Saturday, January 28, 2012
YOB/MOCKINGBIRD/WHITEWOLVES: Welcome to Dude Village
It was a dark and stormy night. No seriously-it was, but despite the rain it was a packed show for a Thursday night show at Ace of Cups with Yob, Mockingbird and White Wolves. The crowd was in HIGH spirits from the start, and it only got better from there. The community vibe was also present; it seemed like just about everyone there knew each other through 3 or 4 degrees of separation. It was also cool to see people traveling for the show: as Yob's only Ohio date before their stint with Tool, you had people coming from all corners of the state to come party on a Thursday. Hope everyone made it to work on time...I know I cut it pretty damn close.
White Wolves are coming into their own as a Columbus band able to deliver the goods, and have played some pretty solid shows in the last six months. This show was definitely the biggest yet, however, and the pressure was on for White Wolves to put a big notch in their collective belt. They opened the show pulling no punches, delivering their signature instrumental prog/doom to a friendly hometown crowd.
Mockingbird opened for Yob and mixed in a fair amount of new material into their standard set of tracks from their self-titled album, out on Innervenus Records. There must be a mental lightbulb in drummer Chad Beverlin's head that gets significantly brighter when he's around his kit, because he threw the fucking hammer down in spectacular form, gluing together the bass and guitar lines into a solid mass of awesome. Guitarist/vocalist Andy Strickland and bassist Mike Gilpatrick worked seamlessly together to make riffs that were both far-out and heavy as well as grounded in the streets: whenever I listen to them I always picture driving through Akron's pothole infested neighborhoods looking for some trouble.
With two solid opening acts ratcheting up the crowd with each performance, Yob let the anticipation build (with enough time for us all to go burn another one or two up) before laying into nearly an hour-long set. With the right smells hitting the air, Yob started and pretty much took the crowd to 30,000 feet within the first 8.5 seconds of their set. And at that altitude we cruised for roughly the next hour. Yob has that rare quality of being able to write complex music without sounding contrived and not falling back too heavily on convention. Along with Om, Yob is arguably a standard-bearer for the revival of interest in merging Eastern qualities back into heavy music.
Yob has built up an increasingly warm welcome in Columbus since Scion 2009, their first real Cbus appearance since reforming under founder Mike Scheidt (guitar/vocals), Aaron Reiseberg (bass), Travis Foster (drums). Their set the other night at Ace of Cups proves why: they're friendly, unpretentious, and mind-blowing musicians; they GIVE respect to their audience and deservedly get it in return. They have come a long way on their journey, and we wish them the best.