RED FANG + HARK + DRAWERS
28 décembre 2012 Live reports
(Paris, Glazart, 29/11/2012)
Second big date of november for Rx3 and second glazart show with a more than appealing line-up : RED FANG invades Paris for the second time this year after a memorable show last April at the “Combustibles” which was, according to the fans, one of the best 2012 concert. The venue is sold-out, whoch shows how popular the Portland band has become since the 2011 Hellfest, which is more than deserved given the talent and energy from the band.
Barely the time to wait when DRAWERS steps on stage, the band which comes from Toulouse (south-east of France) gives its first show in Paris, and a bit of apprehension can be felt in the singer’s voice when he steps on stage. First things first, we are at the Glazart, therefore the sound is unbearable, and we must goes straight to the right to enjoy the stage sound. The quintet delivers a noisy and strong sludge metal, mixed with the typical hardcore voice of its singer. They are technically sound, all the songs are greatly performed and they connect really well with the audience, proving that they are more than used to this kind of small venues. However, the limits of the genre are met pretty fast, the songs all look alike (but given how horrible the sound was, it may be different on the album) and it feels like DRAWERS bites its own tail. Add to this that the music is not exactly easy-listened, and you get a polite yet not really enthusiastic response from the audience. Five impressive musicians who have yet to show their true potential but still a good start.
The audience keeps getting bigger as time goes by and everyone seems to wake up as HARK starts playing. If DRAWERS music sometimes lacked originality, the English trio is the complete opposite. A hypnotic and powerful sludge, really psychedelic but completely abstruse if you don’t get the first riff (which, unfortunately was what I experienced). The band gets more playing time and, given the reaction of the audience, uses it to its advantage. The drummer hits like his life depends on it, and the soft touches of effects used by the guitarist are used perfectly. This show is also technically sound but this technical perfection is made possible by absolutely no communication, the audience must face three musicians who keep shoe gazing through the entire show, which locks even more the musical experience. A concert prompted as genius by some fans, but clearly closed to newcomers. Maybe the albums can help to understand what we just saw.
Last break of the night, and the atmosphere warms up several degrees. A quick glance shows me a packed room, with a big part of the audience coming out of curiosity given the buzz coming from RED FANG. The Oregon quartet steps on stage under a good ovation and offers the first surprise of the night. I left a young and hesitating band on the Hellfest stage; I meet again with 4 musicians who own the stage perfectly. The first notes from « Hank Is Dead » make everything clear, the stage sound is powerful and great, but the audience can barely hear Aaron Beam, the mix ruining his clear voice, and even if Bryan Giles microphone is slightly louder, we can cry rivers in front of the sound engineer, who clearly missed the balance tonight. But despite this problem, the performance is here. The set is error-proof, and nothing would disturb the perfection of the exchanges between Bryan Giles and David Sullivan. Beam’s bass is as powerful and melodic as ever while John Sherman shows what an amazing drummer he is with a kit that shows nothing useless. To be honest it feels like he is one of the most powerful and metronomic drummer of the stoner scene today. The setlist is also a dream come true. Every anthem of the two albums are played for an hour and a half of pure rock and roll : « Wires », « Hank Is Dead », « Dirt Wizard », « Prehistoric Dog », « Thow Up », « Human Herd », an explosive show which shows that despite only two albums, a band just needs great songs to get the public in its pocket. If the band does not communicates a lot (Bryan Giles would explain that he “usually waits for the end of the show to throw up, sorry” right after throwing up on stage) the public doesn’t care and fully supports the band while singing along. A pit was barely started but failed quickly given the poor configuration on the room and the lack of comprehension between people (which, between us, is not that bad). Aaron Beam asked is the Parisian crowd wanted an encore ? The roaring “YES !” gave him the answer and once again the quartet delivered, putting its last strength in a great DUST cover. A great show, who proved the fast and amazing evolution of RED FANG, making the anticipation of the next album even greater and shows how huge the 2013 hellfest will be, for stoner fans.
A good rock and roll night, three bands that I enjoyed listening to, despite an engineer who clearly does not deserve his title. The rock and roll legacy was right in front of our eyes, and it sure felt that way. Thank you RED FANG !
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