September 2020 marks 25 years since the bayous of Louisiana birthed the heavy sludge titled "NOLA", the debut album of the band DOWN. These friends, all musicians from well-known bands such as Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, and eyehategod among others put out a thirteen song masterpiece sin September of 1995 that today, 25 years later, is held in high regard throughout the metal community.
To mark the 25th anniversary of "NOLA" Philip H. Anselmo, Pepper Keenan, Kirk Windstein, Jimmy Bower along with Pat Bruders performed the album in it's entirety, Live from New Orleans, streaming it to DOWN fans worldwide.
The event was much more than a concert reuniting these musical giants as it started with several prerecorded segments. Chief August Creppel of the Houma Nation gave a strong musical performance and a heart felt introduction to his people and their community. Musical videos of Kirk Windstein's solo album "Dream in Motion", live Down performance at Download Fest, interviews with Philip, Pepper and Kirk talking about the band, Kirk discussing with Philip how he first met Jimmy, and so much more filled time before the concert. A collage of videos sent in from DOWN fans showing their love for these guys wrapped up the pre-concert montage.
When it was time for the live show, my son and I cranked up the volume as we streamed the Livefrom Event through our tv sound system and sat back to watch this epic concert. I've seen down several times, the most memorable show for me was in 2012 at Rock on the Range. My first covering Down as a member of the media. Completely surreal being in the photo pit only feet away from this band that had bludgeoned my brain with their dirty heavy music for so long. Tonight's show was my son's first time seeing them perform live.
My son is playing in a band now and throughout this show he was taking notice of just how powerful and dirty DOWN play without being over technical like allot of bands. DOWN take the seemingly simplest of riffs and make them mean. And over the 25 years since the release of "NOLA" the riffs from "Hail the Leaf", "Losing All", "Lifer", "Stone the Crow", and "Temptation's Wings" all stand out still to this day.
For this show, the band sounded so much like the record. Spot on performances by all with Philip belting out his lyrics like the seasoned master that he is. Kirk and Pepper together......switching between riffs and rhythms.....so fucking solid. Every time I see these two perform, whether it's together or in their other bands (Crowbar and C.O.C. respectively) they exude fun and enjoyment as if they are playing live for the first time. Joy and energy, it's so cool to see. Jimmy and Pat, I mean what can you saw about the duo that keeps these songs rolling. Several camera angles of tonight's show were stationed on Jimmy and just like Kirk and Pepper, there's no doubt the man is having the time of his life!
Then we have Mr. Anselmo. His body of work is legendary and throughout all the metal genres he's covered in his bands Pantera, Superjoint, The Illegals, Scour, En Minor, Down and others he always brings intensity, strength and power. Tonight Philip performed each song from NOLA, even those he admitted were tough to sing, with the subdued rage that keeps bringing the legions of DOWN fans back for more. Before each song he gave a shout out to a different country where the band has performed, showing gratitude and love for the fans there.
The highlight of the event was the last song, the iconic "Bury Me in Smoke". During the song Chief Creppel joined DOWN, even take a spotlight moment with his drum and his vocals. The song wrapped with Pepper, Kirk, and Pat giving up their instruments to others, I assume family or close friends, who didn't miss a beat wrapping up the song. Feel free to search Youtube for this footage, it's a must see.
After seeing DOWN and the Quarter Century Throwdown I can only hope to see touring resume so Philip, Pepper, Kirk, Jimmy, and Pat can come through Philly and I can hit the pit with my fellow "Lifers".
Eyes of the South
Hail the Leaf
Pillars of Eternity
Stone the Crow
Lysergik Funeral Procession
Ghots Along the Mississippi
New Orleans is a Dying Whore
Bury Me in Smoke
Philip H. Anselmo - Vocals
Pepper Keenan - Guitar
Kirk Windstein - Guitar
Jimmy Bower - Drums
Pat Bruders - Bass
DOWN Celebrates Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Of NOLA Full-Length With Exclusive Livestream August 29th; Band To Perform Iconic Album In Its Entirety + Portion Of Ticket Proceeds To Benefit United Houma Nation
This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of DOWN's 1995-released, now classic debut, NOLA. Plans for select shows featuring vocalist Philip Anselmo, guitarists Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein, drummer Jimmy Bower, and bassist Pat Bruders performing the record in its entirety were sidelined due to the global pandemic. In its wake, the band is pleased to announce an exclusive livestream later this month!
Fittingly dubbed The Quarter Century Throwdown, the high production, multi-camera event will take place August 29th at 6:00pm EST using cutting-edge streaming technology to create a one-of-a-kind virtual concert experience. The show will be rebroadcast August 30th at 6:00pm EST until September 1st at 6:00pm EST.
Comments the band, "DOWN was a simple band started by friends with a love of heavy music and the songs on the NOLA album were magic from the first rehearsal. We're extremely grateful to be celebrating the NOLA record with a live stream that the world can see. Watch the show and plug in through your loudest stereo! We love y'all!"
10% of ticket sales will be donated to the United Houma Nation (UHN), a state-recognized tribe of approximately 17,000 members residing within a six-parish (county) service area encompassing 4,570 square miles. The six parishes -- Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson, St. Mary, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines -- are located along the Southeastern coast of Louisiana. Within this area, distinct tribal communities are situated among the interwoven bayous and canals where Houmas traditionally earned a living. Although by land and road these communities are distant, they were historically very close by water. However, boat travel is no longer a viable option due to the effects of coastal erosion, which has left these waterways either nonexistent or impassable and, in many cases, completely open water that requires larger vessels for safe travel. The tribe today is presented with the unique challenges of preserving and maintaining its culture and way of life when the land is disappearing. The United Houma Nation is committed and dedicated to doing exactly that.
In addition, 10% of proceeds raised from a special, limited DOWN/United Houma Nation t-shirt will also be donated to the UHN. For preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.
With a collective resume encompassing Pantera, Corrosion Of Conformity, Crowbar, EyeHateGod, and so many others, DOWN puffed out its first haze of sonic smoke from the belly of gritty old New Orleans in September of 1995 with the release of NOLA. At that moment, they instinctively summoned something akin to a ritual. The record was largely credited with introducing the sound of underground New Orleans metal - "slow, super-heavy, doomsday guitar riffs stamped with Anselmo's trademark bellow," as described by NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune - to a worldwide audience. By October of 1995, NOLA peaked at number 57 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for six straight weeks. The album spawned four singles: "Stone The Crow," "Lifer," "Temptation's Wings," and "Bury Me in Smoke." "Stone The Crow" would move on to achieve commercial success when it reached number 40 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, becoming DOWN's first top 40 song. Twenty-five years later, there's still no mistaking those gargantuan riffs, swamp blues leads, crashing drums, and hypnotic howls for absolutely anybody else under the sun.