I was nervous walking into the venue. I didn’t know anyone at the show and was a bit out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t even that familiar with the music so it made me try to blend into the wall at the back of the venue. I didn’t want people to judge me for not being excited enough. I didn’t want to be noticed at all. After the first band I started to loosen up, talking to the people surrounding me and getting pushed into complete strangers as the venue filled to the brim with excited fans. I still wasn’t quite sure what to think. I felt like I was standing by the edge of a swimming pool just dipping my feet in and testing the waters. I was too nervous to just jump on in but I could feel that the urge was there. Then Baroness took the stage and I jump in… no I cannonballed into that damn pool with no regrets.
I have been obsessed with the artwork of John Dyer Baizley lately. It’s intricate and whimsical. It’s the kind of artwork that you can stare at for hours on end and not get bored looking at it. It’s because of this artwork that I discovered John’s band Baroness. They say don’t judge a book (or CD) by it’s cover but that’s exactly what I did and I’m so glad I did.
It’s not that I had never heard Baroness’ music before but I never really gave it the time I should have. I’ve listened to their albums in passing but they never really stuck with me. The songs I had heard were a bit too doom/sludgy for me to handle and I figured that that’s how all of their songs were so I just didn’t dig into it. Sure, I have all of their albums but that’s more just so I can admire the cover art, not to listen to them.
Something was different about Baroness when seeing them live. I don’t know if it was that the sound was different or if it was just the energy but I fell head over heels for them last night. The amount of passion that the band members have just radiated off the stage. The cheesy smile that would creep across the drummer’s face was nothing short of infectious. You couldn’t help but stand there, smile, and bang your head.
The music was still a bit on the sludgy/ doom side but John’s voice has this sort of beauty to it that you don’t typically get with metal bands like this. His voice is unique in a way that as soon as you hear it, you know who it belongs to but it’s not in an obnoxious way. It doesn’t sound like he is forcing his voice to sound different than everyone else’s, it sounded natural and perfect.
When you take John’s voice and match it with the intricate guitar work and the driving drum rhythms, you get something amazing. The music seems to match the artwork that I fell in love with. It was intricate and complicated. It made you think and analyze but at the same time, it was nothing short of beautiful.
In August of 2012 Baroness was in a horrific car crash in England. It’s a band’s worst nightmare but also the reality of being in a touring band. Everytime I see anything about a band being involved in a crash, my heart skips a beat and I can’t help but pray for all of those involved. Fortunately, there were no casualties in the crash but there were serious injuries. I heard about the crash and, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the band, my heart broke for the members and their families. This would have made some bands completely give up. I mean, a tragedy like that can easily break a person or a group of people. It made my heart so happy to see this band, who has been through so much in the past couple of years, get up on that stage and play with more heart and integrity than many other bands that I’ve seen live.
I completely lost track of time during Baroness’ set. I had planned on an early night because I didn’t think I would get much out of the show and I was still recovering from a weekend spent in New York for family things. I looked down at my phone and realized it was now well past my bedtime. I didn’t care. I was so captivated by Baroness’ set I didn’t care about anything else other than savoring every moment of it.
Pallbearer was the sole opener of the show. These guys were definitely a bit too doom metal for me but I appreciated their talent and it didn’t kill me to stand there and listen to them. The vocals seemed to be a bit more sparse than Baroness but when there were vocals, they were beautiful. At one point, there were three vocals going on at once and it gave me the chills. Brett, the lead singer, had one of the most beautiful voices I had heard in awhile. He has the most subtle but best vibrato I think any doom metal band could have and it made them stand out in a genre that is typically dark and full of growled lyrics.
I wanted to see what Baroness would be like in a live setting. I figured they would be good, but I didn’t realize they would be that good. I may not be a doom/ sludge fan but there was something about Baroness that had me falling head over heels.
I fell in love with Baroness last night and consequently missed my bedtime.
I regret nothing.
Sausage Fest Meter- 21 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 29
Crowd Surfers- 0
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None Noticed
Overall Score- 6 out of 10
Show on Deck- Abigail Williams/ Origin/ Shining/ Belphegor