Archive for the Concert Reviews Category

Memento: A Spellbinding Set List From Bewitcher

Posted in Concert Reviews, Features, Mementos, Reviews with tags , , , , , on 07/04/2022 by kurtorzeck
Bewitcher’s frontman, Unholy Weaver of Shadows & Incantations

Bewitcher, Portland’s most scintillating speed-metal band since Toxic Holocaust, blew the garage doors off the Shredder in Boise once again on Friday night. It was an exhilarating set played by the band that played the same venue with Nile in mid-April, and with Exhumed and Creeping Death in November 2021.

The 50-or-so attendees danced and rubbed knocked elbows during each song, before and after which Bewitcher’s gracious frontman — who goes by the tough-to-memorize moniker Unholy Weaver of Shadows & Incantations — frequently expressed his appreciation for the crowd.

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Brain Tourniquet Turn Minds Into Mush at 1st PacWest Gig

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , on 07/01/2022 by kurtorzeck
Brain Tourniquet

The phrase “time is of the essence” originated during the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad that connected rail networks in the eastern U.S. with the western half of the country. Time is also the essence of live performances by Brain Tourniquet, a D.C. band that is powerfully violent to the hardest of cores.

On Friday night, the trio played their first gig in the Pacific Northwest at Boise’s haven for hard and heavy music, the Shredder. In the spirit of Brain Tourniquet’s speedy set — during which they played about 20 songs in 20 minutes — what follows is a rapid-fire attempt to communicate what it’s like seeing them live.

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Unto Others Hit Boise With a Bang (and Bangs)

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 05/12/2022 by kurtorzeck
Gabriel Franco of Unto Others at the Shredder in Boise on 5.8.22

It’s been a decade or three too long since mobs of miscreants banged their heads to metal mavens wearing bangs. That’s aside from Dave Mustaine and Joey Belladonna — who, at 60 and 61 years old, respectively, really should move aside. C’mon, guys, let the young ones get their chance.

But on Sunday night at the Shredder, Boise got some fresh air and fresh hair in the form of throwback ‘80s hard rockers Unto Others, a newish quartet from Portland, Oregon, led by frontman Gabriel Franco. Breathing new life into a cauldron of ‘80s hard rock, his group originally spawned in 2017 as Idle Hands. Shortly thereafter, they changed their name to another Biblically referenced moniker, Unto Others.

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Wayfarer Blow Away Boise With Blistering Black-Metal Fare

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , on 04/17/2022 by kurtorzeck
Wayfarer at the Shredder on 4.14.22

Make no mistake about it: Denver’s Wayfarer are dead-set on claiming the throne as kings of black metal in the Western U.S. Cofounded in 2011 by guitarist/vocalist Shane McCarthy, bassist/vocalist James Hansen and drummer Isaac Faulk, the group even haughtily describes itself as follows: “Wayfarer is black metal of the American West.”

Reaching such status will be a very tall order, but the quartet (also featuring guitarist Joe Strong-Truscelli) showed promise with a relentlessly crushing concert at the Shredder in Boise on Thursday night. The gig was the penultimate one on their 11-date “Death Rides West” jaunt.

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Yola ‘Stands’ Tall and Proud at Post-Grammys Gig

Posted in Concert Reviews, Interviews with tags , , , , , on 04/14/2022 by kurtorzeck
Yola at the Knitting Factory in Boise on April 6, 2022

British-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Yola left the Grammy Awards empty-handed last week, losing to Jon Batiste for Best American Roots Song and Los Lobos for Best Americana Album. Still. the outcomes weren’t a huge surprise for an emerging artist whose music is not confined to a single genre.

Indeed, Yola didn’t seem phased whatsoever when she played her unique blend of pop/country/hip-hop/Americana/soul/R&B/you-name-it to the Knitting Factory in Boise. Smiles abounded through the crowd, who were enraptured by Yola’s vocal range and authenticity — and seemed to know the show was so special, they might tell their kids about it someday.

Her covers of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Aretha Franklin’s “Day Dreaming” and Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” iced the cake.

If you aren’t yet familiar with the gift from the music gods that is Yola, check out my recent cover story on the artist for Music Connection. In the feature, she discusses her most recent album, July 2021’s Stand for Myself; growing up practically destitute; the “hot mess” that is U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson; and her lifelong love of Dolly Parton.

Noctambulist, Sunless Eclipse the Rest in Boise

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , on 04/11/2022 by kurtorzeck
Noctambulist at the Shredder in Boise, ID, on 4.10.22

“Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right in the eye and says, ‘Give me your best shot. I can take it.’ ” -Jack Burton, “Big Trouble in Little China”

The Shredder, Boise’s go-to club for brutal bands, came out of the pandemic with guns blazing. Tech/death-metal legends Defeated Sanity and Skeletal Remains dropped by late last month. Meanwhile, Inferi, Wayfarer, Bewitcher, Nite, Borknagar, Rotting Christ, Necronomicon, the Convalescence and Malevolent Creation will perform there over the next month.

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Gojira – Revolution Concert House (Garden City, ID) – October 8, 2021

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags on 11/26/2021 by kurtorzeck

Friday night’s performance by Gojira marked the first occasion on which the massively successful quartet played in proper support of Fortitude, one of the year’s best albums in rock music writ large.

Read the full review here.

Royal Thunder’s ‘Wick’-ed Awesome Gig: Two Cent Review

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 04/15/2017 by kurtorzeck

Brant Bjork, Royal Thunder, Black Wizard and Nick Walker’s Acid Guide Service at the Shredder in Boise, ID, 4.14.17

Royal Thunder frontwoman Miny Parsons, doing her best Kurt Cobain impression at the Shredder.

With sweat dripping off their faces and their bodies thoroughly spent, Royal Thunder huddled together onstage at the Shredder on Friday night after a blistering show, powwowing about their latest concert victory. Continue reading

Treefort 2017: The Ultimate, Gorilla-Size Review

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , on 04/12/2017 by kurtorzeck

Treefort 2017 delivered Deafheaven, Mac DeMarco, Grouper, Doug Marsch — and set a gorilla on the loose.

Check out my exhaustive concert review of Boise’s five-day indie-rock festival, Treefort — starring Deafheaven, Grouper, This Will Destroy You, Doug Martsch, Magic Sword and more — on Drowned in Sound.

FYF Fest 2010: Sleep Are Reawakened, Growlers Are Scary-Good, Titus Andronicus Prove Weak

Posted in Concert Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/05/2010 by kurtorzeck

There’s no shortage of gripes being voiced in the aftermath of yesterday’s FYF Fest 2010 at Los Angeles’ Historic State Park. Continue reading