6.6.11: Orange Goblin x The Gates of Slumber x NAAM

On International Day of Slayer, I spent the day doing anti-Slayer stuff. I went to school. I went to work. I went to West Hollywood. That’s about as un-Slayer as you can get, but I did go to a metal show at the world famous (really?) Troubadour!

Brooklyn’s NAAM was the first band I caught. I don’t know what there is to say except that the guitarist’s awkward shimmy was distracting me from the music every time I’d look up at him. You don’t step side to side like a chick if you’re trying to lay down fat riffs. They had a keyboardist join them on the Westcoast leg of their tour, which was kind of cool. I tried to imagine their sound without the keyboards that night throughout their set, and I came to the conclusion that it would have been really dull. This is the first, and maybe only time where I’ll give props to the keyboard in metal. It actually created an atmosphere that worked extremely well in that it distracted me from what the other three members were laying down.

Pictured above is Karl Simon and his epic bald spot. I’d been looking forward to seeing The Gates of Slumber for some time now and I was glad to be able to catch them in such an intimate setting, at such close proximity. What I loved most about their latest album, The Wretch, is the simplicity of the music. It’s just raw, unfuckwithable doom with nasty bass grooves and thick riffs and lyrical content pertaining to real life subjects as opposed to the usual fantasy and/or sci-fi content we’re used to. So out came Karl Simon and Co. to salute those who were consuming booze, and jumped into “The Scovrge Ov Drvnkenness” to many-a-cheer. I was close enough to see and feel the music as the notes were hit. Karl Simon makes guitar look easy, despite his claims of picking up his guitar when he was in his late 20’s. That night, every time Karl busted out a solo, he made it look absolutely effortless. I was having a great time jamming out to their new shit, and listening to Karl’s complaints about crayfish in between songs. Their set ended 30 minutes later, but I captured 3 of the songs played. Click here to watch “Ice Worm.”

Orange Goblin was up next. To be honest, I wasn’t there for them at all. I came to see The Gates of Slumber and figured anything after that would be considered bonus. I even thought about leaving once they finished, but that would have been a mistake. Orange Goblin is an amazing band to see live. They’re a band that comes out with the intention of putting on a show, not just going on stage and playing songs. They go out there and perform like I would expect rock stars to perform. It was as if each member needed to be watched individually because you didn’t know what you might have missed during a certain riff, or a certain vocal passage, or drum fill etc. Such awesome charisma that I hardly see from bands. Because of that, I was excited to be that asshole who breaks out a recording device during a show. I was pretty close, and Ben Ward let me know he acknowledged I was pointing that stupid thing at him. Here’s a video of “Round Up the Horses.”

I’m now officially an Orange Goblin fan.

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