NEUROSIS, RWAKE, PRIMATE, AND US CHRISTMAS @ THE MASQUERADE, ATLANTA, GA
One of the biggest dreams I’ve had for the past five years was to see Neurosis live, and two nights ago, I that dream finally came true. It almost didn’t happen, as Jared and I were having car trouble and it took us two hours to fix everything, but it was just in the cards for us to be at the Masquerade for this incredible event. We made it down there without any more hitches, and after a yummy dinner at Elmyr, we headed to the venue. It was absolutely cold as balls - 25 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact - so the venue security let us inside early to keep warm. Then, it began…
US Christmas, a Neurot Recordings-signed psychedelic doom band from the Appalachian mountains (not far from where I live), were the first to play. I had seen front man Nate Hall live already when he did an acoustic tour with Mike Scheidt (read that review HERE), but I hadn’t actually seen USX live. Their set was absolutely wonderful. At times, Nate reminded me of a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young, and somehow that worked. Violinist Meg Mullhearn, who I interviewed for WOSMAW V, created a spacy, ambient feel as well as a distinctly Southern touch to their sound. Overall, it was great.
Hometown grindcore super group Primate were up next. This was my 2nd time seeing them live this year, so I already knew what to expect. Kevin looked like he was having a ton of fun up there, although the fast-paced nature of their music was kind of out of place considering three doom outfits made up the rest of the bill. Despite this, I really liked seeing them up there again, having fun and acting like kids, despite them all being forty-somethings.
The original Little Rock doom harbingers Rwake were the biggest supporting act of the night, and I was eagerly anticipating seeing them live. I’ve been a fan of theirs for years but never really got my chance to see them, but they made the wait so worth it. Their set was highly emotional and very intense. Everyone in the band looked like their lives literally depended on being up on that stage. Front man Christopher “CT” Terry was a dynamic front man to watch, talking with the crowd a bit in between songs and ping-ponging back and forth between soft, melodic lines to piercing screams. The only downer about their set is that they didn’t play Leviticus, which is my favorite song, but otherwise, it was perfect.
Then, there was Neurosis. Holy god damn. Going into the show, I thought I was just going to be a giant mess of tears the whole time they played, but that really didn’t happen. Instead, I was just in a trance-like state, absorbing every note they played throughout their nearly two-hour set. The band mainly stuck to newer material, including two tracks from Given to the Rising and a few songs from Honor Found in Decay. However, the most amazing thing, which neither I nor anyone else expected, was the encore. THEY PLAYED THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD. WITH THE EXTRA DRUMS. LIKE GOD INTENDED. I nearly lost my shit. It was so unbelievable that I have a hard time thinking about it even now. Just…damn. The band as a whole was so into the performance, too. At one point, keyboardist/sampler Noah Landis cut his forehead open while writing his head to the beat of the music, and blood was dripping down his face. He didn’t give a shit. It was wonderful.
Sadly I didn’t get to meet Scott Kelly or anyone else in Neurosis, but I did get to hang out with a fuck ton of other musicians later that night. Some of the people I talked to and had fun with include Nate and Meg from US Christmas, CT from Rwake, Laura Pleasants of Kylesa, Mel of Royal Thunder, Dan Caycedo of Sons of Tonatiuh, and my mentors Brann Dailor from Mastodon and Susanne Gibboney of Tiger! Tiger!. Brann and Susanne were actually doing merch for Neurosis that night, and it was a blessing getting to see them again.
All in all, I had a wonderful night. Things were pretty much perfect, aside from the fact that my knees, ankles, and feet were in serious pain after it was all over. Sometimes you have to ignore the pain to find the most pleasurable experiences though, and that’s what I did. Nothing can top this show, at least not for a long time.
For more photos from this show, check out my Flickr account HERE!