Saturday, March 25th at The Regal Inn in Lakewood. Aeonic Impulse, Zombie Eating Horse, Bad Acid Trip, Fallen Suns, Project: Human, and Antagonist.
Saturday, March 25th at The Regal Inn in Lakewood. Aeonic Impulse, Zombie Eating Horse, Bad Acid Trip, Fallen Suns, Project: Human, and Antagonist.
Tonight, both of my bands will be sharing the same stage at Suzy’s Bar and Grill in Hermosa Beach. This is Aeonic’s first show with our new bassist Jess, and Dry Humor’s first show back after a year long hiatus. We will be playing with two of the best local bands in LA, so this is definitely a show that you don’t want to miss. It’s the best $5 that you can spend!
2016, Alternative, Angeles, Beach, Black, California, Classic, Concert, Core, Friday, Hard, Harmful, Hermosa, If, Indie, Lagoon, Live, Los, Mariachi, Metal, Metalachi, Music, Promotion, Punk, Rock, Rocke, Saint, September, Swallowed, Venue
Saint Rocke is the venue that I work at. I am currently promoting this show.
Alternative, Ambient, America, Angeles, Assault, Baroness, California, Code, Concert, Doom, Electronic, Fonda, Harmonies, Heavy, Hollywood, Indie, Industrial, Live, Los, Melodies, Metal, North, Photos, Pictures, Punk, Review, Rock, Sludge, Stoner, The, Theatre, Tour, Youth
Review by Jordan Salfity, photos by Jay Valena
June 3rd 2016, Fonda Theatre, Hollywood CA: Savannah, Georgia sludge metal group Baroness released their fourth full-length studio album ‘Purple’ in late 2015, and embarked on a North American headline tour in May 2016 with support act Youth Code. They brought the tour to an end in Los Angeles with a gig at the Fonda Theatre, and our writer Jordan Salfity, along with our photographer Jay Valena, were in attendance to capture the show for us via their respective words and images. Check it out below.
I first saw Baroness live right before the release of ‘Yellow & Green’ in 2012, while on their tour with Meshuggah and Decapitated. On that tour, the mostly death metal crowd did not really get into Baroness and their mostly soft rock set. The second time I saw Baroness, I drove down to San Diego to a sold-out show at The Casbah, about a year after their horrific bus crash that left most of the members of the band with severe injuries. They were welcomed back to the stage as heroes, in one of the roughest, sweatiest, and most fun shows that I have ever been to. When Baroness announced that they would be coming back to Los Angeles for the first time in four years, I knew I had to be there, and many close friends of mine felt the exact same way. There was a beautiful intensity and excitement in the air as many in the crowd would be seeing them for the very first time. It was also due to the fact that their recent release ‘Purple’ had been so well acclaimed and lyrically struck the right chord with a lot of people, due to being influenced by frontman John Baizley’s time in the hospital and subsequent recovery time.
The line formed early and at 8 PM, the place filled quickly. There was only one opening band that night, and at 9 PM, the crowd was introduced to Youth Code. Youth Code is a Los Angeles based two-piece industrial band, consisting of Ryan George on keyboards and Sara Taylor on vocals. Ryan would supply backup vocals here and there, but it was clear that Sara’s growls and screams were the driving force of this band. Her tone was deep and raspy. It seemed obvious that half of the crowd were not familiar with them, and did not expect an industrial band to open up for Baroness. The crowd remained exceptionally respectful nonetheless. I enjoyed their set, though I do feel like the lack of a full band creates an awkward lack of energy that could be saved by more people playing instruments, such as drums and guitar, rather than just a couple of keyboards.
More Youth Code photos:
The lights went dark at exactly 10:15 PM, and Baroness took the stage to a full room of loud and excited fans. They went straight into ‘Kerosene’ from the Purple album, setting the mood of what the night was going to be like. The set consisted of 14 songs, followed by an encore, and contained every song from Purple, not including the 14-second ‘Crossroads of Infinity’. Aside from that, the set had a couple of fan favorites from the other albums, including ‘March to The Sea’, ‘Board Up the House’, and ‘Take My Bones Away’ from Yellow & Green, ‘Isak’ from The Red Album, and ‘The Gnashing’ from the Blue Record.
