When: Sept. 29, 2011
Where: The Independent, San Francisco, CA
With: Bison BC, Fight Amp
by The Swizard (CA)
Thursday night was most definitely the new Friday night as this epic banger of a tour rolled into the Bay Area last week.
Dudes with beards, chicks that like to bang dudes with beards, and drug dealers from both sides of the Bay repped hard for what was undoubtedly shaping up as one of the premier metal gigs and scumbag social events of the season.
But in addition to the show being a meat market of metal dudes and chicks and a drug buffet, some bands played too.
New Jersey’s Fight Amp started the party with their Am Rep/noise-heavy stoner rock, which managed to flesh out the rapidly filling room nicely. For the most part, Fight Amp hadn’t really impressed me, but live, it was a whole new world. On record, Fight Amp thrives in noisy channels, but had a surprising amount of low-end heavy on stage, compared to what was expected. I didn’t expect to be swayed to rediscover their discography, but the performance was that powerful.
What comes off sounding similar to Helmet or a more chaotic Quicksand on wax was pummeling in the same way Sleep or Black Sabbath is live. A pleasant surprise, indeed.
Bison B.C. played second and were down a member. According to rumor, they lost a guitarist after the tour hit Vancouver earlier in the week. The juicier details have yet to surface, but it was a bit odd seeing Bison B.C. hit the stage as a three-piece, and I wondered if they were going to be able to hold up their end of the deal, performance-wise.
I caught Bison B.C. a few times in in 2010 and their live sets are a big part of what sets them apart from a lot of their peers. Bison B.C. delivered at The Independent, and upon learning the member loss was only two days old at the time of that show, it gives that particular live set not being their greatest a free pass.
However, it is a rather notable feat that a band that relies as heavy on dueling guitars as Bison B.C. was able to pull it together enough to deliver a set that while not as on par with their performances under normal circumstances, still danced circles around a lot of touring bands on the road these days. For those who are still questioning, “Slow Hand of Death” and “Stressed Elephant” were still punishingly brutal live.
Time will tell what the future holds for Bison B.C., but in the meantime, they are still worth showing up early on this tour to see.
Saviours, having recently released Death’s Procession, were playing to a hometown crowd for the first time in a long time and the room was fucking ready for it. In addition to tying together all of their most formidable musical attributes on Procession, Saviours made their live show unfuckwithable. The set drew heavy from songs off their latest record, and even older songs like “Cavern of Mind” (off of 2008’s Into Abbadon) sounded revamped and more vigorous than when they were originally released.
The highlight of the set, and really the night, was the dueling guitar solo at the beginning of “To The Grave Possessed,” which had Saviours’ guitarists Austin Barber and Sonny Reinhardt playing the leads while facing each other in the most epic, rock 'n' roll, shred-your-fucking-face-off guitar stance that I had seen since Megadeth at the Cow Palace in 1992.
By the end of their set, the crowd at The Independent was riled up and rowdy, and Saviours proved that not only had they put out one of the best records of 2011, they had become one of the best live bands of 2011.
Weedeater headlined that night, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to leave the show before they want on.
However, it's Weedeater, so we all know that it was loud, heavy, and more likely than not, fucking awesome.
If this tour hits your town before wrapping up, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to an epic night out and catch this tour, because its undoubtedly one of the best to hit the US this year.
Weedeater/Saviours/Bison B.C./Fight Amp
10/06/2011 Emo’s – Austin, TX
10/07/2011 Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
10/08/2011 Siberia – New Orleans, LA
10/09/2011 The Earl – Atlanta, GA
10/10/2011 New Earth Music Hall – Athens, GA
10/11/2011 Engine Room – Tallahassee, FL
10/12/2011 The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
10/14/2011 The Jinx – Savannah, GA
10/15/2011 Casbah at Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC