A Different Kind of Festive
It’s the holiday season and that means one thing, cheerful Christmas music. While, these songs may provide some with a festive catalyst to get in the mood, to others they provide a sense of dread. They play in every store, on too many radio stations and then there’s the plethora of seasonal shows and movies airing nonstop. At this point, you’ve probably confused me for someone whose favorite phrase this time of year is humbug, but you’re wrong. I love how this time of year brings people together and even have my staple end of year albums and movies I watch. My issue is more with the over saturation and that where Red Fang comes in. They brought a tour package that provided an evening and kick ass metal and a welcome break from all of the crowded malls and forced pleasantries.
With a name as provocative as Whores the band needs to deliver. And holy crap they put one hell of a show, running straight through a solid set. Their music is the sonic equivalent of a fuzzy kick to the throat, unrelenting and brutal. Imagine if the Melvins, Napalm Death and Neurosis had a love child and you have Whores. A stellar addition to the gritty underbelly of rock music and a force to behold live. The intensity of their show ignited the already packed crowd, yet also put them in a daze, proving that this lineup was a great idea. Hopefully, Whores come back to Seattle as soon as possible and if you haven’t listened to their debut full-length Gold, do so.
Torche started their set off with a bang and didn’t let up. Bassist Jonathan Nuñez stood center stage feeding off the energy of the crowd, gritting his teeth as they unleashed their unique brand of stoner metal onto a receptive crowd. Their energy and style worked as a perfect segue between the droning brilliance of Whores and the all-out fury of Red Fang.
The only slow moment came when the band dove deep into an ethereal portion of a song, unleashing a heaping serving of feedback, forcing everyone to lose themselves in the music. A rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ dedicated to Red Fang’s drummer John Sherman followed bringing the crowd back up to speed. The rest of their set was engaging and intense, proving that Torche is on the rise with bright things in their future.
From the moment Red Fang played the first notes of ‘Blood and Cream,’, the crowd hung on every word and song. In no time the entire floor was moving, not the crowd, but the actual floor because the crowd was jumping in rhythm with the music. Not only does Red Fang sound amazing on studio albums, the stoner fuzz quality of the music takes on a life of its own when they play live. One such moment was when the band played ‘Wires’, whose build-up intro had the air above the crowd filled with fists, which pumped as the song crept toward the point where the floor could start moving again.
As ‘Wires’ came to an end one of the roadies brought the band a bottle of champagne and some glasses, which Red Fang used to toast drummer John Sherman’s birthday. This was an odd sight for a band who has prided themselves on their love and consumption of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Bassist Aaron Beam brought things back to a more appropriate tone when he introduced the next song, “Speaking of birthdays, here’s a song about a dead cat ‘Hank is Dead’!”
Red Fang puts on one hell of a live show, forgoing theatrics for solid playing and beastly songs, which they now have a four album deep catalog to pull from. Each better than the last, with their newest Only Ghosts being a highlight of 2016.
While this tour might be done, they will be back and make damn sure you go.