The Electric Factory; Philadelphia, PA; 10/13/01
Reviewed by Alicia Downs
Saturday night metal concerts in Philadelphia are a rare
beast. Most shows roll through on weeknights or a Sunday if we are lucky. So, when a
Saturday night metal affair rolls around with a name like Megadeth headlining, rest assured
that one hell of a crowd attends. As such was the night of October 13, when some of Philadelphia's metal head finest gathered for
the devil horned and black t-shirt world of some classic metal.
Thrown into the mix is Miami, Florida's Endo, a metal group with a nu-metal sound - more likely an Ozzfest candidate than a Megadeth opener. Take for instance the list of acts they have performed with in the past: Static-X, Nothingface, and Stereomud.
Not easing the situation is the fact that Megadeth crowds are not exactly, well, um, how do I put this? Megadeth fans are not exactly easy to please when it comes to sitting through an opening act. Basically, at any Megadeth show I have been to (or Metallica for that matter) opening acts are usually heckled and viewed as nothing more than a delay to what the crowd really wants to see. Adding all that into the mix pretty much translates to Endo climbing the insurmountable mountain of trying to entertain a group that - although it wants to be entertained - makes it clear that it is not by Endo.
The demographic for that evening seemed best represented by a hardcore,
back-in-the-day Megadeth fan sporting an original 80s concert tee and cologne de pot and beer
who said, like a kid about to see Santa, "Fuck, girl, being here tonight makes me feel like I'm 16 again."
(Note: he was more like 16 the first time Megadeth rolled around).
So Endo takes the stage sometime around 8:45. Adding to the chaos is the fact that the band did not actually get to the venue until ten minutes before doors opened. They barely had time to get their equipment set up, let alone get a sound check in. Endo was going to be playing blind to one mean-ass crowd.
Now, if this were me, I would pack my shit up and head home, figuring what a fucked-up day all along the way. But at least the Endo boys get complete credit from me for hauling ass on a six hour drive from Boston to Philadelphia to play a show they originally decided to cancel.
As expected, the fans dug right into the typical "We Want Megadeth!" chants and behavior. The monosyllabically delivered "Fuck You" and "You Suck" insults were well under way before the band could get a single chord off. Right from the get-go, the crowd has it in for Endo, making it clear that these new kids were not going to be shown any brotherly love.
Considering the events leading up to the show, it took a few songs for Endo to work out sound and find a niche. They clearly did not seem happy with their performance but did not allow the pessimism to wear off onto the crowd. Instead, vocalist Gil did something that took me back. He worked the opposite. With every taunt he drove it in harder for Philly to get involved, pushing himself a little more along the way. Gil jumped and sang and jumped a little more, directing the crowd to "get fucking moving" in between verses. No one from Endo said anything negative to the crowd or spit on them (all things I have seen from previous bands in Endo's unenviable position). The boys just played on and, with every staggering moment, they played a little harder.
Eventually, while the ancient metal men did not get into it (for the most part they just resumed their alcohol consumption on the Electric Factory Balcony), a few younger and more receptive ears in the crowd picked up on Endo and began to give a little something back. Much to the surprise of the band, by the time they broke into their single "Suffer," a mosh pit actually broke out. It was one hell of a surprise to me, too. And before I could even see the pit, a group of fans made their way to the barricades and starting throwing some devil horns out to Endo.
All in all, I thought that made it a pretty cool night.
Vocalist Gil continued to play up to the crowd, climbing down on the
speakers with bassist Zelick in a nod to those fans that were responding. Gil then thanked Philly for having Endo a few times before
they went on their way for the night. Of course, the fans began to chant for Megadeth
like a cult.
While it was not close to the best show Endo could put on, it was a fair one that was able to spark the attention of a few Megadeth fans and maybe made a few Endo fans along the way.
Which is what it's really all about, isn't it?
Still, my biggest confusion was why in the hell Endo would have even agreed to play on the Megadeth bill, knowing full well that they are on opposite ends of the demographic spectrum. Guitarist Eli took a moment to explain to me that it gives them an opportunity to play for a group that otherwise would have no idea who Endo is. Endo knows that they are not in a position to be a loved or even respected band on this bill, but it's those few fans that convert along the way and the opportunity to just go out every night and play that makes it worthwhile.
More information on Endo can be found at: http://www.endomusic.com.
Endo: Gil Bitton - vocals, Zelick - bass, Joe Eshkenazi - drums, and Eli Parker - guitar.
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Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:15 -0400.