Mushroomhead @ Club Academy
Mushroomhead have been around longer than most modern bands on the live circuit. They formed way back in 1993 and have been compared with Grammy Award Winning, festival headlining 'Slipknot'. (Ever heard of them?) Well in all fairness, Slipknot formed two years later, so who's copying who here? Anyway, we're not talking about Slipknot, we're talking Mushroomhead and they are completely different! The only real comparison you can make between the two bands is that they both wear masks, and there are a lot of band members, and they make some form of nu-metal style noise. Okay, there are a lot of comparisons between the two. Let's just move on.
Manchester never fails to bring the energy, and as ever the moshers and rockers and sweaty fanatics had no trouble making a racket and making themselves known.
Surprisingly, there are only two original members left in the current Mushroomhead line-up. One being vocalist Jeffrey Hatrix and the other is drummer Steve Felton, though you wouldn't know it, as the extent of talent on show each time is quite clear from the outset. Enter: Epic introduction.
The stage was drenched in blacklight and the neon colours added to the art-metal facade of the 7-piece. Qwerty kicked off the set with a funky twisted carnival atmosphere. The water soaked percussion looked incredible, flicking beads of neon fluid about with the pulse of a strobe light to rhythmic precision.
By having seven mad bastards on stage at any one time, you get the freedom to jump about the stage and go wherever you please without too much pressure on you. That's what's good about being in a large band like Mushroomhead. The movement on stage was somewhat frenetic which made the gig more of a spectacle for me. I apologise that I don't know a lot of Mushroomhead's tunes, but I can appreciate a livewire on stage.
Solitaire Unravelling is the one that sticks in my head when I think of Mushroomhead, and after a brief session of research I remember some of their other singles as well. It's surprising to see how many songs they put on Movie Soundtracks, and the more I think about it, the more recognisable the riffs are.
Speaking of recognisable, I can't knock the covers that Mushroomhead dropped near the end of their set. When Doves Cry is a strange choice on paper, but it went down a treat. It's one of those classics that everyone knows no matter what genre they're in to.
Empty Spaces on the other hand, was an eerie spectacle that I didn't realise was even a cover [Shame on me for not knowing Pink Floyd!]. I guess I may have had a beer too many by that point, but it set the tone nicely for the final push with Born of Desire.
Words: Tom Blackwell