Roadburn 2010 Report Pt. IX: The Part in Which Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

1:37AM: Hotel Mercure, Tilburg, The Netherlands: I made a conscious decision when I got out of the shower this afternoon that I wasn’t going to put any Speed Stick on my body. I refused. And now that the night is over and I’m back in the room after a long day sweating it out to the last of Roadburn (save for the Afterburner tomorrow), I still smell better than Speed Stick. So take that, stank-ass deodorant.

It is a hopping Saturday night in Tilburg. Out my hotel window I can hear bad techno bass booming through walls. I can hear drinking songs belted out in a language foreign to my ears, and it should say something that after spending nearly nine hours on my feet at a show, I’ve come back here and put on a CD because I want to hear more music. Things have been worse.

The CD — in case you want to play along at home — is Desert Sessions Vol. 3 & 4, which I bought off Fatso Jetson‘s merch table. Last copy. Find of the trip, unless I run into the first two volumes tomorrow somehow, which I don’t anticipate.

When last I left, I was going to grab dinner and then wait in the main room for Garcia Plays Kyuss. That is precisely what happened. And when they finally came out on stage, the room went electric. I’m serious. For the entire duration of their set, I didn’t even have a cold anymore. They opened with “Molten Universe” and went into “Thumb,” at which point Mr. John Garcia Himself came out. Fucking a.

As any perusal through old Kyuss videos on YouTube will illustrate, John Garcia has never been one to flip out on stage. He’s never thrashed around or broken his neck headbanging, but he will groove a bit when the song dictates and he’s fun to watch if only because he’s the human being from whom that voice emanates. Interestingly, late in the set, they also threw in “Pilot the Dune” from post-Kyuss project Slo Burn‘s Amusing the Amazing EP. Didn’t expect that one, wasn’t disappointed to have it show up.

Also in the “definitely not disappointing” category was when Ben Ward from Orange Goblin joined Garcia and company on stage for “Allen’s Wrench.” Again, didn’t see it coming, was a great surprise. I watched from the side of the stage as Ward chimed in on the choruses and when he came back off, I wanted to say to him, “You cheeky bastard,” but then I remembered he has no idea who I am and is huge, British and angry, so I kept my mouth shut.

I feel like over the last two days, I’ve run the full course of synonyms for “awesome.” How many more ways can you say, “I’m glad I was born so I could see shit like this?”

They finished and I hurried over to the Green Room to get a place for Los Natas, stopping by the Bat Cave in the interim for a couple minutes of Ahkmed. All seemed to be going according to plan, and the room was so crowded that I couldn’t see the band anyway, so off to the Green Room I went, where Karma to Burn had about two songs left. I’d forgotten how much bigger they always were over here than in America, but it showed with the crowd they pulled in. You couldn’t move in there. They sounded tight and had apparently sold about a thousand shirts over the course of the weekend, because just about everyone I saw had one on.

My aspiration was clear, though. I knew what I wanted. When Karma to Burn finished, the room, predictably, started to clear out, and I made my way up to the balcony ledge. There was still about 35 minutes until Los Natas were due on — and they could always be late (they weren’t) — but I knew that if I wanted a spot, I’d have to claim it early, and turns out I was right since about five minutes after I arrived there was no room left. Precious real estate.

Three things about Los Natas‘ set at Roadburn 2010: (1) They easily had the best chemistry between them of any band I’ve seen over the last two days — and I’ve seen a few. Their songs seemed right on the edge of falling apart at all times, but they pulled it back together and were never out of control. And (2) their drummer, Walter Broide, also gets the prize for a freakout he threw in at the end of “Nuevo Orden de la Libertad.” It was god damn insane. (3) They pretty much played in the dark (as evidenced in my photo of Sergio Chotsourian).

By way of guests, they brought out Fatso Jetson‘s Vince Meghrouni for a saxophone jam take on “Corsario Negro.” That was the end of their listed set, but they played two more songs after that to fill up their allotted time. After drooling over Nuevo Orden de la Libertad so much, it was great to hear some of those songs live — every single one of them pulled off — but “Meteoro 2028” from Ciudad de Brahman was a special highlight.

And now it’s very, very late, and I’m starting to wear out, which is fortunate because my bed is right over there. Rumor has it my flight from Amsterdam to London in canceled for early Monday morning, but my flight from London to Newark is still a go, so things might get interesting in my negotiations with British Airways in the morning. Of course, I’ll keep you posted. In their honor, Anathema‘s Alternative 4 (which I found in the merch area today in the digipak version with four bonus tracks) is next on the playlist.

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3 Responses to “Roadburn 2010 Report Pt. IX: The Part in Which Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt”

  1. Sunburnedgoat says:

    Man, he sounds absolutely incredible! Me = jealous.

  2. Mike says:

    He’s not known for smashing stuff. Doesn’t mean he never did it

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