Orlando’s House of Blues is like the shrine in some tiny indigenous village where people come to pay tribute to their golden idols. On October 4th, these idols came in the form of hard rock bands; Kyng, Zack Sabbath, and Clutch. A furious evening of music was to ensue.
First up was Los Angeles based “rock on ‘roids” band Kyng, playing on this tour in support of their new upcoming album Breathe In The Water releasing today. The band, heavy, groovy and impactful played an enthralling set. Singer Eddie Velez’s voice; melodic and sharp, pierced the air like a heavy metal blade. They had a primal sound, perfect for the atmosphere of the venue. Their set included songs “Pristine Warning” and “Breathe In The Water” from the new album, and songs like “Falling Down” off their previous albums. Their unique blend of heavy and classic rock started the night off perfectly leading in to the tunes of Black Sabbath.
I must say I was very excited to see and hear Zakk Wylde play, and to throw in Black Sabbath made it infinitely more enjoyable. Who better to play songs from Ozzy Osbourne‘s historical catalog then his former guitarist and current bassist. Every song played matched Zakk’s intensity, with his added style and “God of Rock” pose. His hair flowing, fingers shredding up and down the neck of his guitar as they blasted through classic Sabbath songs: “N.I.B.”, “Warpigs”, “Children Of The Grave”, and “Fairies Wear Boots”. Wylde, one of the best guitarists I have ever seen, engaged the crowd throughout the set, even coming down from the stage like Zeus descending Mt. Olympus, as streaks of thunder bolts shot out from his guitar. He walked into the crowd and played an epic solo surrounded by his legion who were ecstatic to be so close to rock royalty. Let me not forget to mention the rest of the band, Rob Zombie and Ozzy bassist Rob “Blasko” Nicholson and Queens of the Stone Age drummer Joey Castillo. Every one of them played to perfection. Any Sabbath fan and even the members of Black Sabbath themselves would walk away from this performance more than pleased.
And finally, the headliners of the “Psychic Warfare” tour came out to play. Clutch entered the stage to an already primed and pumped crowd waiting for their brand of rock which only Clutch can provide. They started off their set with “X-Ray Vision” a song from their latest album Psychic Warfare and also played “Sucker For The Witch”, “Struck Down”, “La Curandera”, “A Quick Death In Texas”, and “Pure Rock Fury”. This was my first time seeing Clutch, so after watching some live DVDs and reading other show reviews, I was ready and knew what to expect. However, even though I had an idea of what the show was going to be like, I was still taken aback by the gritty, intense, kick you in the face style of rock that leaves you bloodied and pained and screaming for more. I was more than impressed by drummer Jean- Paul Gaster’s technical and airtight show of percussional abilities. Guitarist Tim Sult delivered a statuesque and downright scary-good performance. The man looked like he was in his own world, studiously and meticulously playing every note to perfection. Bassist Dan Maines rounded out the rhythm section playing feverishly and hammering the strings of his bass guitar. That leaves singer Neil Fallon, whose stage presence is that of a behemoth. Neil is like a southern evangelical preacher performing a sermon in the church of rock. His followers are likened to disciples, who revered their rock and roll Jesus. Watching him, I realized through all his movements and gestures that he might be conjuring the spirit of Elvis Presley, albeit a more metal Presley. And of course at the end of their set, they indulged the crowd with an encore and ended the evening with “Electric Worry/One Eye Dollar” and “The Wolf Man Kindly Requests”.
The 3 bands on this tour couldn’t have complemented each other better, each band feeding into the other, and setting up the fans for the next act. It was a night of hard rock and soul, faces in the crowd ranging anywhere from kids in their 20s to adults in their 50s. This battery of musicians brought everyone together for one hell of a night. We were one big rock and roll family, all nestled and ready to be put to sleep in the House of Blues.