When: September 27th, 2016.
Where: The Mezzanine – San Francisco, CA.
CB radio microphones aren’t just for truckers.
Before I explain that, lets give some love to the opener, The Ramona Flowers. Right away they screamed U2. It might have been their accents, or the echoing vocal delay effects, but I stand by my gut. Because of this I do have to mention, respectfully, that they did of course need 2 guitars to get the sound that The Edge manages to squeeze out of one. The drummer had a unique mix of drum machine and traditional kit that got my toes tapping and the main singer was a good performer. He had a great voice, knew how to really get a range of sound out of his effects, and had good interactions with the crowd. Throughout the show, they paced well so that you could feel a climax at the end. Unfortunately, the lead singers mic broke about half way through the big song. Despite the technical difficulties they pressed on and finished the set out, thanking us for our energy and enthusiasm. A class act.
Between the shows, while the roadies were changing out the gear, they turned on some old school Ray Charles type R&B which turned the toe tapping into shoulder shrugging and got us all in the mood for some fun.
The Heavy are a ball of energy live and they owe it all to lead singer, Kelvin Swaby. He didn’t have a mic stand, he wouldn’t have used it anyways. The guy literally never stopped moving. Instead, he had two piles of audio cords in front of him. On one side he had the head of an old school retro mic, and on the other, was a CB radio mic plugged directly into the audio feed which made his already raspy voice feel even grittier. Most of the time he was using the normal mic but would switch over for effect during certain portions of songs. Right from the get go he had us singing along to “The Big bad Wolf” from their third studio album “The Glorious Dead.” From there we were hooked. He had us all in the palm of his hand asking us to jump, clap, jigger, and jive.
Quite a bit of what they played was music from their fourth, and newest, studio album “Hurt & The Merciless.” Songs like “Since You Been Gone,” How You Like Me Now,” and “Last Confession” played particularly well with the crowd. I have to say I was surprised at how few people were at the show. The Mezz doesn’t have a particularly large standing room, but it is deep. People were pretty packed up to the pillar in the middle but beyond that it started to get thin. These guys deserved more. They came to play and play they did. Swaby has loads of passion and you could tell by his movements how exhausting it is to put that much energy into your show. As the the night progressed he put more and more into each song. By the time they were done you could see he was tired. Nonetheless they all came back out to our cheers for an encore. They played a few more and took off. Just as The Ramona Flowers did, they thanked us for our love and support. I imagine traveling so far from home to see people who love your music is humbling.
TL;DR – BE READY TO DANCE