SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by Todd V. Wolfson


Club 115, Friday, March 20

You come all the way from Tehran to play 30 or so minutes, there's not much time to screw around. So it was curious that Iranian metal outfit Tarantist started off with either an impromptu sound-check jam or a song called "More Bass, More Vocal Please." Even after things were copacetic with the sound, there was still a little restraint from the band. Maybe they were worried about Ahmadinejad finding video of the show on the Web and hearing bassist and singer Arash Rahbary say "motherfucker." Not sure how well that goes over back home. Here it's cool. And even cooler was that not long after that, when Rahbary's brother Arsalan ripped into his first solo, it was on. Like Slayer meets Armored Saint. For the next half-hour, Tarantist shredded with absolute joyous fury. So much so that it was a totally forgivable cliché when Arash jumped into the crowd to rock out with the metal mosh going around him. Metallica was scheduled for the same time slot; how cool would it have been to have the best ever death metal band out of Tehran open for them? Answer: very. More people should have seen that, and they should have been seen by more people. For the 50 or so people who caught the band, jihad us at "more bass."

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