The evening was surprisingly kicked of by Honky, a band that wasn't even mentioned on the show announcements. This three man southern metal group was great background music for the audience that was more interested in getting the latest Down apparel than checking out the band. The guys had fun on stage and eventually some people from the crowd got into the music enough to be shouting and applauding.
The second act of the evening was quite different. If you haven't heard Warbeast live you have missed one loud show. The high energy machine-gun-fire-thrash did not disappoint the old or the new fans. The brutality of the music was matched by the piercing vocals of Bruce Corbitt. The relentless show was only interrupted briefly by Bruce talking about the passing of a friend Mike Scaccia of Rigor Mortis. He went on to dedicate the tour to Mike's memory. The audience was definitely warm after the manhandling by Warbeast.
The main act for most if not everybody in the audience was Down. The guys were obviously in a very good mood. They interacted with the audience and each others with playful smiles on their faces. It seemed that the whole band was very happy to be touring and playing in San Francisco. And the audience was rewarded with an awesome show. The great mood of the band did not take anything away from the heaviness of the music. The band was relaxed and played with deadly precision. Kirk and Pepper worked together like well oiled machine and even Pat was more animated on stage than I have ever seen. Phil was his usual self letting himself to be taken over by the music, pushing and pulling the other guys when ever he had the chance and thanking the audience profusely between the songs. The one and half hour set had some new material with "Witchripper" and "Open Coffins" in the earlier part, but relied on the older material towards the end. Regardless from which album the music was, there were plenty of fans to make the audience swirl and erupt in screams and applause for each song. The hall finally went completely nuts when the guys came back for encore with "Stone the Crow" and "Bury me in Smoke".