Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Early Show

Thee Parkside, San Francisco
October 9, 2011

This show was attached to the annual Indie Mart street fair that took place on the closed-off street next to Thee Parkside. The mart featured a typical S.F. mix of artsy fartsy craft vendors to kill time looking at… but the best part of the event was the Chairman Bao food truck was in attendance so I could snack on their godlike steamed tofu bun. Arriving early also meant watching a band called Nectarine Pie who had obviously studied 60's British Invasion bands... which isn't a bad thing... but I was there to see something heavier… so I got a beer at the bar and wandered off to find my friends outside on the patio.

Evidently Orchid were stuck in cluster fuck traffic and late getting to the venue (it was an unusually busy Sunday afternoon in S.F. with the Blue Angels, a Columbus Day parade, AND the Niners being in town). As a result the band only played about half their scheduled time. Despite the brief performance I was surprised that I had an epiphany about Orchid: I was finally enlightened on how the band is hot wired into a vintage Santana vibe, which is not as obvious to the casual listener as their Sabbath vibe.

Since Orchid are older dudes they pull off the vintage angle a lot more convincingly than most of the young bands attempting the same thing these days. I mean, when Orchid step onstage wearing vintage clothes it doesn't look like they’re in costume; they look and sound like the real deal. Carter and Keith lay down a heavy groove on drums and bass that most bands attempting to do the “vintage” sound in the 21st Century fail to grasp… and Mark and Theo lead the bell bottom charge with the former wielding epic TONE on his SG and the latter having a voice that’s both other worldly and powerful. Orchid in a live setting creates an aura in any room they’re playing and don’t simply fill it with volume.

(Photo courtesy of Sensory Abuse)

The truncated set opened with the new song 'Saviours Of The Blind' and for the next 35 minutes the band transported the room to another place. Following the opening song the band followed with another new one 'Nomad'... and then eased through 4 songs from their current releases.. with the highlight being 'Eyes Behind The Wall' before they closed things out with 'Eastern Woman'. It was a clean and mellow set… made all the more so by having the young kids of the band members and friends standing at the rail. I trust the youngsters were all wearing ear protection… because I believe that children are the future… teach them well and let them show the way.

I didn't do a merch audit... but Orchid did not have any girl's tees in size Small. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. All in all it was a super mellow Sunday afternoon in San Francisco. I was glad I got see Orchid again before they leave on a European Tour next week that includes shows in Poland, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. Prost!

Click HERE to see more of Sensory Abuse's shots from the show!