Saturday, March 08, 2008

Filter at the Casbah

Filter is back!” were the words straight from Richard Patrick (Vocals/Guitar). As a fan of Nine Inch Nails, I remember seeing Richard Patrick in the classic “Head Like A Hole” video and that he would later leave Nine Inch Nails to form a solo project entitled Filter. “Short Bus” was Richard’s first album and it was a classic blast of heavy detuned guitars and electronic programming. “Hey Man, Nice Shot” would propel Richard into stardom as I caught Filter opening for White Zombie back in the college days. Filter would later release “Title of Record” that would solidify their status in alternative rock with the acoustic tinged “Take A Picture”. “The Amalgamut” was the third Filter album and was a more industrial laced return to form as the lyrics were darker and the guitars were heavier. I had a ticket to see Filter at the Wiltern to see their tour for “The Amalgamut” but the tour was canceled as Richard entered rehab. Richard would later form Army of Anyone with the guys from Stone Temple Pilots but with the Stone Temple Pilots impending reunion, Richard resurrected his Filter project.

I was shocked when I found out that Filter would be playing the Casbah to kick off their tour. I guess Richard wanted to avoid the hype from doing a Los Angeles show for a return. The San Diego audience was extremely thankful as they thoroughly enjoyed every song Filter had to offer. “Welcome To The Fold” served as a slap in the face to anyone who forgot how hard Filter rocks as the chugging detuned riff crushed the audience. Richard sounded better than ever and paced the stage like a caged animal as he had little room to move around on the tiny Casbah stage. "American Cliche" quickly brought a smile to my face as Filter nailed the song with Richard gripping the microphone with both hands to steady it for his vocals blasts. "Trip Like I Do" had a dual guitar assault as Richard dedicated the song to the Crystal Method who were apparently in the audience as they helped collaborate with him on the song when it was featured in the "Spawn" movie soundtrack.

Filter has a new album due on May 13th entitled "Anthems For The Damned" that looks like it will be just as loud as his prior efforts judging by the new track they played called "The Wake" which could have easily been on "Short Bus". Another new track "Soldiers Of Misfortune" was dedicated to the men and women serving our country in IRAQ. I have to tip my hat to Richard Patrick and company as they are heading to Kuwait to play a show for the soldiers. Richard's backing band was highly capable as Mitchell Marlow (Guitars) had a small fleet of custom Fender Telecasters stamped with the Filter logo on the 12th fret. I don't even want to think about the extensive Marshall rack setup he had with two Marshall JMP 1 racks.

The atmosphere of the show was a bunch of rabid fans at the front of the stage frothing at each song and every note from Filter as they slayed on "Captain Bligh". They knocked "Hey Man, Nice Shot" out of the park as I remembered crushing the Drop D riff at high volumes back in the day on my tiny Peavey amp and Fender Squire Stratocaster. They closed the night with the acoustic staple "Take A Picture" and I will say that I took quite a few pictures that night because it will be last time I see them at such a small venue as they will be hitting the bigger venues very soon.

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