The energy from the crowd and band continued throughout the entire set, with most of the crowd singing along to every word. You could tell that the band was feeding off the energy, as they truly looked like four guys having the time of their lives playing the music that they love. I really enjoyed how they connected songs with little jam sessions in between, and the whole set flowed together nicely. The highlight of the night for me was ‘If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)’ from Purple, which is an incredibly beautiful and emotional ballad. You could see how much that song meant to many people in the crowd. The 16-song set flew by quickly, and I could not believe it was already time to go home. Baroness are definitely at the top of their game right now, and all their hard work over the years is paying off as they continue to be one of the most respected bands in heavy metal.
(If you like what you’ve read, support Metal Assault and buy a shirt!)
02. March to the Sea
04. Shock Me
05. Board Up the House
06. Green Theme
07. The Iron Bell
08. If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?)
10. Little Things
11. Chlorine & Wine
12. Try to Disappear
13. Desperation Burns
14. The Gnashing
16. Take My Bones Away
More Baroness photos:
2016, Aeonic, Album, Angeles, Band, Beach, County, Destroy, Doom, Dry, Forever, Heavy, Humor, Impulse, Jordan, Judas, Like, Local, Long, Los, Metal, Orange, Post, Review, Rock, Salfity, Shine, Sludge, Stars, Station, That, Wake, We
Destroy Judas is a local band from Long Beach, California. They play a mix of sludge metal, doom metal, and post metal, which is not a common music style for an area that is known for its beaches and downtown nightlife as well as its influence on West Coast rap/hip hop and ska music. Destroy Judas, however, has the ability to make you think that they come from a much colder area, and shows that true isolation and depression of the mind can strike anyone, despite having sand and sunsets as your backdrop.
Their debut album Wake was an instant classic for me, and the cassette tape has never left my car. Their second album is even more ambitious than their 4-song 50-minute debut. Forever Like Stars is just 1 song clocking in at 38 minutes. The build up is something to be reveled at, as its slow hypnotic phrasing lasts for a full 18 minutes before the vocals finally come in. From there it is a complete assault of growled/melodic vocals, beautiful melody lines on the guitar, powerful drumming, and equally powerful lyrics.
Destroy Judas is definitely for fans of Neurosis, Cult of Luna, and Isis, but continues to retain their own style as to never get confused for one of those bands. In addition, the band continues to incorporate the best elements of Wake while pushing forward and trying to cover new ground. The album starts strong, ends strong, and never gets boring in between. The 38-minute experience just seems to fly by, and leaves you ready for more Destroy Judas in the future. This is an extremely impressive and powerful album, and even though it was released in 2015 is one of my favorite albums of 2016 so far.
– Jordan Salfity
After witnessing such an incredible concert last night, I was extremely excited to get down to The Wiltern in Los Angeles and relive the experience. My friend obviously felt the same way, and we arrived at the venue around 6 o clock, an hour before doors opened. As an avid concert goer for heavy metal shows, I am used to getting at the venue early to establish a good spot in front of the band. So it was a strange sight for me when I arrived to find out we were the first people there. It did not occur to us that there would be no rush to get to the venue, because it was a seated event. We waited around for a line to form, which it eventually did, and started recognizing many faces who were at the night before. In addition, we talked to people who had traveled from the East Coast and saw shows over there. They were just as excited as everyone else.
The doors opened, and the crowd filed inside. Many ran to the merch booth or to the bars scattered across the venue. I however was excited to go to my seat. I have been to The Wiltern many times, however I had never sat on the balcony before, and couldn’t wait to see what the view was like. For those who are unfamiliar with it, The Wiltern is a gorgeous theater that feels like something from the past with its gold looking walls and Art Deco style. The view from the balcony was amazing, and we knew instantly that we were going to be in for a treat. We talked with other friends who were at the show and watched as the 1,850 capacity began to fill up. Eventually, the video that started the set the day before began to play, and we knew what we were in for. The venue began to applaud, and people rushed to their assigned seats.
(Because I went into detail about the previous show, and the setlists were virtually the same, I tried to focus on different aspects of the set for this review. Here is a link to the previous show so that you can compare them side by side and hear the whole story):
The video progressed with images of city, and a repetitive droning sound continued. Eventually, the lights darkened, keyboardist Adam Holzman came up on stage, and he began to “First Regret”. The rest of the band came up and joined in on “3 Years Older”, which helped show the band’s technicality and chemistry. After the song, Steven addressed the audience about how excitement was encouraged, similar to how he did the previous night. He was more direct this show, and less talkative with the audience. It was interesting to see how the spaces in the set were left open so he could address the same subject matters, but how this time around it felt a little bit more routine than the previous night, where he seemed to go off on tangents. Perhaps this was because this show was being recorded live for streaming by Yahoo.com. However, the audience who had not heard him say these things before were active listeners, and continued to laugh at Steven’s stories throughout the night.
The set continued through “Hand Cannot Erase”, “Perfect Life”, and “Routine”, the later two continuing to be some of the more memorable tracks from the set (and even more so because of the bigger venue and more room for ambience). Craig’s drum fills were excellent during “Perfect Life”. Even though I knew to expect the revamped version of “Index”, it still amazed me nonetheless. The precision of the snaps, the dark overtone of Steven’s voice and the images behind him, and the power of the band when they all eventually join in. I love how this song has continued to evolve in the live sense, since it’s inclusion in Steven’s very first solo tour. It is such a great song. “Home Invasion”/”Regret #9” were again an incredible section of the show, thanks to the heavy riffs, funky keyboard parts, and incredible solos. Head bobbing could be seen throughout the venue, and it wouldn’t surprise me if these songs continued to be a standard in tours to come. He took a break to address the crowd, and then went into “Lazarus”. It really amazes me how close this song gets to the original. The keyboard parts, background effects, and drum fills are exactly as they were on the studio recording. The visuals are the same ones Porcupine Tree would use when they would play it live. If it wasn’t for Nick Beggs’s unique backup vocals, you would think that Colin, Gavin, Richard, and John had payed you a surprise visit. He took a break to address the crowd one final time, before going into the song “Harmony Korine”. He did not play “Song X” because he did not want it on the live stream before it was recorded. This was the only difference between this set and the previous one.
The set finished the same, with the continuation of the remainder of the album, and the members walking off stage. I thought that “Ancestral” sounded a lot heavier than the previous night and I left this show with a lot more admiration for that track than I had before. After the album, the screen went down and the opening video for “The Watchmaker” began to play. It was great to see it from the balcony cause it filled up the venue in the darkness and looked a lot creepier than it had the previous time. The band played “The Watchmaker”, and it continues to be an amazing track in a live setting. The band went straight into “Sleep Together” and the crowd went wild for this one. It’s amazing how excited the crowd gets for this track live, even though it would not be the Porcupine Tree song that most people would ask to hear. The band went offstage to the sound of extremely loud cheers, and one of the longest claps I’ve ever heard. The band returned with another incredible rendition of “The Raven That Refused to Sing” before finally ending the set, thanking the audience, and taking a bow.
All in all, I’m very thankful that I was able to experience this show two times in two different venues. From being up close in the fifth row to seeing it from far away in the balcony, there is always something to enjoy about the set. Up close, you can see their fingers and appreciate their technicality. From far away, you can see the visuals better and enjoy the overall experience. Either way, Steven Wilson and his band of world class musicians are among the best live acts out there now and are not to be missed.
Intro (First Regret Loop Intro)
Lazarus (Porcupine Tree Song)
After the excellent performance that happened the previous night, I was eager to get to The Troubadour in West Hollywood and experience it all over again. This time however, I would get to experience the performance of Act III, my favorite album by the band. I got to the venue around 6 o clock, and lined up with a few other fans. Many faces were quite familiar from the previous night, and I could tell that they were thinking the same about me. The friendly demeanor of the fans mimicked how pleasant they were in the line the previous night, and we went in around 7 PM. It was my first time in The Troubadour, which is pretty surprising considering I have been to pretty much every other venue in Hollywood. The fans quickly took their places. Some people grouped up nice and close to the stage, while others raced upstairs to get a great seated view. The sold event showed its true colors, as the crowd packed in nice and tight. It was significantly smaller than the previous night, but the closeness excited many people at the thought of no barriers/spaces between them and the band.
Opening the show again was Naive Thieves. For any other band, this would be a tough situation. They faced playing a crowd who had seen them the previous night, they were going to play the same setlist to the same crowd, and they are aware that most people in the venue went to both nights to see completely different sets by The Dear Hunter. Not being able to give the audience that same kind of diversity, they gave the set their all with their confidence, charm, professionalism, and likability. Cameron handled the situation by making jokes that were continued from the previous night. It was easy to see that they were much more comfortable in a smaller venue that had a bar atmosphere. Because of this, they seemed to have a much better set. The cheers from the audience echoed more, and the band could not help but smile. A highlight in the set was towards the beginning when Cameron dropped his guitar pick. My friend pulled one out of his pocket and handed it to him. Cameron responded by dedicating a song to him. There was a good vibe from both the band and the audience throughout the set. The songs/order were the same, but no one seemed to mind at all.
Having been able to overcome the difficulties of their previous week, Northern Faces made it out for their direct support slot. Many people I talked to in the crowd had never heard them before, and were looking forward to finally getting that chance. They came out on stage to the sound of prison sirens and spotlights going back and forth. It was a great introduction as the band began to play “Cops Come”. The band played a blend of indie rock that had a pop element, as seen in certain songs like “Alone and Forgotten”. It seemed like the music was very radio friendly, while still retaining the creativity that you would expect from a band opening up for The Dear Hunter. They went through their set which had a nice amount of diversity. Some songs like “Wait, Wait, Wait” were upbeat and almost danceable. Their bass player would also provide tambourine and backup vocals while both of their guitarists would split up the vocal duties. Their vocals blended nicely, as heard in songs like “Brother” The guitar tones were great, and the guitar solos had a strong blues influence. The bass also had some interesting tones, that could often time sound like a synthesizer. The last song of the set, titled “Finding Hope”, had a post-rock element to it, as it built up with a repeated phrase and uplifting chord progression. The band had the ability to get the audience to sing along with their songs even though most of the audience members had never heard them before. From the strong entrance to the strong finish, the band played an extremely enjoyable set overall and it had a lasting impression.
The crowd began to shout for The Dear Hunter, who slowly and quietly made their way onto the stage to get their equipment ready. They did not walk out to any intro music like I had originally expected to. Instead, the lights went dim, and Casey softly went into “Writing On a Wall” before the full band joined in. The energy from the crowd could already be felt. It was obvious that the setting made a big difference. Everyone began to jump around as the band played “In Cauda Venenum”. I can’t tell you if it was because the venue was smaller or because the crowd was much more excited than the previous night, but something was definitely different that night. The cheers seemed louder. The singer from the audience seemed fuller. There were more arm gestures coming from the audience. And the band could definitely feel all of this. Casey made remarks between songs about how crazy the crowd was, and how unforgettable this show was. The energy continued throughout the set during songs like “The Tank”, “Mustard Gas”, and “He Said He Had a Story”. During songs like “What It Means to Be Alone”, the crowd would sway, and it was almost impossible to not sway along with them as the crowd surrounded you. People danced during songs like “The Poison Woman”, “This Beautiful Life”, and “Go Get Your Gun”. Aside from the energy during the heavier songs, equally memorable were the ballads of the night such as “Saved”, “Son”, “Father”, and “Life and Death”. The crowd sang loudly and emotionally. It was evident how much these songs meant to the people in the audience, and reminded me of how most people were while watching Act II. Like the previous night, I felt content by the end of the album, but was very glad to know that there would be an encore. Casey came back out and performed a song from the upcoming Act IV album. However, he performed it as a solo acoustic piece, which both satisfied the audience and left them excited to hear the finished version. It was an amazing moment, and Casey seemed very happy with how the crowd responded. Finally, the rest of the band came back out, and they finished the night off with “Whisper” from their most recent album, Migrant. I thought this song seemed more like a typical encore song, and it really helped solidify how amazing this concert was.
Overall, it’s hard to compare these two nights, because they both had their pros. I’m really glad that I got to experience both albums back to back and fully appreciate how intricate and elaborate they are. The nights gave me a deep appreciation to how great a live band The Dear Hunter are. They really know when to keep the set flowing with some jam sessions, or when to take a break and address the crowd. The nights also gave me new appreciation to The Dear Hunter fans, for their dedication and respect. From the great setlists to the great openers, these two nights were a wonderful experience. It was hard facing the next day knowing there would not be another show to go to, but I look forward to knowing there will be an upcoming tour in support of Act IV.
Act III: Life and Death
To the majority of the world, Faith No More is a one hit wonder, thanks to the success of their single “Epic” in 1989/1990, and attending a Faith No More show is simply for the nostalgic factors. To the metal community, Faith No More are legends who continue to inspire and influence the genre, and attending one of their shows is a MUST. The band broke up in 1998, and since reforming in 2009, has only played LA once, in the form of a two night stand at the Hollywood Palladium in late 2010. So when they announced that they would be coming back around, many people jumped at the chance. Originally the band was going to play one Los Angeles show at the Wiltern and one Orange County show at The Observatory. The demand led to three more at the Wiltern, resulting in a four night stand in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Since I would only be able to attend one of those shows, I knew I had to attend the first one. In line, many people talked about having seen them before, or having this be their very first time. Either way, people talked about this show like a badge of honor, finally being able to cross off seeing Faith No More from their bucket lists.
The doors opened around 7:30 PM, and everyone ran in to get a good spot to this mostly general admission show. As people shuffled, in the music was provided by a DJ onstage, known as DJ Mexican Dubwiser. He continued to provide music for the rest of the night. The first band began at 8:30 PM, and that band was Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror). I was not familiar with this band, so I didn’t know what to expect. They consisted of three members: One on drums, and two singers, one of which controlled a midi pad for sound effects. The music was a mixture, of punk and rap with elements of industrial and electronic music. It went from ambient and droning sections, to rap beats with aggressive and shouted vocals, to somewhat metal riffs where the two singers would run around and jump onstage to the music. It was a high energy performance, and the singers would provide hand gestures acting out with the lyrics were saying. They started the performance with masks, which were removed during the set. One of the members wore an army uniform and pretended to shoot his band members and the audience, further demonstrating the political nature of the lyrics. However, because of the screaming and because of how the Wiltern is (a big open room where sounds have to travel far), it was impossible to discern anything that they were saying. The audience seemed to be enjoying the performance. It was not necessarily my thing (as I am not really a fan of rap or punk), but it was exactly the performance you would expect to find as the opening band of a Faith No More show.
Their set ended around 9:15 PM, and the stage crew began to set up for Faith No More. The first noticeable thing was that all the amps and monitors were covered in white sheets. All of Faith No More’s crew were similarly dressed in white pants and gowns. They then began to bring flowers and place them at the edge of the stage, as well as on top of the amps and around the drums. The band was supposed to start at 9:45 PM, but didn’t start until 10:00 PM. By that time, the audience was more then ready to get things going. The band walked onstage in all white gowns and pants just like their crew. However, Mike Patton walked out with BDSM hooks in his mouth and nostrils (in addition to restraints on his wrists). It was impressive that he was able to sing like that, but it was nothing short of what we would expect from one of the most unique and influential frontman in rock and roll history. They started the set with the first single released from their new album, “Motherfu**er”. It was a great opener as it built up throughout the duration of the song, and got the whole crowd to sing immediately. From there, they went through a set filled with old songs as well as new songs that the majority of the crowd had never heard before, because their new album does not come out for another month. The crowd was equally happy to hear the old and the new songs, and proceeded to dance, sing along, headbang, mosh, or just sit and watch in awe. The band had control of their respective instruments. Jon Hudson had such a light touch on the guitar that it was amazing to see it emit such a heavy tone. Mike Bordin continued to supply great fill ins throughout the course of the night. Roddy Buttum and Billy Gould continued to smile throughout their night as they played their instruments. Patton had the audience in the palm of his hand throughout the duration. He went through a wide range of vocal styles, constantly impressing the audience with his screams, whistles, and falsettos. Even covers of songs by Burt Bacharach or Commodores had the same reaction as the rest of songs from the setlist (if not a bigger reaction). In addition to the beautiful stage settings, excellent light show, strong and diverse setlist, and use of props such as megaphones, there were other things that made the set unique. The banter between the band members was funny to watch and listen to. And there was even a part in the set where a member from the audience was brought onstage so that Mike Patton could put a gimp mask on him and order him around the stage while continuing to sing and not miss a beat. After a 3 song encore, the band came back out for the final encore, which was the live debut of “Black Friday” from their upcoming album. 19 songs later, the band was finally done, and the 1 hour 30 minute set had finished, satisfying all who had seen it.
The set just seemed to fly by, and it amazes me when I look back on it that I heard 19 songs that night. There were so many other songs that they could have played, but that’s what is so amazing about Faith No More. They are far from being a 1 hit wonder, and seeing them live really proved that. I am jealous for the people I talked to at the show that get to see them multiple times this week. Especially since they are the kind of band to change up their setlists night after night. But also, just because of the feeling it gave, to finally witness this legendary band in action after all these years.
Faith No More Setlist
Midlife Crisis (with an excerpt of Lowdown by Boz Scaggs)
Easy (Commodores Cover)