Thursday, November 7, 2013


I see a decent number of shows, and I prefer to just go and enjoy the experience, as opposed to taking notes, unless it’s for an assignment. I usually drink a few beers and take shitty pictures on my camera phone. Here’s my round-up of October concert experiences.

Sky Picnic, playing the transcendental "Fjord."

October 5th - Rocktober at The Paper Box

Blue & Gold at the Paper Box.
This was part of the Rocktober one-day festival, featuring music ranging from psych rock and hip hop to metalcore. It was a strange but fascinating event, with unfortunately low attendance for the first several hours, which I guess should be expected for a show that lasts 12 hours or so. 

It's a shame though, because to me the highlights of the event came within the first hour I was there, when Sky Picnic transported the room into an alternate dimension filled with purple fog, majestic waterfalls, and shimmering psychedelic rock.

Blue & Gold also delivered an awesome set of soulful, loud electric blues rock, including a groovy cover of The Clash’s “Do I Stay Or Do I Go.” I took a brief detour to Pumps for some happy hour beers (and  to watch pretty gals pole dancing) and returned to finish the event by watching the heavier bands play outside in the patio area. It was a cool venue, with colorful graffiti covering the walls, and the crowd was certainly passionate. I was severely bruised and sore after the moshing outbreaks at this show.

Watain: Appropriately blood red.

 October 8th - Watain/In Solitude/Tribulation at Irving Plaza

The albums by all 3 of these bands are on my top 50 of the year, so I was definitely looking forward to this, and each band delivered. Tribulation’s set was disappointingly short, but hopefully their awesome performance will inspire more people to give The Formulas of Death a listen. Watain played with intensity in front of an impressive set, and spat animal blood on my metal vest within 20 seconds of starting. Thanks to Century Media for giving me a VIP pass for this so I could lounge by myself in the fancy balcony.

Jayke Orvis & the Broken Band

October 17th - Nashville Pussy/Jayke Orvis & the Broken Band at The Bell House

My first time at this venue, and it was unfortunately a small crowd for a middle of the week show. That didn’t stop Jayke Orvis & the Broken Band from charming the crowd with dark bluegrass and country-fried murder ballads . I purchased a CD for my folks, and burned a copy for myself, with Orvis’ blessing, of course. Also, check out James Hunnicut's Angel Witch shirt in that photo. Unfortunately I didn't get to shake his hand after the show, but awesome taste, sir.

They got the Pussy, we got the time, baby.
As for Nashville Pussy: They are flat-out the best live band I’ve ever seen. Seen them four times now, including shows with reverend Horton Heat and Motorhead, and it's plain unfair to expect other bands to match their ferocity, balls-and-racks-out punk attitude, and effortless sense of junkyard cool. I will pay to see them play any time they come to New York. 

Mount Salem bewitching Brooklyn.
Ruyter Suys just celebrated her 45th birthday, and there’s no better place in the world than standing in front of her as she swigs whiskey and shreds. She's up there in my upper-echelon of rock superheroes, and any stiff-backed guitarist going through the motions should turn to her for inspiration.

October 21st - Mount Salem at Saint Vitus

Noisem, teaching an AP class in headbanging.
Thanks to my friends at Metal Blade, I was able to go congratulate Mount Salem in person on their recent signing to the label. Endless is supremely heavy and catchy, and despite getting over a cold, Emily’s vocals were even better in person.I bought a shirt (of their album's beautiful cover, on an awesomely comfortable gray jersey T-shirt) If you haven’t checked out their debut album, do so right now, this band has a really bright future.

October 24th - Skeletonwitch/Noisem/Black Dahlia Murder at the Knitting Factory

Chance Garnette, unleashing vocal serpents.
My first time seeing Noisem, one of metal’s rising stars from A389 Recordings, and you can see what the fuss is all about. While they can still work on stage presence and showmanship, the music was tight and nasty. I was able to watch them with a couple of the dudes from Howl (love that band, too), and we all discussed the gaping chasm between where the members of Noisem are musically at their age, and the garbage we were all recording at 15-18.  

Skeletonwitch is one of the most humble, dedicated touring bands out there, in any genre. The last several bands I’ve seen from Prosthetic Records have all displayed positive energy, charisma, and a sincere appreciation for the audience. Awesome to see the ‘Witch having so much success with Serpents Unleashed.

Oh yeah, and Mister Growl is now on Facebook, so come check out the page over here:


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