(Harpos, Detroit, MI – July 6, 2002)
The first time I saw Coal Chamber back in March, they were opening up for Drowning Pool. I wasn’t too familiar with the band, but after they rocked the audience as hard as they did, I decided to buy their CD, Dark Days (which is truly awesome by the way). So, when I heard they were coming back to Detroit as the headliners, I knew that I couldn’t miss it.
After getting lost in, shall we say not a very nice neighborhood of Detroit, I finally made it to Harpos for my five o’clock interview with Mike Cox the drummer for Coal Chamber. I was all atwitter to finally meet part of the band in a relaxed state. When I walked onto the tour bus, Mike was casually eating a bowl of fruit loops. I thought, “Okay, this guy is cool”. Props to the fruit loops. We eventually walked into the venue halfway through the opening act, Lollipop Lust Kill. I was pretty surprised to see so many people there, since the first out of five bands usually does not get the biggest crowd. It was easy to see why – the audience was ready to be heavy and LLK was just the band to get it going. Along with the bands that followed, Medication, Five Pointe O and American Head Charge, it was pretty sweet to be readied for Coal Chamber by bands with such vigor. American Head Charge, with a sound reminiscent of Romstein and Marilyn Manson were as heavy hitting as any of the larger bands that I have seen today. The audience had completely filled Harpos and we got the luxury of watching female wrestling on big screens at both sides of the room before Coal Chamber took the stage. The place was hotter than hell with shirtless guys and bra-topped women walking around everywhere. Maybe it was because it was Harpos, but I knew that I had reached a real heavy metal mecca. Being a small woman, everyone told me to be careful and watch myself, but everyone in the crowd was totally cool (aside from the drunk kid that passed out on my table and spilled my beer in my lap). I was definitely ready to rock out with these people, and when Coal Chamber took the stage I let go. With a huge red Coal Chamber sign overhead, the band opened up with ‘Fiend’ from the new album and the crowd went nuts. The friction that fires the band must have been on full throttle because every song got the crowd and the mosh pit going more and more. Playing more new songs such as ‘Something Told Me’ with a great drum riff by Mike and the slower, darker 'Rowboat', it is no wonder the band is on the cover of the new Alternative Press. Everyone in the band was at full speed, with Miguel and Nadja jumping all over the stage with their guitars. These days, everyone is always talking about Gwen Stefani and her hard-hitting style. However, someone needs to take a look at Nadja Puelen because she can definitely hold her own with the big boys. Singer Dez Fafara’s deep and screaming voice brought out the animal in the audience and left us all wanting more. No one could believe that it was all over as the band rounded out the night with 'Swayed'. Everyone just kind of hung around for a while and headed outside toward the busses. There were a ton of people waiting for autographs and to get a glimpse at the artists before they pushed off. Coal Chamber and all of the bands, were more than hospitable as they signed posters for the crowd. We hung out for a while with Nadja, who is probably one of the coolest chicks out there, Mike Cox and a couple of their friends. They were all totally real, but totally tired. I can’t say that I blame them after such an awesome show. They left for Toledo and we are left to wait until the next show. However, rumors are flying about a world tour with Marilyn Manson and we can only hope that it happens, because a Coal Chamber show is a must see.
Reviewed by G.M. Pasfield
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