You’d think writing a review gets easier over time; that the words will just roll out of you with practice and fall onto the page with zeal. Sadly, you’re fuckin’ wrong. Being wrong can be okay sometimes, in that case, it is understandable, but wrong nonetheless. Very much like how you were wrong when you didn’t attend the Baroness and Mutoid Man show that occurred this past Sunday, on the 1st of May at Montreal’s own Corona Theatre. Very, very wrong.
A show can sometimes ruin your capability of forming words into their bigger brother: sentences. A show can even make you forget to invite words’ big sister: humour. The first reason why this terrible amnesia of the English language has occurred to me would be the unlikely fuckery that spewed out of stoner supergroup (ish?) Mutoid Man. Forged from the fires of Converge and Cave In, these three cats came swinging at the crowd like we were hoarding the catnip. Their set broke open with a surprising and erection worthy, albeit brief (the song not the erection), cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” What ensued from there was nothing short of fantastic, which leaves the questions of how and why? This act filled a room with such violent warmth from their music using only three people, probably helps that one of those people is famed Converge drummer Ben Koller who is capable of committing genocide behind a drumkit. Go listen to Mutoid Man, don’t be wrong again.
This could have gone on all night, but Savannah, GA’s Baroness needed their turn, and their turn they fuckin’ had. Stoner rock/metal is a genre that is typically very intricate yet very one-dimensional at the same time; gorgeous compositions, but often sticking to one particular doomy tone. The absolute beauty and life that goes into the composition of one Baroness’ tune almost makes the history and typical aspects of the genre they play not do them justice.
“Kerosene” opened up the sixteen-song barrage. This is true fashion as the band is currently touring for their new record, Purple. Some might complain that their setlist did not include nearly enough content from Red and Blue (two of the band’s earlier releases), to which they would be mostly right. That being said, if “Isak” was the only tune off of Red I was going to hear that evening, then I’m far from bitching about it.
The only true oddity that could be noticed was how the instruments from each band that crowd that the pleasure of witnessing that night took hold of the room differently. Ben Koller definitely hits a world harder than Sebastian Thomson might just out of nature, but the levels didn’t quite feel the same nonetheless. Did this mean that Baroness didn’t sound good? Ha! Don’t make me hit you. Both the string section as well as the euphoric vocal harmonies more than made up for it with an orchestra of “Goddamnit, now I need new pants.” All in all, I obviously more than enjoyed myself, so why did I have such a hard time writing this as I previously mentioned? Well, there’s only so many ways you can say how much you truly enjoyed the living fuck out of something, thus I’ll just plain tell you. I enjoyed the living fuck out of both of these performances right down to the last note of “Take my Bones Away.”
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Isa Hoyos Ishca Photography
*edited by Danielle Kenedy