Source: Yours truly
Well, I've been quite busy since attending this show, including driving back from NW Indiana on New Year's Eve, two unplanned trips into the office on days where I was supposed to be on vacation, waking up one morning to find that there was no heat in the house, waking up the following morning to find out that our car had been broken into (they stole some money, my mp3 player and a gift card to CHIPOTLE, BITCHES
), finding out our dog has fleas, the death of a close family member and a bunch of other random stuff. So needless to say, it has been a hell of a week and I had hoped to post this review sooner, but better late than never.
Simply put, it's a good thing that I had waited to post my list of best live shows for 2012, because on the second last day of the year, I attended the one that ended up being at the very fucking top of the list. In fact, this was one of the most awesome shows I have ever been to...period.
Rewinding a bit...the evening started with a somewhat last-minute trip on my part to NW Indiana to visit my in-laws, a situation which has resulted in my being able to see some pretty sweet shows in the past (including Giant Squid / Grayceon, Arch Enemy / Exodus, Yakuza / The Atlas Moth and Meshuggah / Cynic). In fact, I was supposed to have seen Clutch in Columbus the night before, but I procrastinated buying tickets and the show ended up selling out.
Anyway, I made the trek up to the Windy City in time to meet up with GarageMetal468 (Dan) from this forum at Kuma's Corner for a burger. I had the High on Fire
, and he had the Christ Inversion, which was the monthly special. They actually have a Neurosis burger, which seemed like the appropriate choice, but this headbanger ain't down with the horseradish mayo so fuck that. Dan and I talked about all things metal while waiting to be seated, including his band Splatter Control
in which he plays with metallicbrian666 (also of this forum). All the while, they had metal music playing over the PA system. Great place, and the food is ridiculously awesome. I can't wait to go back and try the Pig Destroyer or the Weekend Nachos.
After getting the evening started off right, we headed to Metro. By the time we got in, we had missed The Atlas Moth's set because of the long wait at Kuma's, but it wasn't too big a deal since I had seen them twice in the last eighteen months or so anyway. I heard they were good that night, and I have no reason to disbelieve it. They are a great band. Maybe moobys37 (Jon) can help us out with that one, since he was also in attendance that night with a couple of his friends from the Burgh (more on that later).
As we were showing our ID's to pick up our tickets at Will Call, I heard the first few notes of Bloodiest's song "Fallen" and I started losing it a little because they were a huge part of the reason I was attending the show. It turns out that that was their first song, and we only missed a minute or two of it, so that was cool. After that, they proceeded to play two more songs which I didn't recognize, so I assumed they were new. Both were awesome, so I got stoked that their next album should be sounding pretty sweet. As a closer, they played the epic twelve-minute track "Dead Inside", which was absolutely awesome (eat your heart out, Andy
). I got a video of it, but I haven't checked it out yet (I'll post it later).
So in summary, their (approximately 35-minute) set was:
Somewhere during Bloodiest's set, I had lost track of Dan, so I started looking for Jon, who had texted me that he and his buds were front and center on the rail. Thanks to my size and the fact that I don't care if I piss a few people off, I made my way to where they were and said wassup. Since I had already incurred a few dirty looks from a few people in the crowd, and based on some comments from Jon about how awesome the sound had been for Bloodiest, I just decided to stay up front for Neurosis's set. One thing I should mention at this point is that, in my haste to get up to Chi-town in time and because I was driving my sister-in-law's car instead of mine, I found myself without earplugs for this show. Not only is this unusual, but it turns out it was one of the worst times to make that particular mistake. My ears just stopped ringing a few days ago. Oh well.
As Steve, Scott and the rest of the boys took the stage and got started, I quickly started to realize that we weren't in Kansas anymore and that the shit was about to get real. These guys are loud, my friends. Really loud. They are also intense. Very intense. The looks on their faces while they perform convey a sense that they are not just playing notes up there on that stage - they are living the stories that are told by their music. The last time I got a vibe like that from a band was when I saw Watain
(and we all know how I felt about that show). At one point during their set, Scott rammed the mic into his forehead and started bleeding, which continued on and off for the rest of the night. Scott bled and spat and howled and screamed and paced and beat the shit out of his guitar and my ear drums for just over two hours, and let me tell you that the most prevalent of the many emotions I felt wash over me that night was gratitude, because I knew I was witnessing something special.
A Neurosis performance is not just a concert - it is a religious experience.
Set highlights are difficult to pinpoint, because quite frankly, even the songs which are slightly-less-interesting-than-others on album are transformed into masterpieces when performed by Neurosis in a live setting. I can say, however, that I was waiting expectantly for the song "Bleeding the Pigs" - which is my favorite off their new album - and it was everything I expected it to be and more. "We All Rage in Gold" and "Given to the Rising" were ridiculously good as well, and "Through Silver in Blood" was absolutely sublime.
The set list was essentially the same as the one from the previous night in Atlanta, except I'm 99% sure that they inserted an additional song in there somewhere in the middle. I don't know what (or where) it was yet, but I took a few videos with my camera, so if I identify it I'll edit this post accordingly.
Distill (Watching the Swarm)
My Heart for Deliverance
At the End of the Road
Times of Grace
At the Well
Left to Wander
We All Rage in Gold
Bleeding the Pigs
Given to the Rising
Through Silver in Blood
There was no encore, as Neurosis doesn't play that shit. After witnessing two hours plus of the most incredible music ever performed, it's not like anyone had a right to feel cheated or anything.
So as I said, I took a few videos. I haven't had a chance to check them out yet. When I do, I'll post the good ones on YouTube. I know I also got some decent photos as well. I'll try to post a few of those if I can. The show was incredible. You should have been there. If you ever get a chance to see Neurosis live, you should not hesitate to do whatever it takes in order to be there. These guys are simply amazing.