There has been a great influx of industrial shows coming to the Salt Lake Valley, and I was excited to see that the False Face Tour was making a stop at Area 51. As I sat with anticipation for the show to begin, I noticed that the room was starting to fill. It seemed as if something sparked a fire under the asses of the people who go to industrial shows—this was one of the best turnouts I have seen for a band at this venue in quite a long time.
DJ Starbass played my favorites from Architect, and Pzychobitch set the perfect atmosphere for the night to begin.
Adorned with the mismatched eyes of a husky and the appropriate vinyl attire, Mordacious took his dark, extravagant self to the stage with a very stompy track. The crowd began to pulse. I did see that there was a small following for this band the music was put together well. It was a type of sound that I have heard before. I would consider this EBM by the numbers. Other than the look, nothing struck me as monumental. An opening slot was the perfect place for this band.
The cult track “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus called the crowd from the bar into the stage area for The Witch Was Right to start their performance. An almost seizure-inducing strobe and red and blue flashing lights were synchronized with their track “All Alone.” It was a great opener, as they had everyone captivated from that point through their entire performance.
The guitarist reminded me of a zombie with his facial expressions and twitching body movements, so when he played soothing riffs throughout the show, I was impressed by his precise guitar-playing ability while acting at the same time. The singer had a screaming vocal style that reminded me of Ministry. As he was hanging from the pipes in the ceiling, I envisioned a tribal suspension—maybe I just wanted to see him suspended, as his look begged for it. He was covered in so many tattoos and I wondered where they would put his hooks. At times he stood on the bass drum and his thrashing around showed me that nothing was off limits.
It is always nice to see a full set of drums onstage. They truly provide the feel and sound of older industrial. There is something about a crashing cymbal and the thud of a bass drum—I can feel it beating my body and it pulls my mind into the full expression of music. They had a harder, aggressive industrial/metal style that begged for a release of anger and provoked bellicosity. If given a little more space and a few more participants full of testosterone, a very aggressive pit would have broken out.
Their set ended sweetly as the members of the other two bands brought cakes up to the singer and everyone in the room sang an off-key “Happy Birthday” to him.
I could tell that creepiness was going to be served by the zombie attached to the microphone and the goat-faced mannequin in the sailor dress present onstage. The lights went dark and a sampled “Woe be unto him who opens one of the seven gateways to Hell” played over the PA. It was time for the headliner of the night: God Module.
The members of Mordacious joined a horrifying, hooded man in a mask that looked as if his face was falling off. The room began to fill with tiny lights from phones as many tried to capture the evil that was taking place onstage. The mask was removed, revealing God Module front man Jaysn Bangert exposing his even more devious facial expressions. At that moment it became obvious who had brought the larger-than-average turnout.
The sounds of the trio were that of terror EBM. Dark samples of screaming, torture and humans in pain seem to be a favorite of this artist—precise, electronic, processed sounds that echoed through the room. The vocals were distorted and scratchy but remained audible. I did wonder if there was a sound issue at one point due to an excessive amount of reverb, but I also wondered if it was purposely done. Hollowed, haunting keyboard leads compiled with thudding bass lines provided eeriness in every song. I was disappointed that they did not play my favorite track, “Telekinetic,” but I understood that it was an older song and they are promoting their new material.
The excitement from the support of these bands had me feeling that there is hope for my favorite music scene and it is not over yet. I hope that each show turnout continues to grow. By the time the night was over I had purchased hoodies from all the bands, mainly to show appreciation and also because it does not hurt to have those fashionable black hoodies around. I was not covered in sweat from dancing all night long but I did enjoy these three bands and I would go see all of them again.