Live Report & Photos: Today is the Day, Black Tusk, KEN Mode, Fight Amp, Fashion Week
Black Tusk hearken more to pre-80s rock’n’roll than any other band on this tour. Ironically, their love of blues scales also made them sound more metal than any other band on the bill. (The “Six! Six! Six!” chant at the beginning of their set contributed to the impression.) I haven’t listened to Black Tusk on record much, but their live shows persistently remind me of High On Fire sans charisma. “This is a new song—it’s called ‘Iron Giants’!” they announced at one juncture. Of course it is. A single guy started moshing. I went to the bar.
Another irony: Today is the Day is the longest-running band on this bill by far, but also the least conservative. They still sound like they’re ten years ahead of their time. TITD’s recordings depend heavily on vocal and guitar layering, and since main man Steve Austin handles both on his own live, the songs sound different in person—naked, if you’re a fan, or hollow, if you’re not.
I am, but I understand those who aren’t. Austin has always styled himself as a sort of megalomaniacal cult leader; he alienates most people, but draws one wild-eyed devotee for every 99 normals he irritates. About half the crowd backed away from the stage during TITD’s set. The rest of us edged closer.
Reminder: Today is the Day and KEN Mode both play our FREE day party at old Emo’s on March 15th during SXSW.
Today is the Day