Whelp. Now that the show is over, I can confidently say that last night was the greatest night of my life and that life is not worth living now because I'll never relive last night ever again.
Although Helmet wasn't headlining this stop on the Metalliance tour, local band Apehanger opened the show to make everything even. They're pretty much one of the few local bands that I would classify as "doom" that are any good. In fact, they were pretty damn awesome. They at times reminded me of a Khanate-like sound, but much much much (much) faster. Good stuff.
The first of the touring bands was The Atlas Moth. I'd never heard them prior to this show, but they surprised me at how good they were. They definitely had a more psychadelic sound and a more black metal (at least in the vocals) sound. It was awesome! Only complaint I had was that I seriously doubt they need three guitarists, two would make the sound a lot clearer.
After them was Howl. It was my third time seeing the band, but the first with a new guitarist. The lead guitarist/vocalist was great, and this time was by far the best time I've seen them. Their new guitarist was awesome at soloing and even had to switch guitars halfway through the set! Lots of headbanging for them.
The thing about Red Fang was that I really dug their more groovy songs, but when they went over to the more sludgey type of metal, it wasn't as good. Still fun, though! Also incredibly loud. Too loud, actually. Couldn't hear the vocals for most of the songs. They ended their set with Prehistoric Dog and that was great. I really hope they slay everyone on Mayhem Fest!
Kylesa was great, although pissed off because they had lost a piece of their vocal equipment. It just made them play with that much more furious anger. They even used a theramin (!!!) and the dual drums came off awesome yet again. Running Red was amazing and the opener of Hollow Severer was heavy as hell, but my favorite will always be Scapegoat. Love it to death. Kylesa is awesome!
I had literally heard not one note of Crowbar until I saw them last night, but they might be the most surprisingly good band to me so far this year! I will be the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of sludge metal, but Crowbar are the godfather's of the genre and are everything right with that type of music! Some of their songs had a fast punky beat to them too. Kirk was great and interacted with the crowd a lot, and the crowd went nuts. Such an awesome surprise!
And then came Saint Vitus. I can't even begin to articulate how amazing their performance was. Definitely in my top 5 performances ever. Probably the best performance I've ever seen. Wino is a legend. There's no other word to describe him. He was so into the performance. He would get right into the crowd and sing, give us all crazy eyes, stuff like that. He dove off the stage and crowd surfed during White Stallions and drank from a bottle of Jack on stage which he then let the crowd take swigs from. But for every unforgettable moment Wino gave to us as a vocalist, Dave Chandler gave to us an unforgettable moment as a guitarist. The solo's he played were all one of a kind and he looked like an absolute madman. During Mystic Lady, he looked like he was about to have a seizure from going so crazy on his guitar. He ran out in the crowd and kept rubbing the frets on people's heads during Born Too Late and even plucked at the strings with his teeth. The best guitarist performance I've ever seen, hands-down.
I know I'll never see Saint Vitus again like I did last night, and that really makes me upset. Damn.
I Bleed Black
Blessed Night (new)
Born Too Late
All I Had
I Have Failed
Distance Closing In
Don't Look Back
Said & Done
Painted Parade (new)
Suicide (Dust cover)
Horns of Steel
...And The Gnawing
Ashereh / Jezebel
The Atlas Moth
Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
...Leads to a Lifetime on Mercury
Saint Vitus: 11/10
Red Fang: 8/10
The Atlas Moth: 8/10