Orchid -- San Francisco, CA -- July 19th, 2013
Show of the year, sorry to jack your thunder Lincoln but this was one of the most fun nights I've had in the city yet. Setting was Slim's, my favorite venue ever.
Got the venue around 6-ish, met up with my pals in Hell Fire and caught up with master photographer Raymond. One of the nicest, friendliest, kindest and most warm-hearted guys in a profession filled with plenty of selfish jerks. We hang around to catch Orchid's soundcheck, which ended up being Heretic. Raymond was then cool enough to introduce me to the Orchid guys, who I was supposed to have an interview scheduled with but their publicist didn't provide contact info. Before the interview I met Capital Chaos Zoran, who was actually familiar with my work and gave me some very nice compliments on it. Poor guy had to take off to Summer Slaughter to do more interviews. Anyway, I did the interview with singer Theo and guitarist Mark, both of whom were very cool and fun. Drummer Carter joined in near the end. This will obviously come out in the interview, but the new album has utterly annihilated their sales expectations apparently.
I returned to my car to pay for parking and lo and behold I find my friends Brynn and Steven. We spend a very short time catching up, but then I have to keep running to the transport to pay the fee. When I do finally return to the car I stumble upon two of my dearest friends from high school, Pat and Oliver. After a short walk 'n talk, we meet up with the Hell Fire boys and kick it for a bit. Our buddy Luis then offers me a signed Orchid poster that he won in a Facebook giveaway from Slim's. I graciously accepted and stashed it away in the vehicle and soon returned to the venue. When I walked in I found and introduced myself to My Victim bassist Yasushi. He had added me on Facebook a few weeks back and said some nice things about a review I wrote of the band, so I wanted to thank him for that. Cool dude!
Hell Fire soon hit the stage and tore the place apart. The usual basically. The Victim of Changes cover had a bad start, but singer Alex was hitting every note. It was frightening how much he sounded like '70s Halford. If you've read my other reviews of this band, then you already know how much I love these guys and why they're awesome. The best young band in the bay area, hands down.
1. Sirens of the Hunter
2. Islands of Hell
3. Lightning Axes
4. Night Terror
5. Metal Masses
6. Victim of Changes (Judas Priest cover)
Next was St. James Society. They were some kind of stoner indie band and I just didn't give a damn about them to be frank. I soon ran into engineer Will and talked shop with him and tried to absorb whatever advice he had to offer me. Always a pleasure to talk with fellow gear nerds and audio geeks, especially one as cool as Will.
Orchid was last up and demolished every expectation I could have had with a nearly flawless 85 minute set. The only issue was that bassist Keith's amp was messed up for the first two songs. The rest was the best heavy rock music I've heard in forever, and just an immensely powerful performance all around. Mark is just an outstanding guitar player, and Theo's voice was in fine form. Drummer Carter was incredible, one of the best drum performances I have ever seen. This is tied with Bolt Thrower as the year's best set for me.
2. Mouths of Madness
3. Eyes Behind the Wall
4. Silent One
5. Eastern Woman
6. Black Funeral
8. Down Into the Earth
9. Cosmonaut of Three
11. He Who Walks Alone
12. Wizard of War
13. Saviours of the Blind
Immediately went backstage to kick it with many of the aforementioned pals, along with Hell Fire bassist and drummer Herman and Mikey. Guitarists Jon and Tony soon joined in the mirth, with all but I partaking in the reefer (gotta drive home after all). We were soon booted out by Slim's staff who wanted to tear down for the night. I found Mark and we thanked each other for the interview, I introduced myself to Keith and finished chatting with and thanking Master Raymond. Steven, Brynn, Pat, Oliver, Luis and I soon head out to a crepe place across the street, which was fucking delicious. I said my goodbyes to Pat, Oliver and Luis and ended up giving Brynn and Steven a lift home. These two are some of the most genuine, nice and all-around sweet people I know, and I was really happy to chill with them on the way home. I dropped them off, headed back to the parents' dwelling and now I'm here, sleepy as fuck. Night peeps.