High On Fire and Doomriders Reviews

Well, this evening was a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure style night. It was a Sunday night, the 11th of April 2010, and I had a small problem, 2 bands I wanted to see were playing the same night at different venues. High On Fire at the Black Cat and the Doomriders at the Rock & Roll Hotel. I called up a couple friends of mine to see if they wanted to try to squeeze in both shows. They were up for the double feature and we headed off to the Rock And Roll Hotel to catch the Doomriders first. The show was running late and when we got there the first band, Fang Island, was still setting up. I only watched them for a single song before heading upstairs. They weren’t too interesting to me, and not very metal anyways. For some reason they had 3 guitarists on stage, and their bass player switched off to play they keyboard. After a couple beers we went back down while the Doomriders were setting up. The crowd wasn’t too close together and we basically just walked right up to the front. One of the friends I was with had another friend at the Black Cat who was updating us on the status of the bands playing there. We decided that when Priestess was playing their last song we’d have to leave, regardless of if the Doomriders were done or not. Anyways, the Doomriders finally did come out and they were really energetic. I’m sure they won over some new fans who were really just there to see the headliner Red Sparowes, people were getting into them. I also saw a little kid (pic) up there in the front row, he was even throwing horns and headbanging to the music. Their show kicked ass so you can’t blame him! One thing though, their bass player, a really tall guy named Jebb Riley, was actually too tall for the stage! His head was hidden from most of the crowd during the show because the overhead speakers were blocking him. I’ve never seen that kind of problem before, haha. The mix was pretty good I’ve got to say, though the lighting was pretty crappy (the R&R Hotel doesn’t have good lights so that’s to be expected). They were playing their last song of the night, which was apparently also their slowest and longest, when we got the message that we needed to head over to the Black Cat. We didn’t wait for the long song to end and promptly headed straight for the door.

We piled into my car and headed over to the Black Cat. I found a good parking spot on the street right next to the venue, and we went right into the club. We could hear High On Fire had already started playing Frost Hammer, though the ticket guy said the band had just started. We rushed up the stairs and headed into the crowd. We got up there pretty close fairly easily, I guess people were scared of the mosh pit? As usual the lighting wasn’t great, but I still got some good pics I think. The sound mix was terrible though, I mean really bad. I’ve posted videos below and they’re actually a pretty good representative of the sound. It’s not my camera that makes it sound muffled, it’s the mix. I even heard a few random shouts from the crowd between songs demanding the guitars to be turned up. The vocals were really low in the mix too, at least from where I was standing. Matt Pike (of Sleep fame) really had a hold of the crowd though, people were going crazy and his stage presence was a big part of that, even if you could see his beer gut and ass crack (depending on which way he was facing) the whole time. Regardless, the show was really fun and they played a lot of the songs from their new album, Snakes For The Divine, which is cool because that album is pretty awesome. I was trying to shoot a video of the title track but some guy with a flash light told me I wasn’t allowed to take video. I don’t think that is the Black Cat’s usual policy, so maybe the band requested that. Strange. I still shot the 3 vids below before he told me to stop, though I thought Snakes For The Divine was the best song they played all night. Still, the show was a blast, the crowd was going crazy and the metal was loud!

In all the entire night was a lot of fun, I haven’t done the concert hopping thing in a while and it was a great night for metal in DC (even though I missed the first ever metal show at DC Star, but there was no way I could fit that in too). I haven’t been to a whole hell of a lot of concerts so far this year, but I should be seeing several awesome gigs here up through Maryland Deathfest, for which I’ve already got a 3 day pass. This is going to be a good spring for metal heads in the DC area.