3.21.11: Saviours x Holy Grail x The Shrine“Should I gas up and miss out on buying merchandise, or risk getting stuck on the 5 South because I bought a bad ass shirt?” Those are actual thoughts I have before a show due to today’s gas prices. I settled for the former. A hot $10 in my tank and I was on my way to see Saviours, Holy Grail and The Shrine set
Apparently a ton of people spent a lot time deciding whether or not to go to a metal show on a Wednesday night, or smoking a ton of high grade reefer, because there was hardly a soul in attendance when I walked in. Thankfully, the crowd started to arrive as the show progressed. It was a weird mix — plenty of long hairs, your casual tall-can swilling hipsters, and a load of frat-style douchebags who showed up just to be loud and talk throughout each band’s set. The venue itself was pretty rad. The bar and performance area are split, with only two pillars obstructing your view if you’d prefer to watch bands while you’re trickin’ on drinks for a broad. There’s also a big ass circle cut out on the dance floor that I assumed was the designated moshing area, but the only rowdy behavior that night happened on stage. Bummer.
I really like The Shrine. They’re a 2012 version of our mom’s and dad’s favorite bands, except tripping out on way more acid. It’s clear by whom they’ve been influenced, but they inject their own style of empty-pool-shredding skate rock that they’ve dubbed Psychedelic Violence. I can get behind that in this current state of retro-resurgence in rock. They’re actually adding something new and fun, and not just playing tunes from 40 years ago. I prefer seeing them live. They’re a lot more raw and intense than their records suggest. There’s none of that pesky production to get in the way of what seems like a whirlwind of fuzzy bass lines, pounding drums, screeching guitar solos and howling vocals. Plus, you can tell they’re having a load of fun on stage as made evident by the constant goofy smile on the face of their bassist, Courtland. They didn’t waste any time between songs, and powered through their 25 minute or so set which consisted mostly of material from their Bless Off demo. I captured video of their opener, “Zipper Tripper.” Check it out here.
Holy Grail came on next to spread their Heavy Metal joy. A couple of songs in and I was already regretting leaving my ear plugs behind. Not because they were bad — they were great. They were just entirely too fucking loud for The Satellite. It didn’t help that James Luna is one of the best vocalists at hitting that really high note capable of making your ears bleed. My ears are still ringing. I’ve seen the Grail plenty of times over the last year, so I knew what to expect for a set list. It had been a while since I last saw them, though, so it was great to see the chemistry that Eli Santana and (relatively new) guitarist Alex Lee have formed since then. Their harmonizing was on point. I just hope that the next time I see them, they’ll start playing some new material. Also, it’s worth mentioning that this is the first time I’ve seen Holy Grail with a lame ass crowd. No moshing, and minimal head bangs were had. That’s not a knock on the band, either. The people in attendance were just at the wrong show.
Motherfuckin’ Saviours came up next to close the night out. Sadly, the shitty crowd was still shitty. Half were near the stage, the other half at the bar. I tried not to let that hinder my enjoyment, but I was looking forward to using “God’s End” as the soundtrack to a good ol’ Roadhouse style bar fight. Jokes (but not oxymoron) aside, Saviours killed. They didn’t dip into their past records too much, mostly playing tunes from the excellent Death’s Procession. They did play a song from Crucifire and a couple from Accelerated Living though. At one point James Luna hopped on stage with them to help out with the hook on”Crete’n” which I managed to capture. I gotta admit, it sounded bad ass with his vocals! Click here to watch.
I loved that they played in a more intimate venue because I feel like I’m a part of the music, not just an observer. Of course, this was an easy feeling to achieve when madman Scott Batiste is obliterating the drums, and bassist Carson Binks is using those magical digits to create bass grooves that vibrate your core similar to that of a few bong rips. Sprinkle some of the riffage and soloing that Austin and Sonny create on top of that, and you’re astronaut high …off the music, I mean. Strictly the music. Cough.
To see the rest of the videos I captured that night and more, click here.
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