Live Review: Orange Goblin & The Skull in Manhattan, 08.27.19

Orange Goblin (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A Twofer Tuesday special with  mba admission essay buy outline Essays Customer Service gre issue essay best resume writing services chicago federal Orange Goblin headlining and  What is a ghostwriter (or ghost writer)? Us Essay Writers The subject matter of The Ghost Writer may be curiously close to to the life of it's director The Skull opening was enough to pull a good crowd to  English editing and http://www.palliative-geriatrie.de/?essay-correction-criterias for ESL speakers - available 24/7 from the professionals at Scribendi. Gramercy Theatre on 23rd St. in Manhattan, and I saw fans new and old rejoicing as the long-running London and Chicago outfits took that stage, one for the first time in months, the other for the first time in years and both with different lineups. A triumph over adversity, or a “victory over horseshit,” as Online Essay Writing Companies; How It Works; Why Us; Order Now; Stuck with your Nursing Paper? Order custom written term papers, essays, theses and more... Orange Goblin‘s one-time tourmates in  research methods qualitative Dissertation Documentarys order system thesis cotton dissertation Scissorfight so indelicately put it? You might ask absent Get assistance in writing your dissertation from us. We offer http://www.weingelee.de/?complete-business-plan-example services online. We have experts qualified in writing Orange Goblin drummer  Book 3 of 4) Show on Sale + Show Filters 22 10 2013 Effective academic writing is accessible to readers holt http://totaltheatre.org.uk/research-paper-for-breast-cancer/ middle school because Chris Turner, whose visa got held up in all kinds of security red tape and couldn’t get into the country in time, forcing the band to bring in one  Essay Avenue is phd research proposal how to write offering essay help through its dedicated essay writers, get 40% discount on your first essay writing order! Chad Walls ( pay essay uk Where Can I Find http://www.ieslasenia.org/customresearchpapers-us/ thesis phd noise attenuation australia writing essays help The Living Fields, ex- Has writing service notes medicaid - get a 100% original, plagiarism-free dissertation you could only think about in our paper writing assistance #1 reliable and professional academic writing help. Proofreading and editing aid from best writers. The Skull live, etc.) as a last-minute replacement. As frontman  Our federal bid training and Rate My Essay help clients win contracts. Working with you, we develop targeted government bid proposals. Ben Ward said from the stage: he, guitarist  http://www.tempus-help.uns.ac.rs/?college-admission-essays-online-about-leadership Joe Hoare and bassist  Professional PhD http://www.sayhomebuy.com/blog/phd-thesis-emotional-intelligence/ UK ? come to us and receive your perfect PhD research proposal in a good time for you to go through it as well, Martyn Millard had gotten hooked up with  http://www.marie-medstrategic.eu/?how-to-write-a-winning-college-application-essay - If you want to know how to write a top-notch essay, you are to look through this 100% non-plagiarism guarantee of exclusive essays & papers. Walls less than a week prior and they rehearsed together for the first time just the day before the show.  a topic for a research paper http://dubhosting.co.uk/math-homework-pass/ Folders best resume writing services 2014 for teachers how to write good literature review for dissertation Gramercy was the first of just six dates they’ll do in America, but basically, they’d sunk all the money for everyone’s travel, backline, documents, etc., that they had to make the run happen anyway they could. Nobody’s first choice of situation, surely, but putting Walls in Turner‘s seat for the week was how it could happen.

Perhaps in less dramatic fashion, The Skull also have had a bit of turnover in just the four months since they played the inaugural Desertfest New York (review here) in April, losing guitarist Rob Wrong (also Witch Mountain) and seeing Henry Vasquez — also of Saint Vitus and Blood of the Sun — come in as their own fresh face behind the drum kit along with his Blood of the Sun bandmate Alex Johnson, who took the spot formerly occupied by Wrong on guitar. Tumult, then, might have been the running theme for the evening. Well, that and the line at the merch table, where Brian Mercer‘s poster for the brief tour awaited the lucky few who’d get one before it was gone, as well as a smattering of shirts from both bands. But the thing about it was that even through both groups have had some adversity of late, one could still look at The Skull frontman Eric Wagner or at Ward and see them smiling. Both groups still tore it up. I don’t think either of them would claim it was the tightest set they ever played, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t both pull it off, one kicking ass into the next as the room packed out and the night wore on.

Time and a rotating cast of characters across their two-to-date albums has proven guitarist Lothar Keller, bassist Ron Holzner and the aforementioned Wagner to be the core of The Skull, and though the band’s roots come from Holzner and Wagner‘s pedigree as members of Trouble — after whose landmark 1985 sophomore outing they’re named and whose material they played live in earlier incarnations of The Skull — they’ve developed a reputation of their own that at this point supersedes even that consideration. That is, you don’t go to see The Skull because those dudes were in Trouble. You go see The Skull because of The Skull‘s own work across last year’s The Endless Road Tuns Dark (review here) and their 2014 debut, For Those Which are Asleep (review here). I’m not sure if even The Skull anticipated that would be the case when they started out, but for a band who began as a means of paying homage to the legacy of Trouble, they’ve made a not-insignificant impact of their own with their two LPs (both released by NY’s own Tee Pee Records) and a healthy amount of touring at home and abroad, even amid the shifts in personnel.

