High on Fire/Meshuggah

 

 

High on Fire has always been a favorite of mine. The doom metal genre isn’t, but I always appreciated Matt Pike’s lyrical ability and musicianship. This evening he wowed the crowd playing tracks such as “The Black Plot”, “Rumors of War”, “Turk” and “Fertile Green”.

My second favorite Swedes. Who are the first you may ask? Click the link to find out. But yes, Meshuggah are definitely a close second. To appreciate a Meshuggah performance, you might need to get plenty of rest beforehand. Not because they are boring, oh no. Instead, it’s because the hard driving rhythms, killer riffs, and time changes will exhaust the hell out of you. Mind you, I wasn’t in the pit. I was off to the side with other press people, taking in the sight and having some libations, watching the melee unfold while the band were on stage playing their asses off. To say the crowd wasn’t totally into it would be wrong. They were, and although the performance was on the same night as the Cubs playing a world series game at home, the people in attendance cared little about what was going on in the outside world and gave all their energy and attention to Meshuggah.

And rightfully so. They played quite a few of their best songs as well as some off of their latest disc Violent Sleep of Reason which, in my opinion, was the best album of 2016. Meshuggah’s performance was one for the ages, cementing their place as one of the top bands in metal right now. The show and the disc will be talked about for years to come.  

SETLIST

Clockworks

Born in Dissonance

Sane

Perpetual Black Second

Stengah

The Hurt that Finds You First

Lethargica

Do Not Look Down

Nostrum

Violent Sleep of Reason

Dancers to a Discordant System

Bleed

Encore:

Demiurge

Future Breed Machine

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Psychic Warfare tour Clutch/Zakk Sabbath 10/25/16

Psychic, more like psychedelic. When putting a veteran band like Clutch along with guitar virtuoso, Zakk Wylde, who on this tour was playing Ozzy Osbourne, you get some funky rhythms, classic riffs, and a whole lot of second hand smoke. And no, I’m not talking cigarettes.

Needless to say, the name of the tour was appropriate considering their style as well as the promotion of their latest album. Listening to Zakk and his Sabbath along with Clutch might’ve put you on some spiritual trip. I love old Black Sabbath and Zakk’s awesome guitar playing made up for the fact he was trying way too damn hard to sound like Ozzy. Paying homage is cool. Every form of impersonation is flattery, but I don’t have to hear the second coming of the great Oz himself. There can only be one of him, and that’s plenty, thank you very much.

On the other hand, Clutch was just, well Clutch. Although I’m not one of their biggest fans and really, you shouldn’t care that I am, they have always put on a good show. Some of the highlights were “Animal Farm”, “Immortal”, “The House that Peter Built”, as well as a new song called “Sucker for a Witch” from their latest album. You don’t have to be a big Clutch fan to appreciate the musicianship of the band because they are just that talented and once again, they entertained the masses in Chicago.

 

Review – Opeth At the Riviera Theatre 10/09/16

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Going to any live show is a big event, especially when it’s a band you’ve admired and followed for a long time. I’m not overly hard to please, but a lot of acts haven’t lived up to my expectations when they perform. They seem lackadaisical, not interacting with the crowd, or maybe they’re hyped but their music sucks ass. Unfortunately, that’s happened more than I care to remember.

Continue reading Review – Opeth At the Riviera Theatre 10/09/16