Smile Politely

Never a dull moment with High on Fire

Hearing that some of the heaviest metal bands in the world were playing only a couple blocks from my house; I knew that I wouldn’t be able to resist. Kylesa, Torche, and High on Fire played the Canopy Club on Saturday and it was something to be envied if you didn’t attend. I arrived at the show about fifteen minutes before the show was scheduled to start (8:30pm) and surprisingly everything was on time, so I commend the bands and the promoter for being prompt.

Kylesa started the show with a less than energetic set. It’s always kind of lame when the crowd is disconnected with the band, and a barrier does jush that. This band is meant to be seen up close. The two drummer assault was perfect though — they were so tight together and never missed a beat. The sound kept going in and out during the set, which was distracting, but that wasn’t the band’s fault. Overall, I was mildly disappointed with Kylesa’s set. Their recordings are pissed and powerful. I just wasn’t getting that from the live set.

Torche, as expected, stole the show. They are probably the heaviest band I’ve ever seen live.
Highly energetic and fun, you could tell that these guys love what they’re doing and that they’re doing it or the right reasons. The set was solid, but the last two songs pushed it into a higher caliber. Playing the opener of their self-titled album “Charge of The Brown Recluse” followed by “Tarpit Carnivore” from the 2007’s In Return EP made their set truly fucking awesome.

High on Fire came out with a fierce beginning and were well received by fans. I’m personally
not really that into High on Fire, but they played well and didn’t have any dull moments. Guitarist Matt Pike was very aggressive on stage; executing thrashy riffs back and forth for over an hour. His previous band, Sleep, played last month in Chicago. While I personally enjoyed that show more than High on Fire’s performance, it’s still great to see him in action playing the music he loves. It’s also great to see bigger metal tours get a chance around here in Champaign-Urbana. There is definitely a scene for it, and I am excited for future acts that roll through.

Photos by John Menchacha

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