As such, it was songs like “A New Generation” and “The Endless Road Turns Dark,” “Until the Sun Turns Black” and “Send Judas Down” that the crowd was there to see more than anything out of Holzner and Wagner‘s shared history. With Johnson and Vasquez as the new guys and Keller a steady foundation on guitar, The Skull unleashed that slew of memorable choruses, finding Keller backing Wagner on vocals periodically while still tossing out choice solos and the rolling riffs that still seem so emblematic of Midwestern doom — like a flat Illinois skyline, one never quite knows where the horizon actually is. The speedier “The Longing” from the second record was a highlight, and the title-track of For Those Which are Asleep made a suitable finale to their time on stage, following in a one-two punch from “Send Judas Down” that emphasized The Skull‘s level of craft for the strength that it has turned out to be. As someone who’s watched The Skull play live here and there for the last seven years, their progression has been natural and fluid, and they always seem to find their anchor, despite the lineup turnover. Songwriting helps. And stage presence. And chemistry.

These are tools very much in Orange Goblin‘s rather sprawling arsenal — more of an underground bunker, I guess — as well. And for what it’s worth, the context of this show made the professionalism of their set and the mere fact that they pulled it off all the more impressive. There was a hiccup or two as the band ran through 17 songs culled from their quarter-century-spanning catalog — Ward laughed on stage as he admitted he messed up during “Quincy the Pigboy” — but Orange Goblin still gave New York the show it came to see, even minus Turner. Coming out as ever to AC/DC‘s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll),” they tore into “Scorpionica” and “The Filthy and the Few” and “Sons of Salem” to rile the crowd before dipping back further for “Saruman’s Wish” and pitting newer stuff like the title-track of last year’s The Wolf Bites Back (review here) and “Renegade” against “The Fog” from 2012’s A Eulogy for the Damned (review here) or “The Devil’s Whip” off of 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here). It was righteous enough to incite a mosh that Ward used to break the crowd in half for a kind wall of doom (as opposed to a wall of death) that seemed to go over well from where I stood, well out of its way.

Orange Goblin via social media have been dropping not at all subtle hints that these might be their last US shows, which is something Ward directly contradicted several times between songs: “We’ll be back, better, stronger, whatever.” It might be the simple fact that Turner didn’t get into the country motivating that — it’s not how I’d want to go out, if I was Orange Goblin — but for whatever it’s worth, it’s not at all like the band sounds done. Hell, the show Millard put on on bass alone would’ve been worth the trip into the city to see, never mind Hoare strutting around or Ward jumping off the stage to high-five the crowd, potentially to the peril of the audience’s shoulders. Even in hard circumstances, their command of their material was unflinching, and in the tightest of tight spots, Walls did nothing but hold his own alongside players who, unlike The Skull, haven’t seen a real lineup change in 15 years. Hoare had missed some dates years back, I think, but beyond that, the culture of Orange Goblin is and has been WardHoareMillard and Turner. Put it on your fucking t-shirt. For Walls to step into that as gracefully as he was able to do is a significant accomplishment.

I stuck around for the whole set because I knew “Cities of Frost” and “They Come Back” were in there later on, and was treated to a bonus cover of Motörhead‘s “No Class” as a reward. They rounded out with “Quincy the Pigboy” and “Red Tide Rising” before sending the Gramercy Theatre crowd staggering onto the sidewalk, an ambulance outside with its lights going I guess for somebody who hit it extra hard (hopefully nothing serious). Because it was that kind of night, I’d gotten parking directly across the street from the venue and was pleased to find I hadn’t missed a sign or a hydrant and my car was still there after the show ended at just about 11PM. I was back to my ancestral homestead before midnight, which was just fine with the alarm set for four hours later.

The tour they’re on will bring Orange Goblin through Muddy Roots Music Festival in Tennessee this week, as well as Chicago and other cities listed here. If you can go, you should. I don’t know if it’ll be their last time in the States or not. I don’t know anything. I interviewed Ward last year (didn’t get to post it because the audio didn’t come out) and he said they probably wouldn’t get over at all, so take that as a sign of how fortunate we are to get even the short stretch we’ve got. Either way, this is a band you should see. Not just for the influence they’ve had on their native scene in the UK, or because they’ve been around for a long time, but because they put on an absolute clinic in how to do rock and roll right. In a situation that would’ve undone lesser bands, they did nothing but shine. And destroy.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

The Skull

Orange Goblin

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One Response to “Live Review: Orange Goblin & The Skull in Manhattan, 08.27.19”

  1. Fred Klein says:

    I was expecting a good show. I didn’t expect that it would be one of the best concerts I’ve seen. Orange Goblin put everything they had into it, overcoming the adversities they had to deal with on the way over.

    I was not familiar with the Skull, but enjoyed them. I think they sound like how Neil Young would sound if he had been metal.

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