Man - I have a weird obsession with Saint Vitus Bar, I spend almost all my time there these days, so it's a very cool thing to be able to celebrate the bars five year anniversary with a bunch of good friends having a grand old time playing some of the brainiest and most important metal music coming out right now. With three bands who define the greatness of the scene that Saint Vitus has been able to cultivate, last night was a triumph, speaking to everything that the metal scene can and should be in New York City.
First up were Primitive Weapons, fronted by the quasi-legendary Dave Castillo. In the words of Devin Holt of Pallbearer, "That dude is hyped like, all the time!" And that's the thing, Primitive Weapons are playing some extremely interesting heavy music with great frontmanning that makes them a pleasure to watch live. Toss in the truly interesting vocal parts, combining ideas of vocals fry, atonal singing, and more traditional ideas and you have yourself a set that is going to keep you intrigued for the duration. When the band closed with a moving speech by Castillo about the bar and then a stunning rendition of Black Sheep And Prodigal Sons everyone in the packed room knew that they had seen something special, this is a band who truly dominate the stage.
Following that stellar performance was Sannhet who deliver a stunner of their own. Of course after someone like Mr Castillo tears the stage up you need to go off in an entirely different direction to succeed. This was exactly what Sannhet did. Using a strobe light to accentuate their distinct brand of instrumental post metal the crowd seemed lost in what the band had managed to cultivate on the stage in those few magical moments. Their set ran long, and yet that was part of the beauty of it, the sense of trance that Sannhet conjure up is stunning. They are clearly extremely talented musicians and on tonight of all nights their execution as totally on point.
Then of course there was Pallbearer who really couldn't help but to be the highlight of the evening. Sure they had far more than their fair share of technical difficulties and that led to some awkwardness on stage, everything else about their performance was utterly authoritative. With a set that mixed classics alongside previously unreleased material this was one of those nights that made me realize how god damn good this band is. I've seen Pallbearer quite a few times now, but this time was perhaps the best. It was a transcendent group experience where a massive swathe of fans were held in thrall to four dudes dropping potent solos, stunning guitar riffs and multi part harmonies. Every time I see them I am struck by the sheer talent behind this band and last night was no exception. Pallbearer's live performance is the real fuckin' deal and you had better get used to it because these guys are only going to get bigger.
And so the night came to an end. Every band had said their piece about the power of Saint Vitus (In fact, Joe of Pallbearer gave a particularly sweet and moving speech to many a cheer) and we were left satisfied. Ultimately, this is what matters about this bar, that musicians from so many great bands could be able to call this place home, could look at the scene the Vitus has cultivated and allowed us all to fall in love. And so we genuflect in honor of a venue who are changing the world. With devastating bands and a sense of magic that will last for years, I gotta say, I can't wait to go back tomorrow!
Find the bands on Facebook!
Primitive Weapons: https://www.facebook.com/PrimitiveWeapons/?fref=ts
Find out more about Saint Vitus Bar: http://www.saintvitusbar.com/