Then there is Phil Anselmo . . . former vocalist for Pantera, vocalist for Superjoint Ritual and guitar player for Arsen Anthem and obviously vocalist for DOWN. In addition to being one talented vocalist and musician, Phil is without a doubt one of the best heavy metal frontman to have ever step on a stage. This man sure knows how to fire up a crowd and get them into the show. Yes Phil still makes time for his onstage rants regarding various topics in between songs but you cannot overlook the passion and physical intensity of his onstage performance. Phil looked in great physical shape and his voice sounded great.

Some of the highlights from the show include the song “Lifer” which was dedicated to the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott, Philip Anselmo inviting former Biohazrd singer Evan Sienfeld onstage for a chat and commentary and an extended version of Bury Me in Smoke to end the set where members of both opening bands Pony Killer and Solitude joined Down onstage and jammed the ending of the song for about 10 minutes. Down will hopefully be hitting the studio soon and have a new CD out in 2012. Make sure to catch them when they come to your town.

Setlist:
1.Lysergik Funeral Procession
2.The Path
3.Lifer
4.Pillars of Eternity
5.New Orleans is a Dying Whore
6.Losing All
7.N.O.D.
8.Underneath Everything
9.Temptation’s Wings
10.Ghosts Along the Mississippi
11.Eyes of the South
Encore:
12.There’s Something on My Side
13.Hail the Leaf
14.Stone the Crow
15.Bury Me in Smoke

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