Live Gig Review: A Barbaric Time with Obituary at Irving Plaza on 5/04/23

Posted by on May 8, 2023



Obituary was one of the defining death metal groups I got into. With a bill featuring Immolation, another band of interest, I had to continue my spring marathon of gigs with a night of absolute savagery.

5/04, Star Wars day arrived with some time for my usual pre-show dinner at Paul’s Da Burger Joint in the East Village. The force of the blood sauce from my medium-rare Eastsider Burger was strong, leaking out onto the oval plate with each messy bite sending a supernatural sign for what was to be another ultra-heavy evening.

I coasted towards Irving Plaza and hung out with my friends Karen and Luke as we waited for the doors to open at seven. We mostly talked about what concerts we recently attended and what other bands we’re also looking forward to seeing as concert mania continues to race all across America. It’s always a good time whenever I hang with them.

After grooving along to Ingrown and Blood Incantation, the evening began for me with Immolation at around 9:00, one of the pillars of New York death metal. The band started with Abandoned. That’s when the pit started to desolate a sold-out Irving Plaza. For nearly an hour, Immolation brought a filthy, severe Yonkers-style beat-down. Neck snapping business as usual from them. Immolation got everyone ready for one of the Floridian death metal icons.

Last on was Obituary. It was my fourth time seeing them. The first was at the Gramercy Theatre in 2012, with my favorite time being in 2019 at the Saint Vitus Bar when they played their 1990 axe slasher, Cause of Death. Although I will always cherish that Brooklyn gig, Obituary once again provided blunt-force trauma. Without remorse, Obituary knows how to get people moving. With a sixteen-song set list, their set consisted of the best classics and six new songs. The new Obituary album, Dying of Everything, is fantastic.

New York entered the gates of hell for an hour plus as the Tardy brothers and the band further made the blood spill from the collective moughhhhhhs of the pit. The sold-out Irving Plaza went nuts (as expected) over the high points like Redneck Stomp, Weaponize the Hate, and Turned Inside Out. Some moshed, some head-banged, and some held their phones up the entire set as Obituary brought an intense show. The audience boosted their performance.

Obituary finished with Slowly We Rot, 1,200 barbarians went home happy, while I caught up with some more friends before heading back to Williamsburg. If you haven’t seen this band live yet for some reason, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.

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