|Baroness/Dark Castle – Houston, Texas, Warehouse Live - 8th December 2009|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Saturday, 19 December 2009 08:58|
Having gotten badly waylaid by the Houston freeway system and had a few too many pre-show beers at a nearby Hooters, yours truly and his local hosts got to the venue just in time to find that they had;
1.) Missed opening act Earthless (sorry guys) and....
2.) Weren't going to see Iron Age as they had cancelled due to (in the words of Baroness' merch man) "some lame fucking excuse."
Anyway, partaking of a couple more beers we awaited the arrival of the apocalyptic duo that are Dark Castle. Their requests immediately prior to beginning to make the venue as dark as possible made perfect sense once they kicked into the most funereal Funeral Doom imaginable. Like SunnO)))) slowed down ten times (really!!!) the un-dynamic duo of Rob on drums and Stevie on guitar/vocals make a noise that would make most domestic pets either whine uncontrollably or die. Thundering drums, down tuned, distortion sodden dirges overlaid with the most guttural howls/growls ever to come from a human, let alone a female. A truly astonishing performance at the most extreme bottom end of the musical sonic frequency scale.
In contrast, Baroness positively bound onto the stage and kick into a phenomenal hour or so (lost track of time a bit) of the best-goddamned twin guitar fuelled rock currently gracing the stages of this planet. Eschewing between-song banter in favour of just getting on with belting out the vast majority of both their 'Red' and 'Blue' albums (well, record and album if you must be precise), Baroness make for a spellbinding spectacle. John Baizley and Pete Adams's guitar work, which raises their records to a level others can only aspire too, becomes quite superhuman live. Always note perfect and sharing a telepathy last shared by Thin Lizzy's Gorham and Robertson, you could watch them for hours, literally. And lets not forget Allen Bickle and Summer Welch who provide an effortless rhythmic backdrop for all of this.
With every song segueing into the next, this could have become nothing more than one big jam but the sheer dynamics of the songs and the peerless musicianship ensure this is a gig that will be etched in the memory for some time to come. Song listings wouldn't do this justice (pick your faves from the albums, they were all in there). Just get you fucking arse (ass actually, being in god-damned Texas) down to see Baroness the next time they're in town.
Photo kudos to Charlie Wilson