Even though I was running on fumes reporting on everything rock-related for the GRAMMYs, I made time to ‘keep it real’ by swinging by the Relapse Records Scion metal matinee show.
I ran into the venue right as TOMBS took the stage. I immediately recognized the bassist as being from Black Anvil. I love shows at The Roxy, and being back in this small setting after some big shows made me appreciate this even more. I let their darkly beautiful sound wash over me, pulling me out of the world of red carpets and designer duds and back into the grimness of reality.
Up next were Revocation, a band I’ve read oodles of praise for but knew very little about. I instantly got it as the guitars went to some next level shit. I was standing behind them at the side of the stage watching a mixture of their fingerwork and the audience fulling geeking out on them. The looks on their faces..their air guitar mimicry…it was a beautiful thing to watch their minds being collectively blown.
Black Tusk played next. It had been nearly two years since I first saw them, but it didn’t take long for me to remember how I love their Southern slanted metal. Just one look at these guys makes me want to drink moonshine and start hearing banjos between songs. Their Mastodon meets EyeHateGod vibe was a stark contrast to what had come before it, and what would come next.
The tone got a lot heavier and darker for the headliner, Exhumed. It may have been only 4 in the afternoon, but the crowd was rowdy and intoxicated. I stood at the back of the room for this, watching ‘that guy’ in the pit quickly go down as a full on storm raged in there. I was watching the ruckus of noise and bodies when I received a text about Whitney Houston dying. I don’t think this was anything unexpected…but it was a half hour before I realized that I would be leaving this show to head to the very hotel that she had died in for the Clive Davis party she was supposed to attend.
And- let me tell ya- the pit at Exhumed seemed harmless compared to the paparazzi outside the Beverly Hilton.