Houston was the ending every tour hopes for. The audience treated each band well and the energy was intense and poignant as we entered the home stretch. I enjoyed our performance and we once again crushed the room with "Helix in Audience". It was a proud way to signal the finale. The completion of our set was bittersweet since it meant our stint on this tour was officially done. Belphegor was hellish as always, and Immolation once again gave rise to a throbbing pulse of chaos that ensorcelled us completely. Ross honored us with a dedication of "Nailed to Gold" and it was an odd feeling to be a bit misty while I was headbanging my brains out. The highlight of their set was a surprise visit from South Park's Terrence and Phillip, who are Ross and Bob's favorite characters. I will have to let the photo do most of the talking, but watching them laugh hysterically while trying to complete "Bring them Down" was a classic moment for all involved.
Rotting Christ closed the night with conviction and an exciting atmosphere that could not have been more fitting for this, the end of Lucifer Over America. We and the other bands cheered them on from the side of the stage and helped keep the crowd at a fever pitch. Finally the band signed off with the ethereal choral strains of "Under the Sign of Legion", where they each leave the stage one by one. It is the perfect closing song that generates an implacable sense of magic and finality, and we all looked at each other with some regret in knowing the tour was officially done. The band did come back out to bash in everyone's heads with "Non Serviam" though, so we were able to hold onto the moment for just a little longer.
After load out, all the cameras came out and hilarious photos were taken left and right. Hands were shaken and backs were clapped heartily. We all shared in the esteem of a truly excellent tour package and I reflected on what a privilege it was to tour with three venerable and proven acts. Saying goodbye to Immolation was not easy for many reasons. Their support and guidance has been crucial to us over the years and on this tour, and to have to part ways again was not without its regrets. Right as we were finishing all the photos an ice cream truck rolled up and everyone bolted to it to buy things. I'm not kidding. So we stood around eating bomb pops and ice cream sandwiches and feeling pretty satisfied with ourselves. It was like something out of a movie where everything happens on cue and the lasting memory is picture perfect.
My summation: this was a great tour. We had rough spots here and there, but think about the last 30 days of your life and you'll find that no matter what you do with your time some days are going to be challenging. It was a unique experience to go out with these bands, and looking back on this tour it is clear to me that we are at a point where our lives are exceeding our dreams. I do not take this lightly as I know few people can truly say that. This tour also reinforced the idea of the intrinsic kindredness that exists between all the "lifers" of metal. We do not get rich in this genre. We do not become the darlings of the media or the idols of the clueless masses. We do this because it calls us and because we answer. We do this because there are few greater validations than to stand together with our peers and allies against a world that does not and cannot understand us. We are gods unto ourselves, and through these journeys we render ourselves immortal. Thanks for coming. See you next time.