Young Widows - There was a different opening act for each of the two nights Boris played the Rock'n'Roll Hotel with this Louisville trio up first. These guys played within the metal format but opted for nearly unrelenting drone with volume bursts. While there was not a lot of variance within the songs, there was enough from song to song, like the one where they added swirling psyche moves and thunderous drums in the direction of Kylesa. Then there was a bluesier drone rock take. There was nothing terribly brilliant here, but this was still highly effective with those subtle shifts and kept things engaging for their 42 minute set. As my music buddy said to me, they accomplished what they set out to do.
Stephen Brodsky - Opening up on night two was Stephen Brodsky on guitar and vocals with a partner mostly doing keyboard embellishment along with some vocals. Like myself, this Mass native discovered after many exciting years in punk and hardcore, that there is this really vibrant genre called psychedelic folk. His vocal style is on the inspired side of dreamy and musically he moves gently somewhere in between stoner folk and acid folk. This is very easy to drift in to and even the crowd anticipating the heavier sounds to come later is getting into it. Brodsky has a drone quality at work which is a nice lead in to Boris's second night set and even adds some heavier noise at the end finishing off a very fine set.
Boris - This Japanese trio is pretty much a fixture on my 'Ten Best Shows of the Year' list any time they come to town. This time around, as in most cities they are hitting, their 'residency tour' takes place over two nights with the first devoted to the hits and some rarities and the second night devoted to their 2000 album "Flood" along with some other droning cuts. My first thought was that I may not enjoy this as much as a regular show featuring their amazing ability to twist metal, shoegaze and psychedelic forms into noisy yet fully melodic moments blending in both drones and song structures. Yet, the first night featured 90 minutes of songs that still moved in and around in all their styles, even if there were more of the recognizable 'hits'. I missed Ghost's Michio Kurihara's added guitar abilities mostly in the volume department, since Wata and Takeshi are already brilliant players. Add Atsuo's powerful drumming and great personality and you have three people that consistently deliver as much as any other band I see. The second night may have been more droning, but there were quiet psychedelic moments and lots of variety in the sound. And the best part about this tour is that you get three full hours of Boris--still not enough. If you are not particularly fond of the heavy droning alt metal bands, but are curious enough to want to put your foot in the water, this would be the place to start. Boris lifts the music so much higher than many of their contemporaries and rarely does this style sound so warm and sexy. They have captured the magic long ago and are not letting it go any time soon. Their albums are very very good, but the live show is still the place to full embrace this alchemical wonder.
Quote of the Night: From some blog seeking comments on Boris albums to get...
1. I like Boris - Mayor of London incarnate -Very droll with a hint of Terry Thomas..
2. He had a good backhand.
3. He should have won an Oscar for Frankenstein, the Body Snatcher, too.