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November 24, 2008 |

By TK Burton | Music | November 24, 2008 |

My favorite live shows rarely end up being my favorite bands, and I’ll tell you why: I like a good surprise, and hearing an amazing show from a favorite band tends not to be too surprising. What IS surprisingly good is when I go to a show that my husband has picked out, because it usually isn’t a show that I’d have been motivated to see on my own. There are, of course, exceptions to this generalization.

On a Tuesday night in November in a hipster-overrun mountain town, we saw two amazing bands. The headliner, The Sword, was the expected amazing. I saw them open for Clutch a month ago, and they rocked my face off. Hard to believe these kids are (allegedly) in their early twenties. It is impossible to not compare their sound to Black Sabbath; they have this retro metal style down to a science, really. All the good things about the beginnings of metal (hard, heavy riffs, lyrics about mythology and death, etc.) with a contemporary edge that reminds me of bands like High On Fire (sans the deep screamy vocals) and Weedeater (but not as sludgy). The lead guitarist, Kyle Shutt, is a maniac on that guitar. A very precise maniac.

The Sword, Winter’s Wolves

So yeah, The Sword was fucking great, and I threw my goats high, but the precursor to that performance was the special surprise: Year Long Disaster. I had not heard of YLD, but I had heard of Rich Mullins, the bassist for Karma to Burn, Brad Hargreaves, the drummer for Third Eye Blind, and Daniel Davies, son of The Kinks’ Dave Davies. Did you know these guys were in a band together? And that they are pretty freakin’ awesome? Yeah, me neither, until this show. Maybe I’m really out of the loop, but it doesn’t matter, ‘cause I’m all over it now. This is the band that Wolfmother is trying to be, but they don’t know it (and I like Wolfmother). They have this very 70s rock sensibility beneath the heavy, almost Clutch-y metal blues style. Momma likey.

Year Long Disaster, Leda Atomica

Maybe it is because they play with the passion of a mid-level band trying to break through, but they have the chops to rival any festival headliner. I now have a real soft spot for this band. Rich and Daniel met in L.A. and went through rehab together, and they have that kind of connection on stage that reveals the layers of their relationship. They all have a great musical connection, and it just streams through their live performance (I also have a soft spot for Rich’s stiff-leg sumo stance. He must have the quads of a freakin’ bull, that silly former crackhead!).

By and large, a great live show to see. If you have the chance to catch them on this tour, go for it. And when the security dude that looks like Stone Cold Steve Austin tells you “No Moshing,” just flick him off and jump around even more. It’s fun! Because I’m a girl and he won’t touch me. :) Sorry if you are a dude. Hey, at least you can whip it out and pee anywhere. I think that makes us even.

Boo is a self-supporting wise ass with a mean streak, a sweet tooth and an amazing pair. She used to listen to Enya to fall asleep, thus her tolerance for the soft stuff. You can find her under a rock in the Southern Appalachian mountains, attempting to write, play and sing music while usually in some state of inebriation. Read more about her at Girl Named Boo.

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Music | November 24, 2008 |

TK Burton is the Editorial Director. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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