Deafheaven/Baroness Show Review
Written by Jeff Ramella on April 29, 2019
By Mike Stringham
I got the chance to see Deafheaven and Baroness at Starland Ballroom on Friday, April 5th. This was my 10thtime (woo!) seeing Deafheaven live within the last 5 years and first time seeing Baroness, even though I’ve been listening to them since the beginning of this decade. I went to the show with my coworker and host of “The Metal Teddy Bear Experience” on Tuesdays from 7-10pm on WMSC, Chris Annunziata. I don’t think I had gone to a show with him before this but saw him at a Gojira show a couple years back at St. Vitus and said hey. I’ve known Chris for about 5 years, super nice dude with a great metal show and constant interviews from bands. Check his show out, you won’t regret it.
The first band to play was Zeal and Ardor, who are a truly eclectic combination of so many different genres. I first heard about this band when WMSC got their album sent to us on CD in 2016 or 2017. I was one of the people at the station that wanted to listen to anything we got sent (at least at that time when I was there). Basically, this band is a mix of black metal, Motown, soul, blues and Gregorian chanting. I wasn’t too fond of this band prior to seeing them, but I really appreciated their live performance. With a lead singer who played guitar, lead guitarist, a drummer, a bassist (which happened to be Nick Jost, the bassist from Baroness filling in), and two backup singers. I thought the use of the backup singers who the low chanting parts and deep singing was unique. Overall, there performance lasted over a half hour and was constant and strong.
Baroness was the next band to play which shocked me (ha, Baroness pun), because they are more popular than Deafheaven. I guess since this tour has been billed as a co-headline, they switch off every few nights. Baroness played a set spanning their entire discography. The entire band was very tight, including a truly impressive rhythm section, which often gets overshadowed by the ferocious guitars. I was locked in to the bassist (who was wearing a King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard shirt) and drummer, because they’re definitely mixed lower in recordings. Both dueling guitars sounded phenomenal, and the solos sounded bigger live, than on the recordings. I was happy they played “Isak” from their Red Album, which was the first song I heard from the band and the album that got me into them.
Deafheaven closed out the night with a surprisingly short set, playing only 6 songs. They played two tracks off their most recent album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love; including “Honeycomb” which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. They always play a strong set, and I can say with confidence this performance was very good. They played their new single which was a B-side from their last album, “Black Brick”. It’s definitely on the more thrash metal side as opposed to their typical black metal/shoegaze style. I had told my friend Chris before the show that if they didn’t play “Dream House”, I would give him my entire months’ worth of pay. That’s how confident I am that they will play it, every show, until the end of their run as a band. Dream House is their best (in my humble opinion) and potentially most popular track, so ending their sets with it is a sure-fire way to get a crowd going.
After the show Chris and I got a chance to meet the band backstage thanks to his friend Scott who works for Skateboard Marketing. We met George Clarke (singer) and Kerry McKoy (lead guitarist), both original members of the band. They are down to earth people, who are just enjoying their jobs and playing around the world. I let them know how much their album Sunbather means to me, and I thanked them for existing and making music. I got a picture with them as well, and asked them to hardstyle in it (or hardstance) and they said, “nah we don’t do that, but we’ll take a picture with ya”. I always have to ask people if they’re are willing to hardstyle, cause why the hell not? Check below for setlists for both bands and for links to all the people/bands I mentioned in this review.
- A Horse Called Golgotha
- March to the Sea
- Green Theme
- Chlorine & Wine
- If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?)
- Shock Me
- Ogeechee Hymnal
- The Sweetest Curse
- Take My Bones Away
- Brought to the Water
- Black Brick
- Canary Yellow
- Worthless Animal
- Dream House
Links for people/music I mentioned
The Metal Teddy Bear Experience:
Zeal and Ardor – Devil is Fine: https://zealandardor.bandcamp.com/album/devil-is-fine-2
Baroness – “Shock Me”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS5osAdTnm0
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity: https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/nonagon-infinity-2
Baroness – “Isak”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozIaobxVGl8
Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love: https://deafheavens.bandcamp.com/album/ordinary-corrupt-human-love
Deafheaven – “Honeycomb”: https://deafheavens.bandcamp.com/track/honeycomb
Deafheaven – “Black Brick”: https://deafheavens.bandcamp.com/album/black-brick
Deafheaven – “Dream House”: https://deafheavens.bandcamp.com/track/dream-house
Skateboard Marketing: http://www.skateboard-marketing.com/
Deafheaven – Sunbather: https://deafheavens.bandcamp.com/album/sunbather