When: September 30th, 2016.
Where: The Independent – San Francisco, CA.
Sex, drugs, and bad decisions.
I wasn’t able to catch much of Annie Girl & The Flight‘s set due to some unforeseen Muni issues but what I did hear was great. They have grungy dark sound that still manages to feel light and playful. The bass player was going at it, jumping all around the stage. Wish I could have seen and heard more.
Next up was Fairy Bones. This was only their 2nd day on tour with Highly Suspect, and they were super stoked to be there. You could tell how happy they were, joking with each other, talking with the crowd, and even offering to trade jackets with someone who yelled out a compliment about it. It was refreshing to see the kind of youthful energy they had, working the stage, reaching out, and dropping to their knees on occasion. It was because they felt the music, not because they had to put on a show. With a talented lead singer and spunky attitude, these guys will be going somewhere. They just seemed genuine; happy to be doing what they were doing. Their bass lines are super melodic and guitar riffs sharp as a razor. Along with their attitude came some style. I got a chance to talk briefly outside of the venue with the drummer who was super nice and appreciative of the support. I am certainly excited to see how high these guys will climb.
After a short break, a guy hopped out on stage to introduce who we all came for, Highly Suspect. They opened with the hard hitting “Bloodfeather” off of their newest album, “Mister Asylum” which was a great start. Right away, everyone in the place packed closer to the stage. They followed this up with “Bath Salts” which is one of my personal favorites. The third song they played was another off of the newest album, “Lost”. After that they went on to play what they said was a song from their upcoming album “The Boy That Died Wolf” which was great and allowed them to point out the poster of the album cover art behind them. They played a good variety of material including all of their hits, which for being such a new band, these guys have a lot of. The sound quality was great. It wasn’t the normal “as loud as we can possibly make it” that usually echo’s from The Independent, but rather, just right. It really sounded as good as the studio material with a little extra attitude and suspense at some points. The group was spread out evenly across the stage, not stacked on top of each other. This got them as close to the crowd as possible and allowed the lead guitarist and vocalist, Johnny Stevens, to grab a joint from someone and take a hit before passing it back. In the middle of the show they slowed it down a little. During this slower portion the bass player, Rich Meyer, sang lead on a song. Oddly enough, the moshing didn’t start until the slower part of the concert, go figure. To bring the tempo back up, Johnny started a killer guitar riff to lead into one of their hit songs, “Lydia”. After a few more songs, they thanked us and took off. Unfortunately there wasn’t an encore so the night was over, leaving me with an itch that will likely linger until their new album gives it a scratch. Well played.
TL;DR – MOSH FOR LOVE