Zoroaster + Skeletonwitch + Kvelertak at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia

Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, PA
23 October 2011

On a nondescript neighbourhood street two blocks from an elevated train sits a bar. The bartender is very nice and helpful. Upstairs is a gem of a live venue. It's intimate - bordering on claustrophobic. The stage is almost three feet high and is hella small. There is no pit area for photographers. You take your chances in the crowd. So no 3 and out rule. Many other photogs used flash. So begrudgingly, as the lighting was not the best, I did too. The sound is assaulting and the sound board and area looked cobbled together.

All three bands played to a packed house. For Zoroaster's set, all I could hear was drums and guitar and a funky distorted bass. I saw a singer, but the mix not being the best, barely heard him. What I did hear was mind blowing psychedelia. Zoroaster are that good live. A three piece form Atlanta, GA, they tore the place up! They were Tommy Acid Queen trippy with a groove that didn't stop.

As for Skeletonwitch - I don't know how they sound on disk, but live they frakking kick major ass. To look at them you'd think hearty Scandinavian Death Metal Band! True metal happiness! But they are actually soft spoken, polite gentlemen from Ohio. Ohio, USA. Not a drop of viking blood in them. Go figure! They have a new album out called Forever Abomination. It's a definite must buy! Fans seem to completely LOVE them! A pit broke out in the small space that was the floor and engulfed the entire area! There were even a few stage divers! Who says metal is dead?

Kvelertak closed the night and what a night it was! Kvelertak is an awesome Norwegian band that sings in Norwegian. SKOL!!! They've got three guitar players and they just produce an intense wall of sound. I've no bloody idea what they are singing about, but it makes me headbanging happy!




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