Brooklyn hosted one of the year’s hardest rocking lineups on Saturday night, cramming five bands, a sold-out crowd of fans, and massive, crushing, ear-splitting rock n’ roll into the tight confines of the legendary Saint Vitus.
Underground metal shows are a dime a dozen in New York City these days, especially at St. Vitus, which regularly hosts local bands and out-of-towners to their unmarked blacked-out businessfront. But Saturday night’s show was unique in that all five bands offered pure garage rock full of quality songwriting and upbeat moments, each performance more enjoyable than the last.
Volume was the name of the game, with Mothership wrecking eardrums early on with sheer overpowering amplification. Early arrivals were able to get up close and personal with the trio, and the back room of St. Vitus throbbed even harder when Gypsyhawk hit the stage. Gypsyhawk hits that perfect blend of punk, rock and metal influences, and the small crowd of Brooklynites (easily identifiable by their refusal to wear the shirt of a band you’ve ever heard of) curiously gathered around the stage, heads nodding appreciatively. If you squinted, or were hammered, it even looked like mustached bassist was Lemmy himself.
By 9:30 the crowd had more than doubled in size for party-rockers Wilson, who kicked it up a notch with a killer cover of Back In Black in between their own stylized brand of hard-charging anthems. Wilson was easily the most enthusiastically drunk band of the night, and and ended their set with their Zach Galifinakis-look alike singer charging through the crowd beating a drum strapped to his chest.
The night’s headliners, though, were the undisputed winners. Kadavar generated the most enthusiastic reactions of the evening with their doomy, Sabbath-y power. Playing for almost an hour, you could practically surf the heavy grooves shaking the room - that is, if you could even get close to the stage. The crowd spilled backwards to the merch booths as fans struggled to move up from room to room, only then to fight their way back to the bar for another drink. The three members of Kadavar wasted little time bantering with the crowd, instead fully focused on their tripped out tunes and stoner energy while the crowd vibed on the music from front to back.
Scorpion Child wrapped up the night with their own take on 70’s-style prog rock, although with noticeably modern inflections that sounded like Alice In Chains covering Led Zeppelin. It’s a shame Saint Vitus’s capacity is only a couple of hundred fans, because more people need to see this band live. Heavy metal often grabs most of the attention, with the loudest and angriest bands getting the most press, but Scorpion Child, and indeed all five of Saturday night’s bands, are spearheading a lower key but heavy intensity sound that epitomizes the very core foundations of rock n’ roll.
Anyone who stayed for even just two or three sets couldn’t help but be moved by the music, and those who rocked out from start to finish probably experienced one of the very best rock shows of the year. They’re also probably still feeling a ringing in their ears today, but rock music is supposed to hurt, ain’t it?
Saturday night was the final show of this epic tour, and so if you missed it, well then shame on you. But all five bands are staying on the road, so keep your eyes and inboxes open for local tour dates and be sure to grab tickets before they sell out... again.
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