Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Big Scion Rock Fest Recap Review Thing Part 4 - Boris, High on Fire, & Neurosis

Well boy am I fucking lazy this week. Sorry this is stretching out in to a fucking month long process but I've had a shit load of other stuff going on. Anyway, here's your next installment.

After a solid hour and a half of thrashing myself mad, it was time to head back outside to catch the end of Boris's set. This was the 3rd time I've seen them... in theory... The 2nd time I fell asleep midset... Long day, don't ask. Right, this time I didn't fall asleep and they were solid solid solid. Boris is great for a variety of reasons. Their ability to go from a 20minute beatless ambient drone straight into a 70's prog metal jam, into some punk inspired breakdown, right back into doom jams; their flare for showmanship; the sheer volume at which they play; the fact that their guitar player doesn't even make it to my shoulders! Hell they're pretty much just great all around. Their performance at Scion was definitely up to par with the first time I saw them as Wata, Takashi, and Atsuo used all the tricks at hand to achieve the highest degree of spacey stonerness possible. Fog, flashing lights, gongs, white sparkly shirts, double necked guitars, massive stacks of Orange and Sunn amps, you know, all the usual suspects. I only caught the last 20min of their set and they were in full swing the whole time. Fucked if I can remember what the songs were but they were loud and there was enough smoke that you could actually see the lights even though it was still daytime. Long and short, fun even if you don't smoke.

After Boris I tried to get in to Harvey Milk but the security guards were starting to get dickish and claimed the room was "at capacity"... which is some bullshit considering I saw like 40 people walk out of that motherfucker. Anyways, they sounded heavy as shit from the outside but I couldn't tell what was up inside.

Since that shit was full I headed back out to score a good spot for High on Fire under the main tent. As a massive Sleep fan and a pretty big HoF fan I was pretty stoked for that show. Vic and I scored a spot basically front and center and kind of set up camp. The tent packed out around us and was pretty much full to the brim from there on out. Matt and the gang came out, took their places, and rocked the fuck out. Playing a pretty even split of songs from all their albums they kept the fans happy with their patented blend of speedy yet sludgy riffing. Matt was looking surprisingly good (probably due in large part to his decision to wear a shirt...) and all three members looked generally happy to be on stage in front of a huge crowd.

OK fuck this I'm tired of not posting other more fun shit than this. Here's the short version.

High on Fire was fucking awesome, rocked hard, crowd was in to it. Bang.

Neurosis. Hard to put in to words just how fucking amazing they are onstage. If you've never seen them you really need to fix that shit. They play like once every millenia and it's always packed and generally far away but if you can see them, get on that shit. It's not so much a concert as a fucking experience. The video, the extreme volume, Steve, Scott and Dave looking like the physical embodiment of a fucking nightmare, the completely massive riffs. In a weird way, even though they're a "doom" band with a hardcore history, it kinda harkens back to the old Hawkwind type hippy extravaganza shows of the 60's when the idea of what a pop concert "is," was still up in the air and music, video, and spectacle all combined. Fortunately, Neurosis crowds tend to be fairly hippy free but the spectacle is still there. Their new material is really heavy on the ambience and atmosphere and even for a thrash fanatic, if you let it, it'll get you in to a nice trance. Throw a few beers in to the mix and you can nod off with the best of them. That is of course until they drop one of their massive hits. The first time I saw them in Brooklyn I couldn't hear for a week and a half and I almost shit my heart out the sound was so intense.

In ATL the sound wasn't quite as overpowering but the spectacle/set/performance was just as intense. Fuck me man, I would cry if I ever met Scott or Steve in an alley. Massive, unabashedly threatening, tried by fire, and undyingly hardcore. If you don't believe me head over to the Shrinebuilder Blog and read that post. Fear is a word that comes to mind. Anyways, they were everything I wanted to see. If you're trying to see them, just remember they pretty much stick to the slow heavy stuff and lean towards the new right now.

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