Gig report: Baroness @ Fleece

Baroness bus had a accident just the night after the show, crashing near Bath. Would like just to share a thought about what happened, hoping that the band members will recover as soon as possible.

Back after the quite thrilling London-weekend, here we are again with some more local gigs. My boyfriend (@mostly_metal) and I decided to have a go with one of the most interesting venues in Bristol called “The Fleece”. The place itself is easy to find, 10 mins from Bristol Temple Meads, small but friendly and packed with quite interesting bands to enjoy watching. Having one of my “special moments” I saw a list of flyers hanging on, one next to the other, with Editors, The Dandy Wahrols and Pulp: “OMG, when are they going to play? We definitely need to see them!” “Honey, it was in 1998.” Epic fail. And yes, I was sober.

Moving on from my special moments, Tuesday 14th was the night of Baroness, a progressive/sludge metal band from the US. There were two supporting acts, one of which actually grabbed my attention. It was a young Bristolian three-piece called Black Elephant, one of those bands in which instrumental textures really seemed to overcome the (few) vocals. The vocalist-bass guitarist Daniel was putting too much Kurt in his voice, sounding sometimes too grungy for the main stoner-vibe that the band seemed to wink at. However, these three guys really seem to be on the same wavelength, giving their best after a couple of warm-up songs, especially thanks to the new guy on the beating drums and Glenn on the fuzzy guitar. A bit of Them Crooked Vultures-esque, with a heavier and darker approach – which may be the real connection with the Seattle-scene (thinking more of Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, just with some energy).

Given that I am not a metal-connoisseur (at least when it comes to snarling, growling and roaring), I skipped on Phlefonyaar and jumped to Baroness, who really astonished me. If not for the music, then for the atmosphere they creating around them during the gig. After the “Red” and “Blue”, the Georgians (USA) Baroness released the double CD “Yellow & Green”, presented to the Bristolian crowd on the 14th. The heavier material met up with these new songs, where heavy riffing and Southern references coupled with the captivating, powerful and yet melodic vocals of John. More contemplative and melancholic moments (“Eula”) alternated with epic jamming sessions, in which the energy was flowing from the shamanic figure of John to the other band members and then directly to a nodding crowd, headbanging all together at the same rhythm during the encore of “Isak” and “Grad”.

By the end of the show, I was really wondering whether to jump on stage, hugging John and the others, just for having been so powerful and yet so kind and grateful.

One of the best shows in a while.


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