Cannibal Corpse w/ Dark Funeral, Immolation, Black Anvil • December 10, 2022 • Jannus Live — St. Petersburg, FL • Photos by Randy Cook — instagram.com/horns_raised
LIVE REVIEW: Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, Immolation, Black Anvil | December 10, 2022 | Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, FL
Cannibal Corpse wrapped up their 2022 North American tour on December 10, 2022 with a hometown show in St. Petersburg, FL at Jannus Live, the same venue they decimated and laid waste to earlier this year back in March. While Cannibal Corpse played the same set list as earlier in the year, they mixed up the order this time and brought along a trio of black and death metal opening bands which made this show quite the people watching spectacle for me when I was not behind the lens.
I was not familiar with any of the music of the opening bands, Black Anvil, Immolation and Dark Funeral but I could see as the evening progressed the darker the musical theme became to the point we were hailing the dark lord, Satan himself. I enjoyed every moment of every note that these three bands performed for a very close to a sellout crowd. Out of all three of the opening bands I do not think I was able to understand a single word that was being sung – which is freaking awesome in its own right. One specific moment during the Dark Funeral set did catch my eye and stayed with me enough to share (here shortly) after the show with my buddy The Foz who attended the show with me.
Black Anvil opened the show and I had no idea what I was in for regarding the opening bands. It was my first time seeing any of the openers and I had previously mentioned how unfamiliar with their material I was. I had no idea I would need to go to church the next morning to repent my sins for enjoying these dark and evil themed bands. Black Anvil certainly had a strong fan following in the crowd and it was a great start to the evening. When the venue is nearly full for the first of four bands that is an indication of how solid this line up was to fans of the genre. Knowing how bands sound different live than their studio recordings I will definitely go back and check out their releases.
Immolation was up next and after my time in the photo pit I made my way back upstairs to find The Foz and there he was along the rail up top seemingly mesmerized by what he was witnessing below. I did briefly notice a mosh pit this early in the night and there were many, many people in the crowd proudly showing off their corpse painted faces. Necks were headbanging away to the crushing thunderous sounds emanating from the stage and this is another band I need to hear what they sound like in a studio setting.
Dark Funeral continued the metal barrage of one’s senses and their affinity for everything Satanic is on display, from their on-stage look and persona, the imagery on, around and behind the stage and the fact that lead singer Heljarmadr (Andreas Vingbäck) led the crowd in a very spirited “Hail Satan” chant about halfway through their set. The moment that caught my eye was after my three songs in the photo pit I still stayed in front of the general admission crowd area but off the stage right, I was trying to capture some crowd shots in the fleeting nanoseconds that there was actually light coming from the stage. From my estimation the young blonde haired girl on the front rail that caught my eye was maybe legal drinking age (I would guess less). Here she was, eyes closed, lost in her own moment of metal nirvana, belting out word for word these dark lyrics with all the passion of the singer on stage. I am sure there were many others in the crowd who are fans and know the lyrics, but I was just momentarily taken aback at the sight. Rock on girl, or should I say black metal on and Hail Satan! Between the three opening bands I witnessed excellent musicianship, and I watched a crowd enthralled by what they (myself included) were seeing and hearing from the stage. We were ready for the headliners.
Headliners and local hometown fellows Cannibal Corpse took the stage to a raucous crowd, almost animalistic from the primer bands we all had just headbanged to. Lead singer George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher came to the front of the stage before their first notes of ‘Scourge of Iron‘ assaulted our senses, took in the crowd at hand, smiled brightly then launched into his famous hair flailing head bang before grinding out the opening notes of their first song ‘Scourge of Iron’. Thankfully the lighting guys finally showed up and we photographers actually had some light to work with capturing the action. Of course it was after our third song up front but there was some sort of end of the tour antics going on as from both sides of the stages poured a group of what looked like Christmas elves came out and proceeded to eat bananas in the faces of each band member as they played. I neglected to ask those around me (as if anyone could hear) and after the show my google search turned up nothing. Just the guys having some fun I guess, but I am certain there is a story behind it. Another highlight that I have seen in my prior three times seeing them live is how Corpsegrinder challenges the entire crowd to a head banging contest then declares himself the winner at the next song break proclaiming “…you guys just got your asses whipped by a 52 year old man…”. It is a sight to behold and happens numerous times throughout their set. Cannibal Corpse stands alone in the sheer brutality of the energy during their live shows. They are not a flashy, gimmicky band by any means. They come out and play their aggressive, and anatomically descriptive death metal in a way that just draws me into my own state of concert nirvana just being in and around my metalhead brethren. After my time in the photo pit I again hung around the stage right area watching the crowd before I made my way back upstairs to find The Foz.
One other funny thing to note that I saw during the Cannibal Corpse set was maybe on their fifth or sixth song (early enough that I was still up front stage right) out of nowhere I see a flash of yellow out of the corner of my eye stage left in the crowd. My fellow photographers still in the area also saw it and we all turned our lenses up to see a guy climbing one of the support poles holding up the covering over the stage and part of the crowd. This dude climbed up the beam so fast, like he was a skilled palm tree climber or something. The security team in the pit stood there staring initially, then started pointing and yelling for him to get down, but it was not like the guy could hear them. He reached the top, threw the horns out over the crowd and then to the band then shimmied down as fast as he climbed up and even though he was wearing bright yellow I did not see him again as I made my way through the crowd. I have seen some crazy stuff over the decades that I have been going to shows at Jannus but I have never seen anything like that!
As I mentioned this was the last night of their lengthy tour so it will have to be the next time around when you catch these death metal legends, but I cannot recommend it enough. I know it was quite the memorable evening for myself and The Foz.
Cannibal Corpse set list for December 10, 2022:
Scourge of Iron
The Time to Kill Is Now
Code of the Slashers
Fucked With a Knife
The Wretched Spawn
Kill or Become
I Cum Blood
Death Walking Terror
Unleashing the Bloodthirsty
Devoured by Vermin
A Skull Full of Maggots
Stripped, Raped and Strangled
Hammer Smashed Face
Cannibal Corpse Live Review + Photos by Randy Cook /// @horns_raised
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