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JAMMIN' ON THE QUAD: The band Allred performs during a day of welcome for returning students. Click Arts&Life for a link to photos. / Photo by Heather Routh

Today's word on journalism

Monday, September 3, 2007

"I've always been all over the lot in my writing. Except for poetry -- even though they say all the old-time sportswriters use plenty of it. Maybe it's just part of what we do."

--Frank DeFord, 2006

Type O Negative toys with crowd, then lets rip with a gothic assault

TEARING IT UP: Type O Negative slashes into its set in Magna. / Photos by Shannon Gibbs

By Shannon Gibbs

April 24, 2007 | MAGNA -- Type O Negative.

When ordinary people hear those words, they think "blood type."

But true music fans know those words carry a far different meaning. Type O Negative is among the roots of gothic music, and some would say it's the greatest gothic rock group ever to have the pleasure -- or perhaps pain -- to grace Utah with its presence.

The band made its way April 16 to Magna to perform live at the Great Salt Air. The parking lot was packed and people waited in lines for an hour or more to get inside and see a band known for its intimate, dark and profoundly gothic music.

Three bands opened the show, pumping up the crowds and adding to the anticipation -- DieMonsterDie, a local group, Brand New Sin, and Celtic Frost, currently touring with Type O Negative.

The excitement, once inside one of the best concert venues in Utah, grew until the energy was bubbling and the crowd was ready to burst. DieMonsterDie opened the show with intense music and great theatrics. Brand New Sin followed and fed the music-hungry crowd with style and boundless energy, playing their hearts out. When Celtic Frost took the stage, there was a surge forward as the band began. Its hardcore style was well received and moshed to till the set was through.

And the came the moment so many had waited for. It was now Type O Negative's turn.

Music faded in slowly and the crowd surged forward. Every head turned to the stage waiting to see the band appear, only to realize what they were hearing was not Type O Negative but . . . the chicken dance???

Giggles could be heard and the crowd stepped back, semi-let down because the chicken dance was merely to fill the quiet until the band went on. Some took advantage of the opportunity to release some of the momentum building inside them and broke into dancing the chicken dance. When that ended the soft melody of Wish Upon a Star, followed. Many people were tripping on the music being played during this intermission, not realizing that Type O Negative loves to confuse and bewilder the crowds, most understood and took it in.

When It's a Small World After All began, even I was a little bewildered but had to laugh at the absurdity of it all, considering Type O Negative is known as lords of gothic culture and music.

The lights dimmed and smoke began to rise from the stage. It was so dark you could hardly see the band as the musicians emerged from the blackness behind the stage. Suddenly there was a spotlight, giving one and all a view of a startlingly full moon . . . Johnny Kelly, Type O Negative's drummer, was barring his butt, in its entire splendor.

The crowd came alive and Type O Negative gave everyone what they wanted, Goth music full of decadent lyrics from the new album Dead Again and many favorites from past albums.

The show was well worth the wait, since it's been several years since Type O Negative has been to Utah. They played hard and preformed well, giving concert goers exactly what they came for.

There was Peter Steele, with his skillful bass-playing abilities, at times even one handed, and doing lead vocals, with a voice that has been said to be utterly erotic and intoxicating.

One fan, Eileen Hill, who has waited 15 years for this moment, proclaimed Steele "has the best bedroom voice known to mankind, very sexy and intense."

Josh Silver, Type O's keyboardist, seemed completely entranced in his playing, pulling the audience into the music with his amazing abilities.

Adding to the energy was Kenny Hickey, guitarist for Type O, with his passion for the guitar and very intimate interaction with fans.

Drummer John Kelley put all he had into a magnificent and heart-pounding beat. The crowd was never at a standstill until Type O left the stage and it seemed all was finished. There was an air of disappointment; they had not played their most-loved and long-awaited songs. The crowd began to chant the band's name, waiting in anxious dread that it truly might be done.

But Type O Negative wasn't going to let the hordes go home disappointed. They came back out on to the stage and the crowd went nuts. They finished out their set with their most-long awaited songs, Christian Woman and Black No. 1. Not a single body was still, as Peter Steele's voice brought sensuality and an intense feeling of arousal to the Salt Air.

All in all it seems everyone present was came away sated and drunk on this band's performance and all that it encompasses. One fan I overheard talked of being able to "die happy," this having been the "best and most intense show they ever saw."

It seems Utah has had its blood lust for Type O Negative fulfilled . . . for the moment, but rarely can one be totally fulfilled, and most will be awaiting the band's return.

PASSIONATE PLAY: Guitarist Kenny Hickey gets into the music.




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