WORCESTER -- It's not often a band gets booed. Ignored maybe, heckled even. But booed? When Brooklyn based hip-hop trio Necro played the heavy metal - oriented Sounds of the Underground tour at the Palladium in Worcester Friday, it was given a resounding show of disapproval.
The band's performance, which mixed thrash metal and hip-hop samples with sharp, often tuneful raps, was an interesting alternative to the line up of death, doom, speed, thrash, and even Viking metal -- from Swedes Amon Amarth, which uses Viking mythology in its lyrics.
What started as a few boos grew as Necro singled out hecklers, showering them with foul insults and torrents of curses. By the end of its set most people raised their arms, thrust forth their middle fingers, and booed. Perhaps they were too young to remember thrash metal originators Anthrax's hook-up with hip-hop troupe Public Enemy in 1991?
Metal fans are notoriously close-minded and clannish, and want no part of anything remotely pop. Hip-hop might just have been too near mainstream culture for these self-styled outcasts, eager to bask in the antisocial glory of bands like Chimaira, which followed Necro and gained approval with such songs as "Pure Hatred" -- centered around a snappy chorus of "I hate everyone " and a cool searing guitar riff -- and the not-surprisingly mournful "No Reason to Live."
Chimaira fell in with the order of the day: switching off turgid heavy throbbing riffs with ridiculously speedy romps, all topped by growling vocals.
By the time headliners GWAR aired its menacing mix of sci-fi schlock and gore metal, dressed in its over-the-top "intergalactic scumdog" costumes and spraying the audience with fake blood, the 2,160-capacity Palladium was almost sold out.
GWAR followed almost eight hours of pounding music from the likes of Every Time I Die, Darkest Hour, This Is Hell, and Massachusetts metal heroes Shadows Fall, the tour's co headliners, which didn't stray far from the formula.
Earlier, in the afternoon, when young Californians HeavyHeavyLowLow presented a bright, fun set that merged art punk into an otherwise metal mix, they were eyed suspiciously. "The best bands are on later," commented one smart, friendly kid as he dismissed HeavyHeavyLowLow's set. No doubt that didn't include Necro.