The weather is getting cooler and that means the good tours should be kicking up all over the country. Valient Thorr has a long history with the Kansas City/Lawrence area since 2001 and with the rabid following and one of the best shows I've ever seen, it's not hard to see why.
Opening the show on a high note was Hammerlord and thanks to the Record Bar's wonderful sound system, they sounded better than any other time I've heard them. Ty and JP absolutely shredded their guitars to pieces and I had a lot of fun screaming along to "Tombstone Piledriver" with Stevie. A short opening set, but it just makes me want to see them even more!
It was my second time seeing Howl this year and overall. The last time was a few months ago in Lawrence on a weird bill consisting of Howl, Phobia and Black Cobra. I gotta say that Howl sounded much better this time. Very, very heavy and the vocals sounded absolutely menacing. I feel like they will continue to get bigger. A tour with Weedeater would be MASSIVE.
I'd actually never heard of Junius before, but apparently there were a few people in the audience who had waited a long time to see them live. I was blown away. The best way I can describe their sound (and I'm probably doing a horrible job) is: Alcest if they had doom/sludge instead of black metal. Or maybe Explosions In The Sky if they were pissed off (and with vocals!). Tons of great moments in their set that made me audibly say "Wow" more than once. Great stuff.
Valient Thorr's set wasn't so much an excellent musical performance as much as it was a bunch of fans getting together, having fun, and being happy whilst listening to one of the most energetic bands in the business today. Valient Himself kept the crowd smiling with positive reinforcement before and during songs, and some quirky anecdotes. "Did you know the Record Bar was the first place in America to have automatic paper towel dispensers?" I do now. During one song, he went out into the crowd, motioned for everyone to sit on the floor, and row/headbang along with the music. It was just random things like this that made this one of the funnest shows I've seen. The music was great, too. If AC/DC was metal and awesome, they'd be Valient Thorr. I can only hope they return from Venus to bless the KC area with their metal again soon.
Valient Thorr included:
Mask Of Sanity
and a whole bunch more.
Storm The Castle
The Ballad Of Rusty Tomaski
Wolves At War's End
Valient Thorr: 10/10