YOB, Witch Mountain and Strategic Warheads descended upon The Earl in Atlanta this past Saturday and yours truly happened to be in attendance. In all of the shows I’ve been to over the years, I can’t think of a better venue to have my first experience seeing YOB. The Earl boasts a smaller, more intimate setup than most spots in the area, and the staff was incredibly accommodating and patient with the crowd on hand. It was a great night through and through, and to both share and relive the experience, I’ve put together a little photo essay for you all. Take a look:
Local grindcore band Strategic Warheads opened the show with a short set that surprised most in the crowd. Grindcore sets can all too easily end up blending together depending on the venue and its sound quality, but these guys actually turned out a good set. Vocals were of the Mortician-meets-grind variety and the lead singer jumped onstage with a cook’s apron on. (Not totally sure whether he worked there or not, but at any rate I’d pick up a release of theirs.)
Witch Mountain was up next. In weeks leading up, I kept away from any comments or reviews on the band’s new vocalist, Kayla Dixon, and opted to wait and form my own at this show. Needless to say, anticipation was high. And within minutes of the band’s first song, everyone was blown away by Dixon’s powerful voice and commanding stage presence; the girl absolutely OWNED the stage. And as the band ripped through an amazing set—including several favorites of mine—I got the sense that there is a bright future in store for this next chapter of the band’s existence. (And I’m sure the other Witch Mountain fans in attendance would agree.)
Then it was on to the mighty YOB. As I mentioned before, this was my first ever YOB show and it was all I’d been hoping for and then some. “Heavy” and “emotional” are the words that immediately come to mind, and it’s easy to see why these guys are at the top of their genre. Seeing Mike Scheidt hit the notes I have heard hundreds of times absolutely blew me away; the guy truly is a god onstage.
I really can’t pick a favorite song of the night, but if forced at gunpoint, I think I’d go with “Marrow.” What an emotional journey this was in the live setting; I didn’t cry but came really close. With me positioned directly in front of the stage, portions of the vocals drowned a little, but knowing all these songs by heart, I feel like I didn’t miss a thing. YOB’s the kind of band that makes you understand why people follow bands all around the country, and I for one would do it in a minute for these guys if I had the funds and the time.
Each of the bands milled around the venue after their respective sets and I got to meet most of them. (Fanboy? You bet.) As a bonus, I even ran into Steel for Brains creator and all-around cool dude, Jonathan Dick, and chatted about the show and our respective drives to the venue.
In closing, in case I somehow failed to make it clear before, this show and overall experience goes down as THE show to beat in my mind. I only wish more of you had been there to bear witness as well.