Due to other obligations I had to miss the first show of Down in the Netherlands, back in 2006, but now I could finally see them live. In a nearly sold-out Melkweg in Amsterdam I met our Editor-In-Chief Buzzin Hornet and Lex to watch this supergroup at work. The band, which contains members of Pantera, Corrosion Of Conformity and Crowbar, was formed in ’91 and plays some dirty southern metal.
The venue opened at 18:30 and on the website they said Down would begin at 19:30. Normally the Melkweg has a really good planning and organisation, which makes sure the bands will play at the estimated time. This time it all went a little bit different. At the entrance there were some professional security guys with metal detectors. Down had issued some rules, otherwise they wouldn’t perform. Every visitor had to be searched and for example (wallet) chains, spikes and all recording devices were prohibited. The Melkweg is a venue with a capacity of 1.500 men, so it took the security one-and-a-half hour to search everybody.
When everybody was finally inside the venue and everybody who thought the band could begin any minute now was wrong. Around 20:00 a beamer projected some very old videos from bands like Black Sabbath and AC/DC, which were varied with short clips from Down on the road, backstage and on stage. The audience saw some drinking band members, a burning amplifier and also the band’s clip for ‘On March The Saints’. After half an hour the first irritations about the movie were visible, because there was some beer flying around and after an hour most of the people present had enough of it, but luckily enough at 21:00 the band was introduced on the big screen and then the screen dropped and the band came on stage. With the words: “Amsterdam, we Down!” Philip Anselmo gave the starting shot for an amazing performance.
Directly after the first song of the night I had already forgotten about the long waiting. They played with great passion and very energetic and everybody was really enjoying this gig. To be short: this just was the perfect performance! The band played for almost two hours and every song had the same quality. The sound in the Melkweg was great and the interaction between the band and the audience also was really decent. Of course Dimebag Darrell wasn’t forgotten during the show and therefore the songs ‘Lifer’ was dedicated to him. Down played songs from all their three albums and although the crowd was at first a little bit less enthusiastic when Philip was talking about the songs from Over The Under, the reaction during the tracks were the same as during the other ones; really good. After a great set the band returned for a magnificent encore. They returned with ‘New Orleans Is A Dying Whore’, ‘Stone The Crow’, ‘Jail’ and they ended their amazing performance with the mighty ‘Bury Me In Smoke’. Everybody who’s able to go to the 013 on the 17th of April (or any other show of Down) should go there; you won't be disappointed!