In the spirit of “I hate writing reviews and no one reads them anyway” I am now trialing short and completely biased “heartfelt recommendations” (thanks to @alanbaxter for coming up with the term). I have already given Adelaide’s Imminent Psychosis a “Good shit heads up” and here I’m trying the same thing with a live review, under the moniker “You shoulda been there”. Am I on the right track? Let me know in the comments.
Last year in the middle of winter I dragged my arse across town in the snow to go see The Sword at Magnet Club, on a last minute whim, only to find out at the door that all tickets had been sold. The blow was particularly stinging because I’m not even a huge fan of the band. The general concensus amongst my Facebook friends as I lamented my luck was that Berlin just loves anything even remotely stoner.
I am therefore incredulous that Baroness, a far superior band, did not sell out Fritz Club, a much smaller venue, at a much less brutally cold time of year. It may have something to do with the fact that I didn’t see a single poster around town advertising the show in the months leading up to it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. A few hours earlier the following online conversation transpired.
Biodagar: You heard Royal Thunder? You’d dig it.
Goatlady: They are supporting Baroness tonight. I’ve not heard them though.
Biodagar: FUCK. Hate you. What are the chances of that?
So with that recommendation, we set off early to make sure we saw the support act. Our tickets said that doors opened at 7pm and the show started at 8pm. We arrived at 8pm, checked out coats, visited the bar and picked out a good spot to wait. And wait we did, for almost an hour, until… Baroness came on stage. I still don’t know if Royal Thunder didn’t play, or if they played their entire set before we got there. But either way, it was a bit disappointing. If we had not intended to see the support act and shown up later, we might have missed part of the headline set as well.
Anyway, onto the main event.
Yeah, FUCK YEAH. Baroness.
I’ve not seen them headlining before – only in cruelly short festival sets and once supporting Metallica (hey, did I ever tell you about the time I got roped in to see Metallica and nearly got in a fight? No? Maybe another time). So it was a great thing to see them given the sound and lighting guys’ full attention and time to play a complete set. The sound guy did an amazing job, by the way, and the lighting was pretty special too, entirely colour coded – green and yellow for the new stuff, blue for songs from the Blue Record and red red red for the very last song, Isak, the only track to make it in from the Red Album.
The set was heavy with new material, and it worked really well live. The harmonies were hauntingly beautiful and spot on. It’s refreshing to see a band – a metal band no less – where the vocals do not suffer in a live setting. The heavy bits were… well, heavy. We jumped around for an hour and a half or however long it was and got insanely overheated but loved every second of it.
Love love love Baroness. You shoulda been there.