Young Hunter -- Santa Rosa, CA -- June 1st, 2012
So, the show was scheduled to start at 7, so I got there a little after 7, not too worried about missing anything, because all local shows start late. But last night that was put to the extreme, because the concert didn't start 'til about 9. Fortunately, my friend Ben was there, so we talked for those two hours. At about 9, the first band started
Right off the bat, I knew that the night would be an interesting one, sonically. None of the bands were alike at all. The first band, Tierras Altas, were some weird fucking expermintal shit. The band consisted of a cellist, bassist and drummer. The bassist would also play guitar sometimes. Their songs were really quirky and I didn't really know what to make of them, but they put on an enjoyable set. Only thing that was kind of lame was that their drummer often dropped the beat and it was obvious he was really new to drumming. That aside, they were energetic, and they had some awesome little yellow toy that moved around when they played. I'll post pics of it once my buddy puts 'em up on facebook.
The next act was a singer/songwriter thing. Her name was Laina Torres, but I don't think she always performs as a solo artists, because she said she normally had some accompaniment. Anywho, she played folk music. It was alright, and she had a good voice, but it got kind of scratchy when she hit higher notes. She played 3 songs with a guitar and one with a bass-ukelele, which was interesting.
The next band was Space Hunter. They were a kick to watch, because they didn't know how to use their gear. They took a good chunk of time to set up, then once they got on stage they had further technical difficutlies. The guitarist couldn't get the tone he wanted or something and had feedback issues. But their actual music was alright. I don't know what to call 'em, I guess electro-rock, because they had a drum machine and electronic melodies playing during their songs. The songs were enjoyable and seeing the guitarist trying to figure out his gear was funny. Only real complaint was that they were uncomfortably loud at times.
Finally, after prepping the stage, Young Hunter came on. My body was ready for their set and they delivered. They were professional. They got on the stage, knew how to work their gear, and were well rehearsed. Young Hunter are a 7 piece, and it's really for the better. They've got three guitarist, a bassist, two drummers, and a keyboard player. One of the guitarist and the keyboardist are the main vocalist, and another guitarist also lends his voice for harmonies. So, they started their set with the opening track off Stone Tools, The Harbringer. Right from the start I was impressed with how well they re-create their sound on disc into the live enviornment. They've got all the extra percussion, the mix was great and everybody sounded spot on. The dim lights and fog machine only added to the overall huge sound that they were delivering. Every song they played sounded great and the band had awesome stage presence. They weren't getting all Dillenger or anything, but their movements fits the music peferctly. They were into it. Something I also really admired was that they threw in some improv/jam into their set. On one of the tracks, where on disc they go into a really fast section with a blast beat, they instead busted out a sick groove and jammed for a bit. Everything about their set was perfect. The mix/sound, the ambiance, and the music. This was by far the best performance I've seen all year. After listening to the album, I'm fairly certain they played every track, just not in order. I'll get an official setlist from 'em on facebook or something.
Young leaves on Ancient Branches
Cities of Black Mesa
New untitled song( stick drumming)
Sunlight at Break of day
The Perfect Dark
After Young Hunter was done, we went to the merch booth and talked to some of the guys for a bit. They were really nice. Turns out that some of the dudes were orginally from the area, which is why they decided to book a gig here before they start their west coast tour with Cormorant. I bought their CD which came with a sweet poster, and they also had some show poster and stickers for free dollars, so I nabbed some of thems too. After that, we continued to talk to some of the dudes outside the venue about music, the area, and other stuff. The guys are super nice. This was a great way to start off the summer concert series. If you get the chance to see Young Hunter, do it. Also, if you like stoner metal and/or desert rock, listen to Stone Tools, now.
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