Slim's, San Francisco
October 10, 2014
Appropriately, San Francisco was show number 13 of Uncle Acid's 15 show debut U.S. Tour and the anticipation on the Interwebs and in the streets was thick enough to cut with a dull knife. Quite possibly the most hyped debut trek by a new band since Ghost 2 years ago, right? To support that notion, this show was sold out a solid month in advance and assholes were asking $100 or more for tickets on Craigslist, etc.
I completely missed Danava because English Bob, Photo Ray, Naked Rob, and Rafa of Black Cobra redirected me from standing in the long Will Call line to across the street for a beer. Long story short, it was a good hang but it degenerated into a ethical debate with the bar's "DJ" over the fact he calls himself a "DJ" but he was playing all of his music off a MacBook AND had 2 turntables set up only as PROPS. What. The. Fuck. Anyway, I walked away and back across the street to Slim's just as this debate heated up. In hindsight of course I'm bummed I missed Danava.. but oh well.
Just as the clock struck 10:30pm the latest Rock Godz from England walked onto a San Francisco stage for the first time... and the lads lurched into 'Mt. Abraxis' and 'Mind Crawler' from their new album and... much to my surprise... the world did not explode and the time space continuum remained intact. In fact, reality and perception did not shift for me during Uncle Acid's entire set. The hype blew into my face and evaporated like so much fog. Also, the drummer was wearing a Grateful Dead shirt.. which I assumed was a nod to playing in San Francisco... but it wasn't Metal. Although Umlaut understands because I saw a dozen Dead concerts. Does that blow my Metal cred? Oh well...
I'm a big fan of Uncle Acid from their albums but seeing them for the first time in the flesh left me... underwhelmed. Being in the same room as them didn't open my mind to a new way. Don't misunderstand me, the band played well given that they've been on the road for the past month in the States.. However, there was no TONE in their sound at all and it was all very clean. Maybe it was because they were playing on rented equipment for the tour that wasn't dialed into their specs? I don't know... but it wasn't just me who was brushing the hype dust off their sleeves. Several people literally said to me during their set "They sound exactly like the album!" Which, on one hand, is a good thing, because they did sound and perform well... but on the other hand it left me asking the age old question "Why should I see this band live?" I also watched the show standing with 3/4 of the mighty Orchid and this only heightened my awareness about Uncle Acid's lack of a wall of sound. Anyway, after the show this happened:
When Orchid met Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats for the first time. A pretty cool moment, man.
For some reason I completely spaced on doing a merch audit tonight, but I was surprised that Uncle Acid did not have more shirt options since they're definitely a "merch" band. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. I'm sorry to say I only have one foot on the Uncle Acid bandwagon right now. Hopefully our paths will cross at another venue in the not too distant future and I'll be convinced to take a seat. In the meantime, my Sabbath and Pentagram albums are staring at me from their shelf..