Boris -- San Francisco, CA -- May 22nd, 2013
What a great way to kick off the summer. After a long day sitting packing up my dorm, then sitting in the car with my mom for roughly three hours, I got home and relaxed for a bit and said hi to some family. Then about two hours later, my friend Ben came by and we started making our way to the city. This was my first time at The Rickshaw Stop, and I liked the venue. When we got there, there was a fairly long line, and hipsters were in abundance. We got in and thankfully there was a bar right near the entrance, which distracted people from getting to the stage immediately, so me and my friend were able to get right in front of the stage. There was no barrier or anything, just a stage that was about thigh high. Deafheaven had all their gear set up in front of Boris' and it was a tight squeeze that would prove to be a little problematic later in the set. Around 8:40, one the guitarist from Deafheaven started tuning his guitar and then played a chord that was masked in reverb and chorus then walked off stage. They let it drone for a few minutes then they all got on stage, a little bit at a time. And their set started.
I ended up right in front of the vocalist and the main guitarist, which would prove to be the favorable spot for crowd interaction in the set. Deafheaven put on an absolutely brilliant set. They all sounded great and the mood they set was really cathartic and I just let loose during the majority of the set. It was nice to just be able let it out after my first year of college. They played a mix of tracks from their debut, Roads To Judah, and two new songs from their upcoming LP, Sunbather. The whole time they were playing their set I was headbanging to my heart's content. The vocalist, George Clarke, had such great stage presence. It was obvious he took his art completely serious and had the most metal facial expressions I've ever seen. And his black metal shriek is absolutely beautiful. I was really happy it wasn't drowned out by all the guitars and drums. All the band was fairly animated yet completely serious the whole time and it was nice to see that from a band. During their performance of Unrequited, the singer invited the crowd to come closer as he stood in the small space between the stage and the monitor and got really close. We were practically face to face at one point, and that's always a cool feel. Another notable moment in the set was during Violet, part of the drumset started falling of the stage, due to the continuous beating on the bass drum. The bass drum and ride cymbal stand were nearing off the stage and people from the crowd started lifting 'em back up. After that song the drummer had to reconfigure his kit and they brought out a sand bag to keep the bass drum in place. DIY at its finest. Overall, this was probably one of the best opening set I've seen. Hands down. Hopefully I'll be seeing them doing a headlining set in July with our favorite Russian on the board.
After some time in between, Boris started set up their gear. Amps and pedals for days. Both Wata and Takeshi each had three pre-amp and cabinet combos. I knew I was in for a loud time. They come on the stage to quickly sound check, then came off, then came back on for an awesome set.
Boris were absolutely monolithically heavy. They started off the set with the song Huge off Amplifier Worship and it was just that. I know everybody probably says this, but it's kind of weird seeing a petite Japanese woman making such absolutely heavy and distorted sounds. But of course she wasn't alone. It was probably Takeshi who was the loudest that evening, but I might be saying that because I was right in front of him the whole night. The set was really cool. Attention Please was actually a really enjoyable song the hear live, and has me reconsidering listening to the whole album. Their cover of MBV's Sometimes was really cool, but got almost uncomfortably loud at that point. But I suppose that fits seeing as how it's Boris covering My Bloody Valentine, both being bands known for their loud performances. The rest of the set was great, and the last two songs before Flood were probably my favorites of their performance, besides Flood. I thought it was a little disappointing more people in the audience weren't as visually enthusiastic as myself, but what can you do? Flood was really amazing live, my only minor complaint was that they didn't really do anything off of Flood 1, besides the really loud ending. I know it's probably impossible to replicate the majority of Flood 1, but it would've been nice if they had just played the riff for a little bit. Either way, that was a great way to end set and I went HAM during the climax of the song. Both performance that evening were top notch.
2. Attention Please
After the show I talked to George from Deafheaven and was really nice and grateful for the support.
5/23 Giant Squid/Botanist/Cormorant
5/30 Alter De Fey
10/10-11 California Deathfest