DVNE opened the day and they were damned good. Much heavier live than I expected, and, uh, faster in many ways. I expected the songs to drag some (in a good, doomy way), but instead it was intensity from note one. That drummer is a beast. The boys rocked and rocked hard. It was an excellent start to the official proceedings.
I snuck over and caught the last part of the Night Horse set. I’ll be doing a lot of that this weekend, maybe not seeing whole sets so I can catch a few notes from bands I’m curious about. Night Horse played their first gig in something like eight years. They were pretty tight, for sure. They put on a good show, although it was jarring to go from that super-intense DVNE show to a more southern-kinda-rocking hard rock. I have to say, though, they were a pleasant surprise, and highly entertaining.
Lucifer was next and although I really do love the band, I didn’t feel like it was an extraordinary performance. Everyone was playing their asses off and the singing was great, but her vocals felt buried in the mix, and that kind of blunted the effect. They were good, though, don’t get me wrong. I just wasn’t blown away.
Part of the problem, I think, is that I first got the notification that Witchcraft were cancelling for tonight while Lucifer were still playing. They were one of the main reasons I was pumped for this entire festival. To their credit, the Psycho folks did their best, and they got Andrew Dice Clay as a replacement. Which is cool, I guess, but I have no interest in him. I hope he kills it tonight, but I won’t be there to see it. In any case, this bad news cast a pall on my feelings towards Lucifer.
Took a break for dinner and moving my stuff around to a new room.
Came back to see Tinariwen, who hail from Mali, and aren’t Metal at all. They’re a weird fusion of their local folk music with touches of rock and roll and Delta Blues. They were fantastic and a strange deviation from the events of the day. But honestly, they were terrific.
Boris was up next and they pretty much delivered a good one for the fans. I’m in-between on Boris; I like them just fine but never really listen to them. They were good live, though, with a great light show and some pretty cool, jammy music.
I jetted to the Pool to see Acid Witch. They were exactly like advertised: a living B-movie horror film come to life. They thrashed and deathed and generally were pretty fun. It was a trashy good time.
The night ended with High on Fire who did what High on Fire do: they stab you in the face with a knife until you relent. They came out swinging and never stopped, foot on the gas, the engine roaring forward. It’s hard to believe they’re the same band I used to see all those years ago playing tiny clubs in San Francisco. They packed out The Joint, which is the main stage of the Hard Rock, and it holds a lot, and I mean a lot, of people.
I didn’t stick around for Dice Clay.
Other than the bitter, bitter disappointment of losing Witchcraft, it was a pretty good day. Tomorrow holds the promise to be the busiest and the best. We shall see!