Metaldays - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

If In Solitude had started the day off slow, melancholy way, we were headed for a very different place indeed with New York City’s Prong!

I admit, beforehand my knowledge of this hardcore outfit was limited to say the least, but I have always had an idea that I might like them if I ever gave them a chance, and after seeing frontman Tommy Victor perform quite admirably with Danzig the previous year and now seeing Prong on the list of Metaldays bands this year, that chance certainly seemed to be opening itself up to me.

An Ennio Morricone sounding march marked the beginning of the show, but the speakers were soon enough filled with the wild and chaotic distortion that was opener Eternal Heat.
Already at this point I was taken in by the punky attitude and the wild performance of the band – bassist Jason Christopher seemed to be unable to walk normally, he was either running at full sprint or jumping every time he moved, which was a lot if you were wondering! Victor was of course tied up at the microphone a lot of the time, but at those moments where he wasn’t, he too was as mobile as I remembered him from the Danzig shows at which he of course was freer to move about than he was here. The only one not jumping up and down was, unsurprisingly, drummer Arturo ‘Art’ Cruz, who made up the final piece of this three-piece puzzle, but that’s not to say he didn’t keep himself busy. Oh no, the wild thrashing sound of the songs kept him very much active throughout the concert as well!

So we’ve pretty well established that things were exactly as they were supposed to be up on the stage, but how was the outlook down on the plains before it? Was the metal bred and fed crowd of Metaldays ready to accept this punkish hardcore act into its midst?
Let me put it like this – Prong might only have pulled about half a house, but it was still one of the wildest crowds of the entire festival! Christopher didn’t have to ask twice when he wanted a circlepit started already in the first song, and on top of all that chaos were crowd-surfers en masse! Heck, I even saw a young kid go by at one point, and after being safely delivered to the security at hand, he enthusiastically ran straight back out into the crowd to do it again.
The wall of death was also tried before the final track, Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck, busied us with singing/screaming along to one of the bands better known tracks.

Admittedly, neither band nor audience managed to keep the steam at top level all the way through the gig, but it was high nonetheless, and the show was, simply put, an ass-kicker of god-given grace. They had all that which In Solitude had lacked before them.
Did Prong live up to my quite undefined expectations? They sure did, and exceeded them to boot! They’re not a new favourite, but they are certainly a band I will keep a closer eye on if they were to drop by my neighbourhood in the future.

Setlist (incomplete):

Eternal Heat
Beg To Differ
Carved Into Stone
Revenge... Best Served Cold
Whose Fist Is This Anyway?
Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck

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