Sunday, December 23, 2012

Home For The Holidaze

High On Fire / Goatwhore / Lo-Pan
Slim's, San Francisco
December 22, 2012

To paraphrase: "It was the last night of this tour before Christmas and all through the house..." It was kind of cool to have this bill in San Francisco on the weekend before Jesus' Birthday.  However, it started POURING rain as soon as I left Casa de Umlaut and Joey Acid King and I got drenched while waiting in the Will Call line.  Kudos to my trusty Alpha Industries flight jacket for once again proving that it is indeed waterproof.  Still, it felt like I had small puddles in my pockets for awhile.

Since I arrived late I only saw half a song of Lo-Pan's set.  Sorry, guys.  I guess it was too much to expect Goatwhore to wish the audience a Merry Christmas... According to the Umlaut Archives this was around the 10th time I've seen the boys from NoLa and I've run hot to lukewarm about them.  There's no doubt they're a Metal machine now but it was interesting watching them in front of a packed house of mostly High On Fire fans.  I was surprised that most of those in the house didn't seem to be familiar with Goatwhore.  The set was the standard Metal romp you've come to expect from Goatwhore with 'Apocalyptic Havoc' closing things out.  I drank 1 1/2 beers during their set.

Just over 6 months ago, Matt went into rehab 2 days after Sleep played the final show of their tour in Oakland and High On Fire also cancelled their Summer Tour.  Thankfully, from all reports, Matt has come out on the other side in a much better place. Having High On Fire back in action was one of the best things to end this year with... and seeing a 1/2 full beer cup being thrown up in the air from the crowd and the smell of doobage being lit up by the bar as they hit the stage was heartwarming... if somewhat inappropriate from a sobriety point of view.

Slim's had filled up to capacity as the stage was prepared for High On Fire.  Home cooking!  As decent as Goatwhore were, after High On Fire opened with the new song 'Serums Of Liao' and then dropped the double shot hammer of 'Frost Hammer' into '10,000 Years' it was game over and no contest. According to the Umlaut Archives this was around the 20th time I've seen HOF dating back to their first album and it was one of the most focused sets I've ever seen them deliver.  Given the recent uncertainty they experienced it was kind of emotional to see Matt, Des, and Jeff back together again on a hometown area stage and killing it.  Matt's new white guitar seemed like a symbol of this new phase... or maybe that was just me overthinking shit again.  Discuss amongst yourselves.

I didn't do a merch audit, but Goatwhore did have the best looking merch of the night... Although I would have spent my money on High On Fire if I had bought anything.. but I didn't.  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags.  In the spirit of Jesus' Birthday it was nice to have a good number of friends in the house tonight including 2/3 of Acid King and that guy who sits at the back of the stage for Death Angel.  'Tis the season to be Metal... Also, I've been seeing shows at Slim's since it opened in 1988 and it's one of the only venues in San Francisco where you can still take show flyers off the walls: