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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

High On Fire -- Kansas City, MO -- December 10th, 2012

This was my first show since Converge on Oct. 20th - so almost my first in two months. Perhaps I should slowly walk back into the world of live music with a low-volume, low-key show? NOPE. It was High On Fire and Goatwhore, and my ears are still ringing. Aside from that, it was one of the most solid shows I've ever been to!

First band was local doom rock/metal guys In The Grove and I just have to say...why have I not heard these guys before?! Honestly one of the best first performances by a local band that I've not heard of before. Very heavy and very catchy, had a whole Boris/Doomriders/Torche thing going on and they definitely weren't afraid to solo it up or crush the audience with riffs. Very impressive all around and a great way to start the night.

Up next was Lo-Pan from Ohio. Another band I had not looked into prior to the show, but they definitely made me and quite a few others fans tonight. Very bass-driven stoner/sludge metal with clean vocals in the vein of Kyuss. Not really in the vein of Kyuss, more like they ARE Kyuss. That's exactly what they sounded like and it ruled heavily. Their bassist also is one of the best bass players I've ever seen. He was shredding on that thing and was matching the equally talented guitarist note for note. Lots of headbanging with them and I hope they start to get huge.

Goatwhore was the first ever metal band I saw live when they opened up for Celtic Frost on their reunion tour on October 16th, 2012. I saw a bit of them earlier this year when they headlined a much too large venue following Hate Eternal, but playing after Erik Rutan and co. didn't do them any favors. Here, though, they sounded amazing. Full of tons of energy and constantly just going from song to song was awesome. Ben Falgoust might actually be one of the better live vocalists I've seen. He sounds almost exactly as he does on Goatwhore's studio work. He would bound around the stage and interact with the crowd during songs. Definitely a great frontman. The rest of the band was on point - especially Sammy Duet. His guitar tone was crunchy and heavier than I expected. They turned out to be a LOT better than I had expected! Despite being a really different genre of metal than the other bands here, they were a great change of pace! I didn't get a close look at the setlist and it looked like a few songs were crossed out, but I'm pretty sure their set was the same as the other dates.

The main attraction, though, was High On Fire. This is one of the smallest venues the band has played at and it made for an immense show. The band is LOUD, but they were mixed extremely well. I was 2 feet away from Matt Pike right in front of him the entire show and it was almost a religious experience. He is such a good riffer and non-technical soloist that I don't want to headbang during the songs just so I can watch him - and I don't even play guitar. But yeah, they sounded very heavy. The guitar was very full and the bass and drums added to it. It's much heavier in person than on album, if you can believe that. The crowd really got going during "Frost Hammer" and "Devilution", but my favorite performance of the night was "Speedwolf." That track just has such a heavy groove that translates so well live. Matt introduced most of the songs and thanked the crowd a few times, but other than that it was all business - just how it should be. They ripped through a great rendition of "Snakes for the Divine" and left the stage while everyone picked their ears and minds up off the floor. A great last concert of 2012.

Picked up a pretty nice brown HoF shirt with a really cool design on it. Wanted the Richard Pryor shirt and also "High On Fire" done in the Masters Of Reality album cover style, but they were out of my size. D: All bands have a TON of merchandise, though.

High On Fire:

Serums of Liao
Frost Hammer
10,000 Years
Fertile Green
Rumors of War
Fury Whip
Blood From Zion
Snakes for the Divine


Collapse in Eternal Worth
When Steel and Bone Meet
Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word
Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult
Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos
In Deathless Tradition
Sky Inferno
Beyond the Spell of Discontent
Judgement of the Bleeding Crown
To Mourn and Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways
An End to Nothing
Apocalyptic Havoc

High On Fire: 9.5/10
Goatwhore: 9/10
Lo-Pan: 9/10
In The Grove: 8.5/10