Saturday, August 29, 2009

Locals Only

Hammers Of Misfortune / Ludicra / Amber Asylum
Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
August 28, 2009

It was one of those days when us locals forgot San Francisco is in a mild temperate zone.. The backyard thermometer at Casa de Umlaut read 90 degrees at 6:45pm so I decided to live on the edge and wear shorts (black of course) to the show.. I was that confident The Fog would not make an appearance to disturb the Metal. It was a fucking beautiful night, man.

The was a rare all locals bill that seemed appropriate for the late Summer heatwave that was broiling S.F.. As I waited outside at the box office window it was funny seeing most of the same people who had been at the Saros show the night before. It takes a village for a Music Scene to be Metal, man. Given the nature of the evening the Umlaut Nation was nicely represented.. so a shout out to Timo, Lori, Johnny, Joey, Rafa, Jason, Justin, Alan F, and Stacy.

Amber Asylum: It was a little jarring to see Leila, less than 24 hours after her blazing Metal performance with Saros, onstage behind her keyboards and acoustic guitar as part of Amber Asylum's lush sonic curtain. I hadn't seen the band perform in ages and ages... and they might have seemed like a mismatch on this bill, but the truth is they were a nice fit if only because of their aesthetic. Due to the heat outside, it was rather sauna like inside the GAMH and Amber Asylum's set fit the sweaty atmosphere nicely... although it was annoying how the huge fan set up on the balcony stage right was sometimes louder than the band's quiet moments.

Ludicra: Holy shit... The band was brutally tight from having just spent a couple of weeks on a U.S. Tour! According to the Umlaut Archives this was the 7th time I'd seen Ludicra and I don't think I've ever seen them this cohesive as a Metal unit before; you could tell they were on another level.. The crowd had pressed down front as they took the stage and it was one of those shows where you could sense the band and the audience were connecting. You know what I mean...

Not long ago, Umlaut Nation friend Cosmo Lee (of Decibel and Invisible Oranges fame) dubbed Ludicra Metal's Most Underrated Band and at the moment the band is living up to that statement IMO. It's stunning to think what Ludicra could accomplish if they were a full-time band and were able to bulldoze their way across the globe; they could easily conquer Europe, man... Easily. Marilyn Manson was playing across town at The Warfield and it was funny when Laurie thanked the crowd for not attending that show... and after their set I found himself chatting with Umlaut Nation friend Justin, who grew up and hung out with Manson and Jeordie in Florida. Irony!

Hammers Of Misfortune: As Hammers took the stage the first thing that popped into my head was "Is that Max on bass?" and Joey Acid King confirmed that it was.. (Max is best known for being in longtime S.F. favorites Old Granddad). I won't lie: I'm not a huge Hammers fan... so after a few songs I decided it was time to exit and make my way through the muggy S.F. night and returned to Casa de Umlaut. All in all it had been a good, easy, sweaty night.

Amebix shirts = 1 (mine). I'm still on a hiatus from doing merch audits... sorry. On the way back to the car some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. On the way out a dude asked me if I worked for Alternative Tentacles... which I took as a compliment.