3.13.11: Christian Mistress x Witch Mountain x Oroku x Gypsyhawk x Green & Wood

I procrastinate a great deal and that hurts me more than I realize. I don’t think there’s an aspect of my life that doesn’t get affected when I put things off. That goes for dating, updating this site regularly, paying bills (sometimes), trying to become the next Wesley Willis etc. Usually I don’t have a good reason for slacking, but this time I do! I made sure I’d be writing this entry without (mostly) any bias.

I went to The BLVD in Boyle Heights, CA with every intention of watching Christian Mistress tear it up in a setting far more intimate than when they played at The Glasshouse for the Scion Rock Fest the weekend prior. But, the day of the show, I looked into who was supporting and saw that Gypsyhawk, a band I’d never heard of from my hometown of Pasadena, CA would be playing. My interest piqued, and I wondered how good they were. I mean, we’re 2 for 2 as far bands go (Van Halen, Holy Grail, anyone?) and I was prepared to be okay with batting 66%. Good thing I “acquired” their debut album Patience and Perseverance a couple hours before show time. After two quick listens, I decided their not-too-stoner-not-too-metal-not-too-classic-rock-guitar-solo-heavy-thick-bass-groove-let’s-drink-and-smoke-but-not-drive sound was all that was missing from my life. I jammed a burned copy of the CD all the way to the venue, almost something I never do because I don’t want to play shit out. I was that excited about it.

I got in a few minutes before showtime, and went straight to the bar to order Tecate, a cerveza con caracter! I then made my way into the performance area, which was tiny and beat to hell. For a place that wasn’t nearly big enough to play a game of 2 on 2 halfcourt ball, it had plenty of charm. L.A. based doom-metallers Green & Wood opened the show to 15 or 20 folks and I was maybe less than a foot from the stage. My first impression of them was: “Hey, they smoke a ton of pot, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” I remember toe tapping and head nodding while trying to take notes when the lights were dimmed, causing me to be unable to aim my pen at my pad, so I don’t have much to go off of when talking about their set. What I do remember was their rhythm guitarist, Magdalena. She is the reason why I believe God does not exist. God would not create such a magnificent creature only to have her worship the devil via riffage. She smiled at me before G&W took the stage, and I probably smiled back like a creep, sipping my Tecate in the corner.

Gypsyhawk came up next. Bassist/Vocalist Eric Harris introduced the crowd to the band’s new guitarist, Erik Kluiber before they jumped into “Gypsyhawk.” Kluiber looked familiar, but didn’t realize he was part of that White Wizzard mess until a few days after the show. I went back and read a few things about the band improving their live show and you go to shows to see your favorite musicians play their instruments, but you also want to see them do something else. I felt they did an adequate amount of hair flailing and head banging when necessary, you know, the usual. I think those in attendance were lucky to see Eric Harris break out his nifty dance moves, though. The guy is a serious cutter of rugs. Which makes you wonder when he learned, cause he sure as hell wasn’t doing any of that during his tenure with Skeletonwitch. The new lead guitarist showed why he was chosen to take over, too.  His soloing, especially on title track “Gypsyhawk,” sounded clear and pretty damn close to the studio recordings and he brings a killer vibe to the stage. After the opener, they played some tracks from the album such as “Blackhaven” and the ode to reefer, “Commander of the High Forest.” They also played some new cuts, “Silver Queen” and “The Fields.” During the set I had to stare at the floor at times like a blind fuck because this one photographer had a flash that was ruining my life.

I thought Gypsyhawk was solid. They certainly have good chemistry live, and Eric Harris probably has enough lower body movement to mesmerize and captivate just about anyone watching. I feel they’re only going to get better and tighter as far as the stage show goes and they’ll probably manage to write some more bangers to go with that. I managed to get some okay videos of the band performing. The lighting kinda sucks, but the audio is pretty good. Click the links below to watch.

Gypsyhawk – Gypsyhawk

Gypsyhawk – Silver Queen

Gypsyhawk – The Fields

I was unable to stomach Oroku, the band that followed. They totally ruined the vibe that Green & Wood and Gypsyhawk created. All the crusties rushed into the venue to catch this nonsense and I wandered to the patio area and attempted to look like a real journalist, flipping my notepad and mumbling some of the notes I took like an asshole. I managed to have a pleasant conversation at the merch table with Christine from Christian Mistress before I took off. The show started more than an hour and a half later than advertised and my ears hadn’t stopped ringing since I stood in front of the speakers the week prior for Wormrot. I came and saw the band I wanted to see, and even though I missed Witch Mountain and Christian Mistress, it was pretty memorable to see a hometown band tear it up this early in their career, knowing that they’re only going to become more popular in the future.

Check out Gypsyhawk’s video “Gypsyhawk” by clicking here! Also, hit up Creator-Destructor.com to pick up a bad ass clear splatter 12″ of Gypsyhawk’s debut album, Patience and Perseverance.

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