Got two kids and the in-laws couldn't babysit, so me n the missus had to pick our arrival and departure time carefully (the sitter charged $12/hr). Consequently, we missed Darryl Shepard's Blackwolfgoat opening set at 4, Mellow Bravo's cocaine classic AOR, and Supermachine's New Hampshire roar. I know the first two and I approve of both and I like what I've heard from Supermachine, even though the band is destined to always Not Be Scissorfight. Serves Jay and Jarvis right for being in that timeless NH band.
Thanks to The Brought No Show, the rest of the set times were pushed back, and we were glad to be part of the crowd welcoming home native son Marc Schleicer (and his brother Keith, whom I once worked with) and the rest of Infernal Overdrive. The numbers from their Small Stone debut were road tested and well received, but what we need to talk about is the new material. I'd say Infernal was thisclose to writing a killer tune on Last Rays of the Dying Sun and now they've done it. The number about vikings is what I'm talking about, and those of us there know what I'm talking about.
But as much as I'd like to, I'm not here to talk about those Jersey (and one Quincy) boys. I'm here to school you on Lord Fowl, who schooled the lot of us on what it means to lay down the heavy grooves that've been dipped deep in sex. Go listen to Moon Queen - in particular the title track and "Split" - and you'll be a believer. They were a whole lot of "GOD DAMN!" and I'm sorry they had to stop playing. Shit, I could've enjoyed "The Queen Is Not Impressed," the lone dog on the aforementioned, they were that good.
I remember reviewing Freedom Hawk way back in the day, and I've checked out both their MeteorCity and Small Stone discs. I like 'em well enough, but not so much that I'm compelled to kick down doors, shove their discs in strangers' faces, and bellow, "LISTEN TO THIS, MOTHERFUCKER!" I'm still not at that point after their set, but I'm getting closer. I think if I caught them more regularly (meaning I'd have to move to Virginia Beach or they'd have to move up here), I'd be a lifer. Way stronger live, with a persistent riff pummeling.
Ah, Roadsaw. How many times have I had to leave your set because it was late and I was tired? So many times even your drummer was making fun of me for it. A drummer! Well, you weren't deadlining and I wasn't going anywhere, and once again you proved why you've had 19 (!!!) years of staying power. Great set list of new and rarely heard, and then Marc Schleicher jumped on stage to revisit Antler, the rootsier rock band that popped up in the mid 2000s. There's a big stylistic difference between "Look Pretty Lonely" and "The Gentle Butcher," but I dig 'em both.
And then there's Lo-Pan. They and Lord Fowl were the two Must Sees (and The Brought Low, but you can't compete with floods). Remember how I was talking about home invasion all in the same of promoting the heavy? Lo-Pan's one of those bands. There's a reason why they're opening for High on Fire, and if High on Fire was any other band, they'd probably be regretting the decision, because Lo-Pan is That Good. Some new songs and my favorites from Salvador made for an impressive set.
We figured we'd have to leave before Gozu brought the noise, but time was marginally on our side. We managed to catch opener and my personal "tuck the thumb and throw the horns" rager "Mr Riddle," plus a couple of new tunes, before we had to skedaddle. A little Gozu is better than no Gozu, I say.
It was a great time and many thanks go to Scott Hamilton, the club, HP Taskmaster, and the tireless promoters. The turnout was way better than I expected (a crowd at the stoner rock show? Girls at a stoner rock show? What the hey-hey?). It was one of those shows that reaffirms how much this music means to me. \m/
I'm never gonna work another day in my life