After making a complete ass of myself getting into Fortune Sound Club, I made my way upstairs to get ready to have my eardrums blown out. Never been to Fortune Sound Club, but it had a pretty nice set-up with lots of floor space, but room to sit too if that’s what your barkin’ dogs needed. They had a decent sized stage with a bizarre looking sound system up front, which they’ve got a lot of info about on their site. I know nothing about sound systems, so that’s about all I’ve got.
Since it was an early show, I was expecting only one opener and then Lightning Bolt to melt our faces off. Oh how wrong I was (not that it was a bad thing).
Yellowthief was up first. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from bands opening for Lightning Bolt, but these two couldn’t have been more perfect. They were on stage with some sort of scarf/t-shirt/whatever Arabian knight hoods covering their faces, and played with the same ferocity I’d expect from a lead-up to Lightning Bolt. A few of their numbers sounded like something that would’ve come out of Lightning Bolt, while others had less of a noise rock sound at times; it gave them a unique shifting sound that gave some variety to the evening. Sadly this was the drum-bass duo’s last show together; on the plus side though, if you want in and can slay a drum-kit with the speed of ten men, then Yellowthief is looking for you.
Shearing Pinx was a surprise as a second opener on what was not as early a show as I thought the term ‘early show’ meant. Comprised of a male guitar/vocalist, male drummer/vocalist, and female bassist, they were ready to link things together before the main event. Another local band, they fit in quite well , sound-wise. A couple songs seemed to drag on just because there were a few times when there was an abrupt end and people started clapping buuuuuuuuuut it wasn’t over yet. Overall, another good set, though not really my thing.
At 10 Lightning Bolt took stage. With even more amps and speakers on stage, I decided it’d be a great time to take my earplug-less eardrums further from the explosive sound and hang out near the back. Brian Gibson strapped on his bass, and Brian Chippendale strapped his mic into his mouth and got his luchadore-style mask into place and the stage erupted into an avalanche of distortion. ‘Sound Guardians’ made my ears bleed with excitement as they started their set.
This is where things go downhill for my reviewing skills because even though I’ve loved Lightning Bolt for quite a while, there ain’t no way for me to give any more of a setlist than this. I’m about 99% sure that they played ‘The Sublime Freak’, ‘Funny Farm’, and ‘Transmissionary’ from their newest album Earthly Delights and ‘Dead Cowboy’ from Hypermagic Mountain, but I’d be a liar if I said it was a for-sure. It was an awesome set, full of energy with Gibson tearing his bass up and Chippendale making near-unintelligible sounds into the microphone in his mouth as he pounded on his drum-kit, possibly sending shards of it flying into the eyes and mouths of head bangers in the crowd.
There’s nothing I can really write that can take in the full scope of Lightning Bolt’s performance. Brian Chippendale’s antics, the excitement and energy of the crowd, and the ability of these musicians to take what may sound like meaningless noise and turn it into actual sensical music is mindblowing.
So I’ll end this review; go listen to Lightning Bolt and if you hate them, then never think of them again.
But if you love them like I do, just pray that they hop up over the border from Providence and grace us with their melodic discord again.