On this date in history, 8/11/1996, Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN was the site of one of the best metal shows I have ever witnessed. Pantera, White Zombie, Deftones, and EyeHateGod combined to just decimate the outdoor venue in a true display of heavy music diversity.
After a crushing opening set by EyeHateGod that I heard more of than I actually saw, my friend and I finally found a patch of ground up in the lawn area and settled in for an amazing set of the atmospheric, sometimes claustrophobic euphoria that is Deftones’ specialty.
Chino Moreno has a voice unique in all of metal and the band utilizes this instrument to great effect, building cathedrals of sound around his emotive and eerie tones.
White Zombie came out and delivered the gargantuan horror rock spectacle that Rob Zombie has made his calling card throughout his brilliant career as both a rocker and director. I have a vivid memory of bass player Sean Yseult windmilling her green hair during a large portion of their show.
The previous year, White Zombie had released Astro Creep:2000, and their show featured a lot of that album. The highlight song remained “Thunder Kiss ’65” and it was a crushing finale to a monumentally entertaining set.
Zombie left the stage at 11 pm, the time that the venue’s curfew takes effect. The crowd went through a nervous period of waiting, but after a relatively quick set change, PanterA hit the stage with a vengeance, taking charge with a bare bones fury that was the perfect foil to White Zombie’s theatricality.
PanterA made their appearance to the prerecorded track of “Suicide Note, Pt. 1” and a back drop of huge marijuana leaves. From there it was relentlessly brutal groove metal from the band that defined that subgenre.
Phil Anselmo was in stellar voice and Dimebag Darrell claimed his crown as the greatest metal guitarist on the planet with incendiary leads and pummeling riffage. Whatever fine the band had to pay for going over the time limit that night was worth every penny.
Every person who was at that show knew that PanterA cared about our good time and they could have opted out, but they were there to play, and play they did. The neighbors probably weren’t too thrilled, but like they say, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old!”
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic