The Flying Eyes South American Tour Starts March 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the flying eyes

If Baltimorean four-piece The Flying Eyes‘ propensity for return trips to tour Europe is anything to go by, this won’t be their last trip to South America, but you only get one chance to make a first impression as ’80s commercials once informed me, so it’s a landmark for the band all the same. Pretty much a new continent. They’ll head down to play in Argentina on March 3 — that show with Buffalo, who rock like a whole season of hurricanes — and then follow-up with five shows in Brazil on the run presented by Abraxas Produtora, based in Rio. Shirts are pressed, shows are confirmed, the poster by Victor Bezerra is duly nipple-ized. They’re ready to roll.

The Flying Eyes‘ latest release was last fall’s Leave it all Behind Sessions on Noisolution, though they also took part in Summer 2014’s four-way Heavy Psych Sounds split with Naam, White Hills and Black Rainbows (review here), and have just recently posted a new demo recorded by Noel Mueller for a song tentatively titled “Heavy Fate” that finds them, as ever, comfortably nestled somewhere between heavy psych jam-outs and classic blues-based heavy rock. After releases on World in Sound and the aforementioned Italian imprint, The Flying Eyes are probably known more abroad than here in the States, but one could hardly say that’s slowed them down. Their reach, as this latest tour proves, continues to expand.

Dates and that demo follow, culled from various updates:

the flying eyes south american tour poster

Two weeks South America!!!

March 3rd- Buenos Aires, Argentina @ Uniclub
March 6th- Florianopolis, Brazil @ Célula Showcase
March 8th- Petropolis, Brazil @ Grito Rock Festival
March 12th- Rio de Janiero, Brazil @ Rio Rock & Blues Club
March 14th- Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Inferno Club
March 15th- Volta Redonda, Brazil @ TOCA DO ARIGÓ

Here’s one of the new demos we recorded last weekend. Recorded and mixed by Noel Mueller.

Still working on a title…Any ideas?

https://www.facebook.com/theflyingeyes
https://theflyingeyes.bandcamp.com/
http://www.noisolution.de/

The Flying Eyes, “Heavy Fate (Demo)”

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Iron Man Announce Northeast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

iron man

Warms my cold, cruel heart to see Iron Man getting out again. The long-running Maryland doom outfit founded by guitarist “Iron” Al Morris III released their latest album, 2013’s South of the Earth (review here), on Rise Above Records in the UK and Metal Blade in the States and since that time have been receiving an overdue comeuppance of attention. They played Rise Above‘s 25th anniversary party in London and made several other European appearances last year, and now they’ve announced an 11-date run that will take them up the East Coast before circling around to the Midwest and finishing in Ohio.

Of course, they’ve been here and there since first getting together in the late ’80s, but actual tours are rarer, and this Iron Man lineup — Morris, vocalist Dee Calhoun, bassist Louis Strachan and drummer Jason “Mot” Waldmann — have developed a marked chemistry on stage to go with Morris‘ classic riffing style and landmark tone. They take to the road as ambassadors for the righteousness of Maryland doom, and no doubt they’ll be greeted as liberators wherever they might happen to be on any given night.

Speaking of Maryland doom, Iron Man will take part in the first Maryland Doom Fest this June, alongside Spirit CaravanThe Skull and many more (info here). For this tour, they’re joined by D.C. metallers Yesterday’s Saints. Dates and links follow:

iron man yesterday's saints tour

Iron Man / Yesterday’s Saints 2015 US Tour

3/12 Washington, DC
The Pinch, 3548 14th St., NW, Washington, DC 202-722-4440
3/13 Allentown, PA
Jabber Jaws, 1327 W. Chew St., Allentown, PA 484-426-9380
3/14 Philadelphia, PA
Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., Philadelphia, PA 215-291-4919
3/15 Brooklyn, NY
The Paper Box, 17 Meadow St., Brooklyn, NY 718-383-3815
3/16 Providence, RI
Dusk, 301 Harris Ave., Providence, RI 401-714-0444
3/17 Salem, MA
Koto, 90 Washington St., Salem. MA 978-594-8681
3/18 Buffalo, NY
Broadway Joe’s, 3051 Main St., Buffalo, NY 716-833-7000
3/19 Ft. Wayne, IN
Skeletunes (former Berlin Music Pub) 1201 West Main St., Ft. Wayne, IN 260-739-5671
3/20 Detroit, MI
The Sanctuary (Yonka House) 1501 E. Outer Dr., Detroit, MI
3/21 Columbus, OH
Ruby Tuesday Bar, 1978 Summit St., Columbus, OH 614-291-8313
3/22 Dayton, OH
Courtyard Lounge, 320 W. National Blvd., Englewood, OH 937-836-9511

https://www.facebook.com/events/1549140685345331/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iron-Man-Band/146118265408361
http://www.ironmanband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/YesterdaysSaints
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/

Iron Man, “South of the Earth” Live at Castle of Doom 2014

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Righteous Bloom Welcome Bassist Bert Hall

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

righteous bloom logo

Maryland’s Righteous Bloom have announced that bassist Bert Hall – best known for this contributions to Revelation and Against Nature – has joined their ranks as a full-time member. There hasn’t been much word from the offshoot project who unveiled their first single, “Of Sanctum and Solace” last fall after the demise of guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt, guitarist Greg Diener and drummer Darin McCloskey‘s former band, Beelzefuzz, but Hall played on that track as well, so bringing him into the band makes sense and, most importantly, lets Righteous Bloom start playing shows.

They’ve got a gig booked for March 21 in Freferick, Maryland, with Admiral BrowningNagato and Faith in Jane, and on May 2, they’ll take part in Sludgement Day in Hagerstown, MD, with FoehammerHeavy TempleLordAkris and a host of others. A debut LP is reportedly due later this year on The Church Within. 

Info on that fest and the announcement from Righteous Bloom follow, hoisted from their Thee Facebooks:

righteous bloom bert hall

There’s been a lot of great things happening in the world of Righteous Bloom recently! First of all, please help us welcome bass master extraordinaire Mr. Bert Hall to the band!! With Bert officially on board now we will conclude tracking on the forthcoming Righteous Bloom album which will be released by Church Within records. In addition to that full band rehearsals have begun for the ‘Doom in Bloom’ show 3/21 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD and the Sludgement Day Fest in Hagerstown, MD on 5/2.

…looking forward to seeing everyone!

SLUDGEMENT DAY
Saturday, May 2
Wilson Ruritan Club
16204 National Pike, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

Lo….and behold, the heaviest day on Earth. Brutal, crushing, and devastating bands join forces for this ALL DAY, ALL AGES, ALL ENCOMPASSING event! Epic bands, killer vendors, ’twill be an experience for the ages and will go down in the annals of history. Bands include:

BASTARDS OF REALITY- Black Sabbath tribute powerhouse.
BLACK CHASM- pure space rock destruction from NC
FOG HOUND- bong ripping rock voltage
ATHAME- destroyers of faith black metal.
RHIN- pulverizing hell thrash.
HEAVY TEMPLE- war chariot power space.
SLAGSTORM- prehistoric warfare sludge
RIGHTEOUS BLOOM- orbital freight liner of rock purity
FOE HAMMER- earth crumbling heavy devastation
AKRIS- droning rock subterranean destructors
AT THE GRAVES- crypt crushing melodic mausoleum doom.
GOAT WIZARD- hash soaked stoner sorcery from PA.
LORD- melee invoking bedlam berserkers
ASTHMA CASTLE- fortified Baltimore stoner metal

Join the battle, join the chaos, havoc, and mayhem that will be SLUDGEMENT DAY! $10 at the door. BYOB.

Vendors to be on site:
https://www.facebook.com/RunkTheSkunk
https://www.facebook.com/CrucialBlast
https://www.facebook.com/GrimoireRecords

https://www.facebook.com/Sludgementday
https://www.facebook.com/events/660186940756578/

Righteous Bloom, “Of Sanctum and Solace”

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan Live in Baltimore, July 22, 2000

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

Spirit Caravan‘s reunion last year earned them no shortage of love on both their US and European tours, and while that will no doubt continue in 2015 as the band comes together to headline gigs like the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June (info here) along with The Skull. The prospect of new material looms pretty large when it comes to Spirit Caravan. Their most recent outing, such as it is, is the 2003 MeteorCity compilation The Last Embrace, which culled together the bulk of their discography from their early singles as Shine on through to their final recorded tracks. That was, however, 12 years ago, and we’re even further removed from Spirit Caravan‘s classic 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun. What would become a landmark in Maryland-style heavy will be 16 this year — old enough to drive in some states — and while Wino certainly showed with Saint Vitus‘ 2012 reunion album, Lillie: F-65, that such outings can produce righteous results, particularly with Vitus/Spirit Caravan drummer Henry Vasquez propelling them, it remains to be seen whether Spirit Caravan will even get to the point of writing new material.

And it was three years before Vitus got to that point as well, so even if they do, there’s no guarantee such a thing would happen in 2015 or even 2016. That’s not to say it can’t — Wino‘s certainly a prolific enough cat, and one imagines bassist Dave Sherman would be on board despite his commitments with Weed is Weed and Earthride – but I’d rather err on the side of caution and call it unlikely than expect it and not have it show up. Fortunately, there’s enough documentation of both Spirit Caravan‘s reunion tours and their original run to get by in the meantime. We turn to the latter for this week’s Wino Wednesday, and find the original Spirit Caravan trio — Wino on guitar/vocals, Sherman on bass and Gary Isom on drums — live on stage at The 8×10 in Baltimore, Maryland. We don’t get the full set, or at least it looks that way since they’re tuning at the end of the video as opposed to breaking down the backline, but it’s certainly enough time for them to get their point across in cuts like “Black Flower,” “Dreamwheel” and “Retroman.”

Enjoy:

Spirit Caravan, Live at The 8×10, Baltimore, Maryland, July 22, 2000

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Mastodon and Clutch Announce “The Missing Link” Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

You’ve probably already seen this news everywhere, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t post about the fact that Mastodon and Clutch are touring together and that Big Business and Graveyard will switch off in the support role. Some things are just too badass not to post, no matter how ubiquitous they might be.

The tour starts April 16 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and all that’s really left to wonder is if Clutch‘s new album — which is being recorded this month — will be released by the time the run ends on May 24. Either way, it’s pretty astounding that these two have come together, so I’ll get out of the way and defer to the PR wire, which has dates and details:

mastodon-and-clutch-tour

MASTODON & CLUTCH JOIN FORCES TO PUMMEL THROUGH THE MISSING LINK TOUR

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY JANUARY 23RD FOR SPRING CO-HEADLINE TOUR

GRAVEYARD WILL SUPPORT / BIG BUSINESS TO SUPPORT WHERE NOTED

Two of the world’s most respected and influential hard rock bands Mastodon and Clutch are proud to announce THE MISSING LINK TOUR, which brings together both bands as they join forces along with special guests Graveyard and Big Business – each taking part of the tour as support.Together, this night of heavy rock will be one of the heaviest and most exciting concert events of the year.

THE MISSING LINK TOUR kicks off on April 16th in St. Paul, MN. with support provided by Big Business, who recently supported Mastodon throughout a sold-out European tour. Sweden’s Graveyard will then take over the main support slot starting in Los Angeles on April 29th for the remaining dates, closing out the tour in Columbus, OH on May 24th. Tickets are on sale now.

Mastodon and Clutch share a longtime friendship as fans will recall Clutch front man Neil Fallon contributed vocals to “Blood And Thunder” (from Mastodon’s 2004’s Leviathan) so fans can expect surprises in store for fans throughout the tour rumbling across North America. THE MISSING LINK TOUR will feature full sets from both Mastodon and Clutch. Clutch will close the show on April 24th in Vancouver, May 10th in Pittsburgh, May 15th in Bethlehem, May 16th in Baltimore and also the final night of the tour, May 24th in Columbus. Mastodon will close all other shows.

Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster had this to say about the tour.”We are very much looking forward to our US tour with our friends in Mastodon. We always enjoy playing live but when we have the opportunity to share the stage with a band as inspiring as Mastodon we know each evening will be that much more special. See ya out there!”

Mark your calendars, as THE MISSING LINK TOUR will roll into Denver’s prestigious Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 3rd, and joins the stellar line up for Atlanta’s Shaky Knee’s Festival on May 8th. The New York City show will take over the celebrated Central Park Summer Stage annual concert series on May 19th. General tickets on-sale Friday, January 23rd.

As previously announced, Mastodon have been nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for “High Road,” from ONCE MORE ‘ROUND THE SUN. This is the band’s third Grammy nomination. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Feb 8th. Tune into CBS TV.

Revered Maryland rockers Clutch have been pushing the boundaries that define heavy rock music since the 4 original members got together in high school. Clutch is an unmatched musical force that has been best described as “the quintessential American Rock Band”. Clutch released their tenth and latest studio album Earth Rocker via their own label Weathermaker Music on March 16, 2013. The album entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #15 giving the band their highest chart position to date.

Clutch is currently working on their follow up to Earth Rocker which will be released in 2015.

Do not miss THE MISSING LINK TOUR this spring. Confirmed dates are as follows:

*Mastodon Closes The Evening. **Clutch Closes The Evening

Apr 16 *St. Paul, MN Myth
Apr 17 * Winnipeg, MB The Burton Cummings Theatre
Apr 18 *Saskatoon, SK O’Brian’s Events Center
Apr 19 * Edmonton, AB Expo Centre
Apr 21 * Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall
Apr 23 * Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
Apr 24 **Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
Apr 25 *Portland, OR Roseland
Apr 26 *Seattle, WA Showbox SODO
Apr 28 *Oakland, CA Fox Theater
Apr 29 *Los Angeles, CA Palladium
Apr 30 *Tempe, AZ Marquee Theater
May 01 *Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
May 02 *Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
May 03 *Denver, CO Red Rock’s Amphitheatre
May 05 *San Antonio, TX Kapone’s Ballroom
May 06 *Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
May 08 Atlanta, GA Shaky Knees Festival
May 09 *Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre Street Stage
May 10 **Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
May 12 *Clive, IA (Des Moines) 7 Flags
May 13 *Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom Club Stage
May 15 **Bethlehem, PA Sands Event Center
May 16 **Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion
May 17 *Boston, MA House of Blues
May 19 *New York, NY Central Park Summerstage
May 20 *Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre
May 21 *London, ON London Music Hall
May 24 **Columbus, OH LC Pavilion

MASTODON:
Troy Sanders — Bass Guitar / Vocals
Brent Hinds — Guitars / Vocals
Bill Kelliher — Guitars
Brann Dailor — Drums / Vocals

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.mastodonrocks.com
http://www.pro-rock.com/

Clutch, “ZZ” Live at Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ, 12.29.14

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Wino Wednesday: Shrinebuilder, Full Set Live in Baltimore, 11.13.09

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 26th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

If time has taught us anything at all about rock and roll, it’s never say never. Shrinebuilder put out its self-titled debut in 2009 on Neurot Recordings with the staggering lineup of bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarist/vocalists Scott Kelly and Scott “Wino” Weinrich and drummer/vocalist Dale Crover, played here and there, followed-up with a single and a live record, played some more shows, and then receded. It was never intended to be a full-time project, and when they were done, everyone went back to their own bands, whether it was Sleep and Om for CisnerosSaint Vitus for WinoNeurosis and solo work for Kelly or the Melvins for Crover. Rumors of a second album persisted for a while and then similarly receded.

We may never get another Shrinebuilder record. Hell, we might not even get another Shrinebuilder tour, or a single show, but it seems just as likely that at some point and in some form — whether with all four of the same players or not — they’ll get together again for some purpose or other. The full set snagged for this week’s Wino Wednesday revelry was filmed by TubeVision, a long-running East Coast taper, and captures Shrinebuilder on their inaugural run from Nov. 2009, not yet a month after the release of the self-titled, live in full force at the Sonar in Baltimore, Maryland. I was fortunate enough two nights later to see Shrinebuilder take the stage in Manhattan with Rwake (review here), and while it was just over five years ago now, I can still readily recall the powerful presence they had as a band on stage and the weight the performance carried because of who it was standing up there.

They might or they might not ever do another album, but whatever winds up happening, we were lucky enough to get it once. Hope you enjoy the video:

Shrinebuilder, Live at The Sonar, Baltimore, MD, 11.13.09

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Darsombra Announce 109 Tour Dates for 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

darsombra

For Darsombra‘s sake, I hope they have a really comfortable van. I thought it was pretty admirable when the Baltimore drone/video duo of Brian Daniloski and Ann Everton hit the road for 10 solid weeks earlier this year — they were awesome to watch when they opened for Floor in Allston — but the plan for 2015 goes even further. Three legs of touring, each of them more than most bands dare to take on for a year in itself, and it’s made up entirely of places the two-piece wanted to visit within the US. Fucking a.

Hard not to admire the work ethic. I guess Everton and Daniloski have just sort of figured out how to make being on the road a significant portion of their lives.  They’re (rightly) calling it the “Three-Legged Monster” tour, and it starts off Feb. 12. They still have some work in putting it together and finding venues, so if you’ve got a place that needs some drones and cool visuals, hit them up. Unsurprisingly, they seem pretty flexible on the whole thing.

Jaw-dropping list of dates follows:

darsombra amps

Darsombra’s Three-Legged Monster Tour 2015

Hi Everybody! Happy fall!

We had so much fun on our ten week tour of the United States this past spring, that we pulled out a map and counted all the cities in North America we wanted to try and visit next year. . . and it ended up being over 100 places! A little much for one fell swoop, so we’re splitting the tour up into what we have been affectionately calling the “Three-Legged Monster”.

Nothing like dreaming big! If you can help us with anything in your town, please be in touch. We’ll play in your music venue, house, gallery, bar, cave, head shop, museum, botanical conservatory, nudist colony, burn, orgy ;) …wherever we can!

And of course, as always, thank you! Thank you for encouraging us to keep doing what we do as artists, as musicians, as travelers, as friends. We’re looking forward to visiting with you all in 2015!

The proposed dates are as follows:

1st Leg:
Feb 12 – Washington DC
Feb 13 – Richmond VA
Feb 14 – Norfolk/VA beach VA
Feb 15 – Raleigh/Chapel Hill NC
Feb 16 – Wilmington NC
Feb 17 – Charleston/Columbia SC
Feb 18 – Savannah GA
Feb 19 – Jacksonville FL
Feb 20 – Orlando FL
Feb 21 – Miami FL
Feb 22 – The Keys FL
Feb 24 – St. Petersburg FL
Feb 25 – FL
Feb 26 – Winterhaven FL
Feb 27 – Gainesville FL
Feb 28 – Tallahassee FL
Mar 1 – Montgomery/Birmingham AL
Mar 2 – Atlanta GA
Mar 3 – Athens GA
Mar 4 – Chattanooga TN
Mar 5 – Knoxville TN
Mar 6 – Asheville NC
Mar 7 – Johnson City TN
Mar 8 – Winchester VA

2nd Leg:
Mar 27 – Charleston WV
Mar 28 – Cincinnati OH
Mar 29 – Louisville/Lexington KY
Mar 30 – Nashville TN
Mar 31 – Memphis TN
Apr 1 – Little Rock AR
Apr 2 – Hot Springs/Fayetteville AR
Apr 3 – Shreveport LA
Apr 4 – New Orleans LA
Apr 6 – Lafayette LA
Apr 7 – Houston TX
Apr 8 – Austin TX
Apr 9 – San Antonio TX
Apr 10 – Marfa TX
Apr 11 – El Paso TX
Apr 12 – Tucson AZ
Apr 14 – Tempe AZ
Apr 15 – Las Vegas NV
Apr 16 – Los Angeles CA
Apr 17 – So Cal CA
Apr 18 – Santa Cruz CA
Apr 19 – San Francisco/Oakland CA
Apr 22 – Eureka CA
Apr 23 – Redding CA
Apr 24 – Reno/Carson City NV
Apr 25 – Salt Lake City UT
Apr 27 – Cheyenne/Laramie WY
Apr 28 – Denver CO
Apr 29 – Colorado Springs/Boulder CO
Apr 30 – Santa Fe/Taos NM
May 1 – Albuquerque NM
May 2 – Amarillo/Lubbock TX
May 3 – Oklahoma City OK
May 4 – Lawrence KS
May 5 – Kansas City MO
May 6 – St. Louis MO
May 7 – Indianapolis IN
May 8 – Bloomington IN
May 9 – Dayton OH

3rd Leg:
Aug 14 – Philadelphia PA
Aug 15 – NJ
Aug 16 – NYC
Aug 17 – Hartford CT
Aug 18 – Providence RI
Aug 19 – Boston MA
Aug 20 – NH
Aug 21 – Portland ME
Aug 22 – Burlington VT
Aug 23 – Montreal CANADA
Aug 24 – Albany NY
Aug 25 – Rochester/Syracuse/Utica NY
Aug 26 – Buffalo NY
Aug 27 – Toronto CANADA
Aug 28 – Detroit MI
Aug 29 – Ann Arbor MI
Aug 30 – Lansing MI
Aug 31 – Grand Rapids MI
Sept 2 – Marquette MI
Sept 3 – Duluth MI
Sept 4 – Minneapolis MN
Sept 5 – Fargo ND
Sept 6 – Bismarck ND
Sept 8 – Bozeman MT
Sept 9 – Missoula MT
Sept 10 – Spokane WA
Sept 11 – Seattle WA
Sept 12 – Portland OR
Sept 14 – Bend OR
Sept 15 – Boise ID
Sept 17 – Billings MT
Sept 18 – Rapid City SD
Sept 19 – Sioux Falls SD
Sept 20 – Sioux City IA
Sept 21 – Omaha/Lincoln NE
Sept 22 – Des Moines IA
Sept 23 – Iowa City IA
Sept 24 – Peoria/Ft. Wayne IN
Sept 25 – Madison WI
Sept 26 – Milwaukee WI
Sept 27 – Chicago IL
Sept 29 – Toledo OH
Sept 30 – Columbus OH
Oct 1 – Cleveland OH
Oct 2 – Pittsburgh PA
Oct 3 – Baltimore MD

https://www.facebook.com/events/1504820943115996/
https://www.facebook.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/index2.html
http://darsombra.bandcamp.com/

Darsombra, Live in Baltimore, MD, Aug. 2014

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Fall Tour Pt. 16: Pentagram, Radio Moscow, Bang and Kings Destroy, Baltimore, MD, 10.29.14

Posted in Reviews on October 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

baltimore soundstage (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Baltimore’s Soundstage is right down by the bay, so after Pentagram‘s soundcheck, I went down and looked at the water for a bit, listened to a street musician play drums on buckets of various sizes. He was alright, but the main attraction was the water. After being in the Midwest for a couple days, it’s good to be back near the coast. Even all the lakes in Michigan, rivers and whatnot on the way, there’s something different about salty water, even if it’s the kind you’d never want to get in and go for a swim. Makes the brain feel less claustrophobic, which is kind of ironic given all the open spaces in states like Ohio, Wisconsin, etc.

A five-band Wednesday night got started around 7:45PM. The sound was solid and it was the best lighting of the tour so far. I like Baltimore, have spent some significant time in the city over the years and was happy to run into Chuck Dukehart from Foghound (new stuff on the way) and Vang from Foehammer and chat for a bit. The Pilgrim opened:

The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Not to be confused with Rhode Island’s Pilgrim, Baltimorean five-piece The Pilgrim released their self-titled debut back in 2012 (review here), and as vocalist Mis Zill announced from the stage, this was their last show for an indeterminate amount of time. They played well and obviously had the crowd in their corner, and I recognized some of what they played from the record, which was satisfying two years after the fact. Stylistically, they’re somewhere between ’70s boogie and classic metal, the two guitars working smoothly together while the bass and drums made up a definitive rhythm section. It’s a pretty classic dynamic, but The Pilgrim wore it ably and seemed to fit as they spread out on the wide stage, Mis Zill having room for leg-up Shiva poses and/or yoga moves while pushing out high notes.

Kings Destroy

Kings Destroy (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A little bit of changeup from Kings Destroy in opening with “The Mountie” from the first record into “Smokey Robinson” and “The Whittler.” The difference was notable immediately, and where “Old Yeller” often feels like the band is lurching to life, the crash-in with “The Mountie” was more immediate. At this point in the tour, it’s gonna work either way, frankly, and it did. I knew it was going to be a joy to watch these guys play every night. I don’t know if I’ve hit 20 times yet seeing them this year, but it has to be at least 15, and I’ve yet to walk away disappointed. Vocalist Steve Murphy called an audible at the end of the set, going around to guitarist Carl Porcaro, drummer Rob Sefcik, bassist Aaron Bumpus and guitarist Chris Skowronski to switch the closer from “Embers” to “Old Yeller,” and it looked pretty touch and go as to what song was about to start, but it worked out and “Old Yeller” made an excellent finale after “Casse-Tête” and the always raucous “Mr. O,” the value of which in the set isn’t to be understated in how the hook and uptick in tempo draws in a crowd on any given night, including at Soundstage.

Bang

Bang (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Another tight set from Bang. “Redman,” “Our Home,” “Last Will and Testament” and others from their 1971 self-titled debut have become pretty familiar by this point in the tour, and it’s been satisfying to watch them come together over the course of these shows. Baltimore was a workman set. Bang — guitarist Frankie Gilcken, bassist/vocalist Frank Ferrara and drummer Jake Leger — got on stage and were all business from there on out, and as usual, they had a few fervent supporters in the crowd who had obviously picked up one or another of the various reissues they’ve had over the years. There was less Ferrara/Gilcken in the middle of the stage, but they were as tight as they’ve been all along anyway, and Leger‘s swinging style continues to be a perfect fit for their classic material. “Questions” closed out as it has, its resounding groove a reminder of the influence that era continues to have even now. Bang play off that well, with their vintage gear and swagger, but the prevailing vibe continues to be how glad they are to be back on stage.

Radio Moscow

Radio Moscow (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Slayed. Almost to a terrifying degree. Radio Moscow have demolished stages more or less since the tour began, but I guess the difference this time around was nothing went wrong, their set wasn’t cut short, there was no hiccup and Parker GriggsAnthony Meier and Paul Marrone could just wail on their songs. They had the best sound of the night coming out of the Soundstage P.A., and there were a couple moments — “Broke Down” is still stuck in my head, along with “250 Miles” and “Rancho Tehama Airport,” not to mention Marrone‘s drum solo in “No Good Woman,” which closed out — where you just had to step back and let out a “holy shit” at how hard they were hitting it. They’ve been a big part of the draw for this tour, and while Soundstage wasn’t as crowded as some of the other shows have been, even at its most packed, t was clear that a lot of the people who showed up were there in no small part because Radio Moscow were rolling through. They did so at top speed, impossibly tight and with zero pretense. I feel like people who don’t see this band have no idea what they’re missing.

Pentagram

Pentagram (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I feel like I’m repeating myself every day, but the truth is that at this point, the tour is locked in. All four bands are delivering their show. It doesn’t really matter where they are, who’s there to see it, whatever. They get on stage and just go for it. Pentagram is no different. They came on after their foreboding intro with guitarist Victor Griffin, bassist Greg Turley and drummer Sean Saley starting “Death Row” ahead of the quick arrival of frontman Bobby Liebling, who’s never failed to carry the stage of any size on this tour, whether it was the huge church in Pittsburgh or Soundstage with the back bar blocked off. This was as close as Pentagram will come to a hometown show on this run, and Baltimore is arguably the center of their influence — or at least in the central region of it — and they put the work in to show why they’ve earned the legendary status that they have. I continue to look forward to a follow-up to Last Rites and hearing this lineup take on more lost ’70s cuts and maybe a new composition or two.

Even at the end of the night, I felt better for this show than in Pittsburgh, took a couple minutes to just sort of enjoy it and let the night soak in before load-out had to start and I drove to the Comfort Inn in North East — which is both the name of the town and its geographic location — Maryland, about 45 minutes outside Baltimore. The plan was to hang around the motel for most of the next day, since it’s a relatively short drive to Philadelphia for the show at Johnny Brenda’s, which is sold out, but you know how it goes with plans.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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