High on Fire - Bowery Ballroom & Music Hall of Williamsburg - 11/30 & 12/1
Musically, the band's uptempo stoner metal couldn't have been more on point (though the Saturday show was arguably a bit tighter). The set list comprised songs mostly from 2012's De Vermis Mysteriis as well as older tunes, such as "10,000 Years" from their debut (reissued for the second time over the summer). Without a doubt, the crowd favorite on both nights was the final encore, "Snakes for the Divine," with its memorable intro guitar licks, which bassist Jeff Matz later adroitly plays under one of Pike's fuzzy solos. When Pike and Matz finally play that riff in unison, it's a powerhouse moment.
Pike, newly sober, seemed in good spirits. And as hippy-dippy as this may sound, he gave off a positive energy that the audience absorbed and returned. We so enjoyed this vibe Friday night that we had to see whether it would happen again on Saturday. It did.
Overheard: Older audience member, standing up front by the stage, shouting after Lo-Pan's third song: "Fuckin' guy is good!"
Critical Bias: Someday maybe I'll have to write something about the tragic absence of melody in too much of today's metal.
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