The Independent, San Francisco
September 30, 2011
A busy but great work day dovetailed into a meet up with Photo Ray and Sensory Abuse at The Irish Bank for some pre-show pints and fish 'n chips. My good mood was harshed a bit by the large number of suits who crowded The Bank for Happy Hour... but ultimately it was all good. Then we few, we happy few, jetted across town to The Independent for a Thursday night of volume.
You know you're seeing a show in The Bay Area when Matt Pike is standing behind you in the Will Call line. Once inside we chatted with Scott of Saviours about subjects ranging from album art to Motörhead merch to the fact that Bison B.C. had lost one of their guitarists after their hometown show in Vancouver only 2 days earlier. DOH. Not long after we were told this gossip, Bison (do they still use B.C.?) walked onstage as an awkward looking 3-piece. This was odd at first since I've seen the band before and as the set started it just didn't feel 100% right. Thankfully the set settled into more of an old Bison groove and got better. I noticed that bassist Masa only had 3 strings on his bass with the 4th peg removed. Has he always done that? I didn't know if it was an avant-garde instrument customization or if his 4th tuning peg had simply broken off. Whatever the case, by the time the newly trimmed version of Bison (B.C.?) walked off stage they seemed like a band again.
I almost had my beer(s) spilled twice during my time in The Independent on this night. Once by an overly excited hipster Metal girl who backed into me... and again by a guy trying to do a stationary kickflip on a skatedeck in front of the bar. What kind of idiot tries to do a stationary kickflip on a skatedeck inside a crowded club?! The look that I gave him must have been authoritative because the kid apologized in a way that gave me grim satisfaction. Now go outside and play in traffic out on Divisidero, you stupid kid..
Saviours are bona fide chick magnets; the shirtless ones drew more females down to the front of the stage than any band I've seen in awhile. Nicely done, lads! I've seen Saviours almost more times than any other current Bay Area band... and I love how the East Bay dudes are complete Road Dogs who constantly tour, tour, tour. Saviours are such a well-oiled Classic Rock-fueled juggernaut now it's awe inspiring.
Guitarists Sonny and Austin effortlessly channel the Allman Bros. to Thin Lizzy at the drop of a hat.. and Scott on drums is the second coming of Philthy Animal Taylor both in skills and attitude.. and current bassist Carson would not look out of place in Black Oak Arkansas. The songs from the band's new album (Death's Procession) translate full tilt boogie perfectly live with my favorite song of the set being 'To The Grave Possessed' and its stellar groove dueling axe action... with the old gem 'Into Abaddon' being a close second for me on this night. Well done, men of Saviours... Now put your shirts back on and go forth and do what Rock Star chick magnets do after playing a killer set.
Thanks to Ron Crawlspace for sorting me for the show!
I didn't do a merch audit... but I regretted not bringing cash for the limited edition, embossed, tour only vinyl of the new Saviours album; rookie mistake. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. When I woke up the next morning it was Friday... and I had no regrets about my early exit the night before. Everybody's working for the weekend...