Baroness live at Boston, MA’s Royale
“Thank you guys for showing up… I know it’s like 7:30 or something,” announced an appreciative John Baizley to a Boston crowd on April 29th. It was closer to 8:30 in actuality, but either way an early start time hadn’t dissuaded the Baroness faithful. The Savannah, Georgia, stoner/sludge metal greats opened their U.S. tour in support of last year’s Purple before a packed and fervent audience.
Purple is the band’s first release since the aftermath of a traumatic 2012 bus accident saw the departure of founding drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni. It’s a thundering restatement of purpose that successfully marries 2012 double LP Yellow & Green’s melodic accessibility with the heavier guitar crunch of their earlier work and a thrilling [if over-compressed] Dave Fridmann production job. These are huge, triumphant songs that translated seamlessly to the stage, where the band gleefully ripped through nearly all of them.
Frontman Baizley (sporting a Dropdead shirt in a nod to the Providence hardcore legends) and longtime guitarist Peter Adams are currently joined by bassist Nick Jost and drummer Sebastian Thomson, in the same lineup that convened to tour Yellow & Green after the disruption of its initial supporting trek. The quartet sounded tight and polished in powering through a 16-song set that reached beyond Purple for Blue Record and Red Album essentials like “The Gnashing” and “Isak,” while closing the main set and encore with Yellow & Green’ highlights “Eula” and “Take My Bones Away.”
The crowd got rowdier and increasingly stagedive-prone as the set marched on, much to Baizley and co.’s evident delight. One quickly lost count of how many times they expressed thanks for a good opening night to the tour, and the appreciation felt genuine. Baroness are clearly a band who love what they do and are elated to be back on the road doing it.
Openers Youth Code drew a contrast to their guitar-heavy tourmates with a propulsive half-hour set of industrial punch. The rising Los Angeles duo of vocalist Sara Taylor and programmer/synth-smith Ryan George released a sophomore LP, Commitment to Complications, in early April, and certainly drew in a crowd of their own. They still had plenty of folks in Baroness shirts entranced with cacophonous EBM soundscapes and Taylor’s kinetic stage presence nonetheless.
2. “March to the Sea”
4. “Shock Me”
5. “Board Up the House”
6. “Green Theme”
7. “If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?)
9. “Chlorine & Wine”
10. “The Gnashing”
11. “Try to Disappear”
12. “Desperation Burns”
13. “A Horse Called Golgotha”
16. “Take My Bones Away”