February 4, 2005
Mudvayne – The Guerilla Tour
Creepy Crawl in St. Louis, MO
Very hard to believe this show was almost 9 years ago to the day. I was a Junior in high school, just a strapping young lad in a world full of metal that I hadn’t even touched the surface of. Sitting at school that day, I could not wait for it to end so I could drive straight to downtown to a rugged, intimate venue off North Tucker Avenue known as Creepy Crawl. A hole in the wall to some, it served as a cornerstone of the underground metal, hardcore, and indie scene in St. Louis for several years. Band posters, stickers, and flyers covered the walls. A chain link fence separated the bar from the dance floor in a room about the size of your standard unfinished basement. The dance floor featured a column in the middle of it. Finally, the bathrooms with no doors, no stalls, and only a toilet to conduct business. If that’s not classy then I don’t know what is.
It was a cold February day in the Gateway to the West. Myself and a few friends drove straight from school to Creepy Crawl to meet with a buddy of ours who got to Creepy Crawl around noon to start a line at the door, before Mudvayne’s bus even arrived at the venue. All day he sat out there until he was joined by a few other diehard metal heads before we got there. Luckily we were able to slide into the line with him and stake out our spot in the impending rush towards the stage once the doors opened.
After what seemed like an eternity, the doors opened at 7pm. We claimed our spots at the front of the stage and eventually met up with the rest of our group that arrived a little later than we did. We stood there for 2 hours, anticipating what we were about to experience. Mudvayne was a heavy influence on me as a vocalist and to my band Cnidaria as musicians and performers. And here we were, about to see them literally face-to-face.
It was 9pm when the lights went finally went out. The crowd went completely apeshit. We started chanting in anticipation and looked around at the chaotic crowd around us, soaking it all in. Just as I looked back toward the stage, there was Greg standing a foot and a half away, ready to belt out some licks on his signature flying V guitar with his long hair covering his face. That’s when I knew it was going to be a hell of a ride. For those that are familiar with Creepy Crawl, the stage wasn’t very big, nor tall. My friends and I were all up against the stage that came up to just above our knee caps. Needless to say, it was a painful yet rewarding place to be standing. With the weight of the crowd bearing down on us, the only thing to keep us upright were the onstage monitors in front of Greg, Chad, and Ryan. Several times during each song we’d have to pull the monitors back towards us because we’d pushed them a few feet into the stage.
We felt the tension and energy of the crowd as soon as Mudvayne blasted into the first riff of Determined to open the set. Chad ran out from the back of the stage wearing a ski mask with his mo-hawk sticking up through the top. Because of the maximum capacity of the venue (nearly breaking the fire-code), as well as the often distorted sound system, the only vocals we were able to hear from the front of the stage were coming through the onstage monitors and from Chad’s voice when he came close enough. Nevertheless, we belted out the words along with the legion of metal heads surrounding us. During one of the songs, I believe it was Nothing to Gein a fan decided it was a good idea to crowd-surf in a ridiculously crowded room. He soon regretted this as he landed on stage, got the mic cable wrapped around his leg and inadvertently kicked Chad in the face as the security guard threw him back into the crowd. Chad looked at him with a crazed smile on his face and jumped on top of the fan – while still crowd-surfing – and belted out the words of the breakdown right into his face as the crowd dissipated and he fell to the ground. Shit happens.
Several times during the set the whole crowd moved as one. The opening riffs of Internal Primates Forever and Cradle provided the crowd with a boost of adrenaline as the whole place jumped up and down, most definitely shaking the whole building. I had seen Mudvayne a few times before this tour, but this was by far the most electric show of them all. The addition of Skrying to the setlist was a pleasant surprise and a very under-rated song on The End of All Things to Come. Because they were touring and promoting their new album Lost and Found, they played several new songs, some of which had not been played live nor heard by fans yet. Every single one of them sounded absolutely crushing live, especially IMN and Pushing Through.
Mudvayne’s setlist from that unforgettable night:
Internal Primates Forever
Nothing to Gein
World So Cold
After the show we stuck around in the bitter cold to meet Ryan and Chad. They signed a few items for us and took a few pictures. One of the most memorable shows I’ve ever been to. Until next time… Keep ’em up \m/