Last night sludge metal icons, Weedeater, made their return to Chicago to headline a show at Reggies. They were part of a four-band bill full of a variety of metal styled bands. The storms outside were no match for the power emanating from the stage though as each band brought something different and heavy to the table.
Chicago’s own, Beak, returned to the concrete stage at the club to start the show off. They played a tight set full of really heavy post-metal in the vein of early Isis. They were every bit as good as their last appearance on that stage and the band really should put out a proper record as it would likely be very well received by the fans of that genre. They didn’t have much to say between songs, they simply blasted through their half-hour set and let their music do the talking for them.
Another local act, My Cold Dead Hand, quickly took the stage next. They had a unique sound that was a sort of bluesy stoner-rock mixed with some space rock. They had really heavy guitars but were quite melodic most of the times. Their vocalist has a voice slightly similar to that of early Afghan Whigs, raspy but melodic. Their songs were a bit on the long side and about half their set was really entertaining, especially the faster numbers. Their final song however was a bit too long, slow and a tad self-indulgent. Overall though they put on a good set and had some very strong material and any band that is this hard to describe is a good thing.
My Cold Dead Hand
Witchbanger was the third band of the evening. They were a five-piece band and had a huge, huge sound. They had down-tuned guitars and the most wall-rattling bass and low-end you could imagine. Their singer growled incoherently as the band made rumbles with their guitars that you wouldn’t know could come out of said instruments. They sounded like a much slower and much lower-end heavy Cavity. Their music was intense. For as great as their music was however, the band totally lacked any sort of stage presence. It could be due to the fact that they’ve hardly played any shows, but they need to at least face the audience when they play! All the band members sans the singer spent most of their set facing sideways looking at each other or down at their instruments. With the exception of the bass player (who was the most animated member of the band), most everyone stood in one place and rarely, if ever, faced the crowd. Musically they were great, they just need to work on their showmanship a bit, or at the very least face forward.
After having to postpone the recording of their forthcoming album due to a myriad of problems including the bassist/singer shooting off his own toe, Weedeater finally returned to Chicago. They came out and loaded up on beers and Jack Daniels as the theme to Sanford and Son played over the PA. As they played their unique, swampy sludge metal, bassist/vocalist Dixie Dave Collins bounced all over the stage slapping his bass and spitting. He would at times wrap his leg behind his back to kick the bottom of his bass as part of his playing and would sometimes go cross-handed for a few seconds. He was super fascinating to watch and was super animated as he growled his trademark vocals. At one point he even spit on the drummer’s head, who was totally unphased by it an didn’t even bat an eye at it.
As the band played a variety of material, including some songs they just finished recording here in town for the new album, guitarist Dave Shepherd rarely moved and just methodically strummed his deep power chords and thrown in the occasional backup vocal. The drummer, Keith Kirkum, pounded the living hell out of his drums and was a very animated and powerful drummer. He was very impressive to watch and the band has a great drum sound that along with the bass, really is the meat and potatoes of Weedeater’s trademark sound. The band played about 45 minutes or so and the crowd ate up every second of it. It was a great and energetic set and they are one of the most entertaining bands of their ilk.
Once again Reggies played host to a great evening of music that was entertaining from start to finish. There was no better way to stay up late on a Tuesday night than to have been at this show. Be sorry if you missed it!
Additional photos from this show are available here.