For a Saturday on finals weekend, yesterday was damn eventful. I took the two hour drive up to Sacramento on a whim, realizing that I could make it in time for Giant Squid's set at an all ages show at The Professional, which turns out to be an auto shop. I arrived somewhere around 8:15, an hour and fifteen minutes late, thinking I'd just gotten there in time for Giant Squid. Five bucks later, I realized that the show hadn't started yet. I was thinking, "Boy, I'd be pissed if I got here at 7 (when I was supposed to) and the show hadn't started till 8:30." But, not too long after I arrived, the first band, The Walking Dead were setting up.
This four piece actually was pretty cool. Really upbeat sludgy punkish sounding, and the guitarist/vocalist had some pretty funny banter with the 100 or so people in the crowd. I wasn't familiar with their material at all, but I think I'll look some up, they were above average for a band playing at a window tinting place.
After fifteen bored minutes were spent waiting for the next band, Rat Damage, I heard the most gnarly tone ever. They had started playing some heavy as shit doom stuff, and I was instantly excited for their set. However, two one minute long songs later, they had devolved to some really boring hardcore hybrid, which I was not digging. I had forgotten earplugs at the casa, so I decided to chill outside for a bit, really hoping that the walls would mask a lot of the sound. It didn't, and there was nowhere to hide, I would be listening to Rat Damage for another forty minutes.
I was thinking for a bit, what I was about to hear from Giant Squid. I know Cormorant switch up their set entirely between every local show, to try and make them less monotonous. I decided I didn't really care, but I was hoping for something different than when I saw Giant Squid in July. I briefly said hey to Aaron before their set, who recognized me from earlier, but he had to get setting up. They took the stage with a sense of urgency, which took me by surprise a bit, seeing how it was only 10 and they were the penultimate band of the night. Jumping straight into La Brea Tar Pits after the intro, I was sure I was about to see the same set as earlier. I still have a problem with opening with La Brea, it's just not quite as cool as something like Neonate or Donner Party at Sea would be. Mic troubles ruined the really cool chorus vocal melody, which was my favorite part of the song. They fixed the sound problems by the second verse though, so it was all good. By the time they got to Blue Linckia, their sound had achieved something great. Absolute mass, something that I wasn't able to grasp in the outside amphitheater last time.
"This song goes out to Sacramento. Our home town."
Aaron said this right before Donner Party, and I put on my best confused face. Who's your home town Aaron? San Francisco or Sacramento? Get your shit together. Either way, after everyone went insane for Donner Party, they went into Neonate after a brief sample. Let it be known that this could be the most crushing live tune ever, and it was even better because of the small setting. Because this was identical to the setlist I saw earlier, I was expecting them to get up after ending Neonate, and we could all go home and say how great they were. But Aaron said "one more," and played the opening notes to Sutter's Fort. Seven brilliant minutes later, they thanked the crowd and went offstage. Knowing they're the type to hang out with the crowd afterwards, I stayed for a bit.
I talked to Jackie a bit about Grayceon and Agalloch, and she was very kind. She said the new Grayceon is slated for March, and she seemed very excited for it. I then complimented her on her work on the new Agalloch, and we talked about it for a bit.
Ready to brave the two hour trip home, I got on I-80 and fifteen minutes into my drive home, blew a flat, and it took forever to get back home. But in the end, it was worth a tank of gas, five bucks and a 2:30 home arrival to see a nice forty five minute set from one of the coolest bands around.