So, first act of the evening was Harm Wulf. He was a solo act and it was some singer/songwriter stuff. Odd way to start the show but I could dig it. The guitar work had some neo-folk sounds not unlike Agalloch so that was chill. Only thing I can really criticize is the fact that the dude couldn't really sing. Like at all. But whatever he only played like 4 tunes.
Next band was Living Eyes. They're a hardcore punk band from Oakland. They were pretty solid and had some cool moments that sounded sorta like Nails. A lot of really short metallic bursts.There were only a few slam dancers during their set but some dudes went hard. Overall they were pretty tight and it was obvious they were honored to share the stage with Nails. Cool stuff.
Next band was Palm from Japan. They were a really pleasant surprise. They played really cool hardcore with some sludge thrown in the mix and some of their riffs were pretty mathy and reminded me of Lethargy. It was during their set the crowd started getting real rowdy. There were circle pits and plenty of slam dancing and pushing and all of that. Despite having really broken English the singer had really great command of the crowd and was a enthusiastic showman. He was doing some masochistic stuff, beating the mic into his forehead and drawing blood. It was also super obvious they were psyched to be in the States touring with Nails. I think they said it was their first time over here. These guys were awesome. Check em out.
Next up was Power Trip. The crowd erupted and got buck nasty during their set. From the first sound of feedback people were going insane. There actually a few time some dudes in the crowd set off some fire crackers, which almost stopped the show. I thought it was a part of the band's act at first, until the venue gave a warning. The band themselves were solid. They sounded great and were all into it. I know it was a hardcore show, but Power Trip's sound is mostly thrash so it was still weird to see people slam dancing to that style of music. The band played a lot of material off their debut album Manifest Decimantion and it all sounded fairly solid.*
Next were Xibalba. I was surprised to see a few people took off after Power Trip but those who stayed still went hard. The band sounded tight and had some really great, gritty tones. The vocalist was giving in his full effort and was super appreciative of the crowd. Out of nowhere I noticed a scuffle between some people. I guess some drunk girl had had enough of the pit and lashed out on some dude. Some blood was drawn but I don't know on what end. That was kind of weird, but the show went on. Xibalba were a solid band. I may look into their album they released last year.*
Lastly were the almighty Nails! These guys were *absolutely great. Their sound was pretty badass, but I was expecting it to be a little louder. But even if it wasn't super loud it was just as abrasive as it is on record. Also the vocals were a lot more guttural live. Anyway, they played just about every song I wanted to hear off their two records so I can't complain at all. They were absolutely badass, just blazing through their set with raw, unrelenting energy. There was plenty of crowd interaction too. There were times the vocalist would hand the mic to people, even though he was playing guitar. These guys mean business, and you need to see em
(partial set, our of order)
God's Cold Hands
Abandon All Life
Wide Open Wound
After the show, me and my friend were walking to the car when we noticed Kerry McCoy from Deafheaven and a couple of his buddies were chilling in my friend's car. We got his attention and initially they were just like "my bad" and got off the car. Then *we complimented Kerry on Sunbather and he was like "That's hipster black metal. You guys are hipsters". Obviously he was kidding and a bit on the drunk side so we just kinda went with it and my friend was like "Dude you're in the band, you're the hipster" to which I added "yeah man, where's your scarff?" We all had chuckle and then he said that he really appreciates it then went on his merry way. It was a good way to end the evening.
Little bit of Twitter shenanigans after the fact