Top Cat’s was a venue I always wanted to go to as a young snot nosed punk. I didn’t attend there due to either the age requirements or interest in the performing acts before it closed its doors. Luckily, a secondary life was breathed into the legendary Short Vine Venue and Top Cat’s is again alive and well.
I entered the venue with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I had finally made it! And the venue did not disappoint. Smaller and more intimate than other Cincinnati venues, Top Cat’s allows the music fan to get up close and personal with their favorite performing acts and totally immerse themselves into the set. I was able to chat up members of various performing bands I that I had come to see. Top Cat’s is awesome!
Opening acts for Sunday night’s show were Cincinnati natives, Verment, who kicked off the evening's festivities with some hard hitting, in your face death metal. They totally owned the stage for their brief existence with some killer material and incredible guitar work from their lead guitarist. I am already looking forward to catching them at their next gig and seeing more from them in the future.
Next up was Micawber who quickly hyped up the crowd, asking for horns, fists and a circle pit. They got their wish half way through their set as an enormous circle pit engulfed half of the venue’s floor for a few songs. Only two bands in and already the metalheads of Cincinnati were ready to lay waste to the land.
For a band that is all about smoking and enjoying recreational drugs, you would think that they would have more of a chill, laid back set. You would also be wrong. Cannabis Corpse are just as brutal and heavy as their namesakes’ Cannibal Corpse or any band in the Death Metal genre. Looking like an undead version of Cheech or Chong complete with aviator sunglasses and a bandana lead singer, Phillip, “Landfill” Hall, beckoned the crowd to join their cult, as they blasted the crowd with some old school sled Death Metal. During their song, “Undead Purity,” from their latest album “Left Hand Pass”, a person, or creature in a Marijuana bud costume came off the stage to interact and mosh with the crowd much to everyone’s delight. Tons of hairy mops were head banging center stage to the infectious grooves of this THC soaked trio. Before they exited the stage for the evening, the band called upon their buddy working the merch booth to come upon the stage and perform guest vocals on an incredible cover of Six Feet Under’s “Revenge of the Zombie”
Psycroptic brought this brutal Sunday to a close with a set filled with pure tech-oriented Death Metal straight from across the globe, Australia. Setting the stage with creepy darkened lights and a fog that filled the entire venue, the Aussies were set to kill. Packing in songs throughout their entire catalog, Psycroptic gave fuel to that primal need to just go nuts as the music hits you. Several pits broke out during their set much to the delight of the band and only further encouraged the already frenzied fans to go nuts, leaving everyone in attendance with a sore neck from head banging and a few bruises from mixing it up in the pit. All in all, the perfect way to end a Sunday night.