Josh and I saw Dethklok live on Saturday night.

It’s hard to explain the series of mental hoops one has to jump through upon realization that you’ve just paid $50 to see a cartoon heavy metal band play live.  I’ve said this before on the HE Podcast, but I enjoy Dethklok in a completely un-ironic way. I know the band members are technically animated characters on an Adult Swim show, but I listen to their music just like any other band. Actually, I think I enjoy them more than most bands because there’s a built in mechanism where they CAN’T take themselves too seriously… because they don’t exist.

Dethklok manages to perfectly blend my interests in rock & roll, comedy and satire. Their music instantly transcends being a “joke” because Brendon Small, the show’s co-creator and composer, is a fantastic metal musician. Josh and I were talking after the show about how amazing this guy’s life seems (on paper). He got to make a fairly popular cartoon (Home Movies), then somehow he got to make an extremely popular cartoon (Metalocalypse), then through some series of witchcraft and enchantment he parlays that cartoon success into becomming an actual rock star. And make no mistake, he was a FUCKING ROCK STAR.

The first panel of this comic actually happened. We wondered aloud if the audience would consist more of Adult Swim fans or Metal fans. It was almost entirely the latter. The legitimacy the crowd granted this intentional farce was a site to behold. The opening bands (Chimaira and Soilent Green) were ACTUAL metal bands. They have paid their dues (or were still paying them), toured the country, scraped by and earned the respect of the people in the audience. They were both very well received. Dethklok, on the other hand, A) doesn’t even exist, and B) has only played a grand total of 30 or 40 shows to date and they were greeted like the second coming of Lemmy.

The show itself consisted of the band playing live while synced up animation plaid on the screen behind them. It was a good mix of scenes from the show and all new clips.  Every 3 or 4 songs, the human band would exit the stage and we’d get 2 or 3 minutes of bonus animation, such as an orientation from “Face Bones,” and vinette about Murderface pissing sitting down.

Show Highlights were:

  • Extended Skwisgar sex scene in “Thunderhorse”
  • The “Duncan Hills Jingle” live
  • The fact the Brendon Small can sing live as Nathan Explosion with no effects
  • Brendon Small carrying on a live conversation between Nathan, Skwisgar and Pickles
  • Pickles and Nathan’s dueling vocals on “Hatredcopter” despite being voiced by the same dude
  • Seeing “Go Into the Water” live (it’s my favorite Dethklok song)

Check out some full reviews from Saturday’s show at

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  1. Just a minute, just a minute! This is all from a cartoon, right? -I remember when Adult Swim was just an innocuous little segment of programming with silly shows. Now? Now, they have the power to resurrect shows into full-on international ultra-fame. Have baked-bean eating honkys throw up their hands at the taliban. And what now? -Fantastic. They've managed to transubstantiate death-metal high-comedy.

    Honestly, I don't know how they get all this weed into the damn country.

  2. Damn I love my metal, I wish these guys would make the trek to Aus. Did they play the Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle (I doubt the would've but that song is just hilarious and awesome combined)?

  3. I was at Sunday's show in Austin! Did you guys have that ''Bad Company" commercial play between bands? When it came on, the crowd started chanting "Fuck That Shit!". I was pretty proud of us. We really stuck it to 'the man', even though I'm sure the man wasn't even there. Overall it was an awesome show.. surreal.. but awesome. I had to stop at one point and think about the fact that is was at a show for an imaginary band from a cartoon series. I commented that it must be the future but someone had to mention Josie and the Pussycats and burst my bubble. DETHKLOK RULES!!!

  4. Ah, they might come to Scotland. Bryan Beller said in his end of tour blog that Dethklok is looking at taking the Dethtour world wide.

  5. Ha! Laughed so hard I nearly snorted. Again. Saw the show in Denver and it was awesome! Never did see the goat but there were definitely lots of cows about…

  6. I'm used to seeing advertising at concerts. I've been to Van's Warped Tour and Ozzfest and the advertising is everywhere. I wouldn't have had a problem with a big production out front with people trying to tell you how great the game was, or handing out demos or something, but a commercial? At a metal show? Say it aint so.

  7. Man, I think there's something wrong with me, but the idea of a shirtless Joel carving a pentagram into his chest like in panel 3 is slightly sexy to me. :p

    Not a metal fan myself, but I would definitely love to see an animated band concert.

  8. Is it really deep down, or just under a thin, thin veneer of Texan respectability?

    We just forget about it until those moments when the veneer peels back and Joel's flushed and sticky depravity is exposed. Then we're all (re-)shocked, just as Josh is.

  9. Yeah, Skwisgar teaches it on the DVD of season 1. That DVD is definitely worth owning, it has so many easter eggs and other stuff…

    Anyway, I'm heavily into metal, mostly death metal (this is not to say I don't listen to other music as well, which I do, perhaps more frequently) and the Dethalbum is probably one of the better metal albums that was released last year. You really coined it up there with the fact that they don't (and can't) take themselves too seriously, Brendon is really talented as well, must've been an awesome show, like I said, I hope they come here (Australia)…

  10. I was under the Impression that the band used for playing the music sements (in the cartoon)was Cannibal Corpse. A real band that is in every way Dethklock itself already.

  11. Yeah same here. They had the demo set up and there were people checking it out, then between Chimaira and Dethklok they showed that commercial. The crowd made their feelings known. m/

  12. How was it? I've wanted to see them for some time.

    Doubt they'll be coming to Scotland. Like everyone else, I guess. Hah.

  13. All I have to say is this is officially now my favorite comic and you are my favorite comic maker dude. I honestly do not know a single person that likes, watches, or even know who and what Metalocalypse is. By the way I found this comic through Wil Wheatons twitter and over the last two days have been working through each and every comic. I know I have more to go, so on to more. This is beyond geek, this is geek-christ.

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