What a great first show the year! Weedeater with a some great locals. My friend Ben and I got into the venue and almost immediately ran into Brennan from Cormorant. Always a pleasure to talk with him. We went into the main area with the stage and stood around. When Cormorant started getting on stage everybody got in closer and I noticed Arthur von Nagel, previously of Cormorant, was in attendance. It was cool to see him and again and it's awesome to see he's still reppin Cormorant. Around 9:20 the show started and I was ready for to hear some new Cormorant tunes.
If you don't already know, Cormorant are a progressive folk/black metal band from the bay area and to put it lightly, they're the best band to ever exist ever
. They played a bunch of new tunes, from their upcoming record, and they all sounded phenomenal. New bassist/vocalist Marcus Luscombe sounds great. His black metal vocals are reminiscent of what we heard on Dwellings and his bass lines fit the Cormorant bill perfectly. One thing I noticed is that they're incorporating more clean vocals than before. Also, guitarist Matt Solis is contributing his vocals to a lot of the songs, both clean singing and death metal growls. The moments where the vocals trade off or when both vocalist and screaming are monolithic. Brennan's drumming is also a major highlight of the set. He's laying down some phat beatz on these tracks and they sound great. If you have any doubt at all of whether or not Cormorant can live up to their last record, stop being dumb. The new material is phenomenal and I can't' wait to hear Earth Diver. Unfortunately the only song title I caught was the last. I'll provide links to YouTube videos of them performing instrumental versions of some these songs back in August of 2013.
New Song #1
New Song #2
New Song #3
Next up were bay area prog/sludge/cello metal act, Grayceon. After listening to these guys for almost 4 years, I finally got my chance to see 'em, and it was well worth the wait. Their performance was practically flawless. Everybody in the band sounded top notch, from their playing to their tone. You'd never guess that guitarist Max Dolye doesn't use a pick when he plays guitar. His tone is awesome. Drummer Zack Farwell completely wrecks his kit. He didn't have a dull moment the entire set. And cellist/vocalist Jackie Gratz sounded as good as when I've seen her with Giant Squid, maybe even better. Grayceon definitely showcases her cello shredding and singing abilities more than Giant Squid, and it's really amazing. Only thing bad I can say was I couldn't hear her vocals during the last song, but that's just because they turned up their amps because they couldn't hear themselves on stage. And I was standing right in front, so whatever. Grayceon played tunes from their 2011 record, All We Destroy, and one song from their 2013 EP, Pearl & The End Of Days. All the material sounded heavy as fuck, especially End Of Days. That shit fucking BANGED. So many heavy hitting headbangings parts. Overall, I was extremely impressed with Grayceon's set. It was well worth the wait to see 'em. If you ever get the change to see these guys, fucking do it.
A Road Less Traveled
Ends Of Days
Next up was the first of the two touring bands, Black Cobra. The two-man sludge band was definitely a draw for a good amount of the audience, as people went completely ape shit during their performance. There was a lot more moshing than I expected, so that was kinda lame. It makes sense though because their type of sludge is pretty moshable at times. But the band sounded pretty good on have some pretty sweet riffs. Overall they were pretty good but drunken moshers killed the vibe Grayceon set. If you dig High On Fire, listen to these dues. Something else worth noting was I was standing next to Lori from Acid King or a lot of the performance. Thought that was neat.
Finally, the mighty Weedeater hit the stage. This is one of the funnest sets I've seen in a while. They've got a new drummer, but the dude they got plays great and his a hell of showman, doing plenty of stick twirling, throwing his stick and catching and doing stuff like kicking his hi-hat and such. And speaking of showmen, "Dixie" Dave Collins is probably the most entertaining metal musician I've ever watched on stage. There's never a dull moment with him when he's playing. He's always jumping around, making the most ridiculous faces when he's singing and always makes sure to do a bit of drinking in between songs. Even when he was just sound checking he was cracking jokes. And both Dixie and Dave Shepherd have monster tones. They mostly played material from Jasonů The Dragon and God Luck and Good Speed. After Hammerhandle, one of Dixie's amps started to malfunction so the technical difficulties set their set back a bit, but I think we still got the full show. All the songs they played sounded great and it was just a really fun set. Weedeater are a blast, go see them if they play in your area. Also, I don't know their material as well as I should, so the set may not be exact.
Jasonů The Dragon
God Luck and Good Speed
Gimme Back My Bullets
Overall, this was show was a blast. Can't wait to hear from all these bands in the future.