Editor’s note: We sent photographer Leroy Pristach to cover D.R.I. at the Riot Room in Kansas City over the weekend and his mind exploded. Here’s his account and photos from the show with Death Wish, The Bad Ideas, and Young Bull.

A bit of advice; when attending a D.R.I. live show, don’t forget your earplugs!

I can already feel the rise of the collective groan of metalheads everywhere as I write this. I can – even in myself – feel the itch in my fingers grow, compelling me to comment on my own work with an all-caps “FUCK YOU, GRAMPA!” just for having written those words. But in all seriousness – as a seasoned metal aficionado and former metal musician – before this show I’d never witnessed a guitar amp being turned up to 11. Until this show, I thought that was just an old, 80’s hair metal trope used in over-priced yet under-produced music videos. I never knew it was something that could ever happen in reality.

I was wrong.

Maybe these Dirty, Rotten Imbeciles have a line on a range of Mesa amp heads that just aren’t available to anyone else. Maybe somewhere along their 30+ year ride from the bowels of Texas – through the heaviest, darkest, furthest reaches of Thrash… Where hardcore punk and metal collide like two gaseous nebulae playing the ultimate, infinite game of chicken – one of these fathers of Thrash metal madness gained the mystical ability to push past the wall of ten that all other rock and roll musicians find themselves caged by. I feared my ears might bleed. I could feel the very atoms of my being beginning to vibrate out of sync. Is 11 incompatible with life?

All of my years and all of my choices flashed before me as the guitar cab began to flex outward as if it were taking the needed breath to begin to scream forth at the level asked of it. My thoughts turned to my family. Would they be ok without me?  How embarrassing is having only $25 in a savings account? Would they attempt to guess my laptop login? I didn’t close that browser window!

The vibrations have ceased and my ears no longer bleed. We feel no pain here in the darkness of the abyss. We all float here. Go ahead, forget your plugs at a D.R.I. show… you’ll float too.

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