|When Dope first came upon the metal scene, there was an edge and an attitude of a newly signed band in an over-indulged market hat help separate them from the pack. Although sales didn’t quite match to the actual complexity, musicianship and sound of Dope, the band was always playing like there was a chip on their shoulder. At least for a while.
Then, the band was gaining momentum with opening slots for acts like Slipknot. And with that notoriety comes pressure from the record label. Some of that pressure, along with turmoil within the band, led to a year or so of total disarray. First it was guitarist Tripp that headed for greener pastures with Static-X. Then drummer Preston Nash left to go back to school, but heeded the call of Primer 55 and is now working on a side project simply called Nash. Then Acey left for Murderdolls. Even Edsel Dope’s brother left the band. At if that wasn’t enough, maybe the best thing happened, and that was Epic/Sony walking out on the band. Now, with no major label support, Edsel Dope and the new resurgence Dope are touring again with a new record and an old attitude.
Although there are new faces, the headlining show at the Al Rosa Villa was like an old friend coming back to take you out on the town, just like the old days. Complete with drinking, women, and hangovers. It was definitely odd to leave the American Idols tour to come to this metal haven. But Dope, complete with police line-up stage show and imaginative set-up, were back with attitude, and that can only prove for one thing: A quality metal show.
Fans were chanting “Fuck The Police” about three songs into the set, and many may not know that this is an NWA cover, but either way, Dope has transformed this Compton rap anthem flawlessly to a techno-metal rock theme.
Now, with no label to support them, Dope is extensively touring with the $12 Riot Tour in support of their independent release and the loyal fan base could give a shit whether is was a Sony release or recorded in Edsel’s basement. For those who experienced this show in Columbus, there was no doubt they all left happy campers. For those that live in cities still remaining on the tour, go! If you were a Dope fan and thought they may have lost something in the course of that turmoil, its back. And if you are just a metal fan who has never experienced Dope, now is the perfect time. Because Edsel is on edge. And the band is tighter than I can remember any other of the dozen or so times I saw them. Just make sure you learn the one chorus you need for the show. Practice it often and practice it loud. Because if Edsel has one thing to say to those who thought Dope was over, it’s “Die Mother Fucker Die!”