Live review

Ill Niño
Mean Fiddler, London : 28.5.2002

Usually in the Mean Fiddler you'd expect to a gig to consist of two well known metal bands that carry a lot of weight, but this night was an exception.
    Opening for Ill Niño was Kentucky-based, four-piece Flaw, who showed a lot of promise as one of the rising bands of the moment. It took a while for the crowd to react to Flaw, as they played tracks from their debut album, Through The Eyes. Tracks such as Only The Strong Survive and Whole showed that Flaw have an intense and powerful style that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. it seemed very appropriate to be playing to a crowd waiting to see Ill Niño.

Mushroomhead - Click to enlargeFollowing Flaw was rising eight-piece band Mushroomhead, who were thrown in as a bonus especially at this show. It was doubful whether the Mean Fiddler had the space for a second supporting band this physically big, but after a long gap setting up the props and instruments, Mushroomhead stepped out to fill every inch of the stage.
    Starting off with tracks Before I Die and Bwomp taken from their debut album XX, white-faced main singer J Mann broke out his heavy vocals while the demonic-faced vocalist Jeffrey Nothing remained still at the back of the stage until it was his turn to contribute to each song. At one point J Mann gave a speech about how each and every one of the crowd should stay true to themselves no matter how different they are, before performing tracks Never Let It Go, These Filthy Hands and Solitaire Unraveling.
    Due to each band member wearing a mask or face paint, it would be easy to mistake Mushroomhead for another Slipknot. However the evidence that they are not lies in their songs and their performance. Having already been around for nine years, Mushroomhead show that there is also an atmospheric depth in each of their songs, which not all bands can create.

Ill Niño - Click to enlargeFor the final part of the night, New Jersey based Ill Niño kept the crowd alive starting off with the track If You Still Hate Me, before going onto well known singles God Save Us and What Comes Around. Using Latin music as the background for their heavy, rip-roaring melodies, Ill Niño prove that they are fully capable of carrying their own shows. They do this just as well, if not better, as when they recently supported bands such as Machine Head and P.O.D.
    Ill Niño frontman Cristian Machado blazes into action along with the rest of the band and shows that they are going to be around for a very long time. At one point Cristian asks the crowd to buy him an Aftershock, and then drinks a red Aftershock onstage, prompting him to advise everyone to go for the blue ones instead as the red ones 'suck'. At another point he also shouts out that he is an alcoholic and informs us that drugs are good, although that is clearly just his opinion.
    Ill Niño then finish with the track Nothing's Clear before returning for an encore; predictably covering Soulfly's Eye For An Eye with the surprise of Drowning Pool vocalist Dave Williams appearing on stage to join in on the track. Dave leaves and the band then end the show with Liar and a promise that they'll be back in November.

:: Ben Lewis

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.