It's official that 2010 is the year of the Black Angels on the pages of MusicSnobbery.com. Best album to date. Check. Break-out year. Check. Invite only show last month. Check. Seeing them in Europe. Score.
Nothing much to add to the Black Angels coverage that I've already told before. I'm pretty obsessed with them now. The show was just phenominal. The venue was so different. It's basically an arts complex and botanical garden, so you have pass a long hallway of towering plants to get to the venue. The room itself was modest (500-700 capacity I guess), but the stage long, which makes it perfect for seeing shows. The bands were right on top of us.
- You On the Run
- Bloodhounds On My Trail
- Bad Vibrations
- Haunting at 1300 McKinley
- Yellow Elevators
- Black Grease
- Mission District
- Science Killer
- Entrance Song
- The Sniper
- Phosphene Dream
- River of Blood
- ENCORE: Young Men Dead
- The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven
- Better off Alone
- The First Vietnamese War
This is my fourth time seeing the Austin-based band (putting them in my Hall of Fame), and each gig has been different visual. First time at Mercury Lounge, they played in complete darkness. Second was in daylight at All-Points West. Third was with the awe-inspiring backdrop at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. For Le Botanique, the venue gave them the full rock band light treatment -- lots of activity with the beams of light.
It was my observation in the EU capital that the Belgiums are passionate about their rock music. They do get their fare share of quality acts, mostly tours going through France will stop over in Brussels. Thus, when the American rock bands come into town, there is a need for it and the response will be super appreciative. The band had big smiles on their faces with the crowd reaction. Heck, they came across on ocean and far away for home, so I think the love made them feel that the trip was worth it.
When you think about it, North American-based bands will barely make a profit from touring in Europe. More than likely, they are going to take hit financially. The cost to get their gear over, the staff required and expenses are just ridiculous. Their only hope is to make some coin off t-shirts and merch. So my foreign friends, buy up those vinyls.
As you can tell by the set-list, with three album under their belt, they can play all the choice cuts. There's not a mediocre song in their show now, which makes for a must-see experience. They end with their epic 16+ minute closer Manipulation from Directions to See a Ghost. The anticipation for that during the encore is such that people were pleading from them to trot it out. Their big new poppy song, Telephone, is a true gem. It's only a matter of time we hear that in a commercial.
Next up for the band is a comprehensive co-headlining U.S. tour with the Black Mountain, who also played Brussels the following night.
WALL OF DEATH!!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
They weren't listed on the bill, so when they came out. I just wanted shout, "Who the hell are you?" They were pretty good, an excellent compliment to the angels. Since they are three moody and serious guys, they didn't say anything until the end, and it was in French. Nous sommes Mur de la Mort. Merci. They are straight forward in their Jesus & Marcy Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club vibe -- lots of droning, keyboards and echoing guitar effects.