Last Friday night at Union Transfer in Philadelphia started out a little slow. The bands started more then an hour later then scheduled due to technical difficulties, but once they finally started the sound and lighting was great. Union Transfer is an interesting venue. It’s a very old building that has housed different businesses over the years; since 2011 it has been a concert venue mostly for indie music. There is no barricade for security or photographers to stand in or for crowd surfers to land. The crowd surfers end up right on stage where security unceremoniously tosses them back into the crowd. The first thing that comes to mind is the Lamb of God fan in Czech Republic who was killed getting pushed from the stage by LOG’s lead singer Randy Blythe. An incident like that could easily happen at Union Transfer. They really need to get a barricade for security, the safety of the fans, and the safety of the photographers and our equipment. There were several photographers lining the front of the stage attempting somewhat unsuccessfully to keep their cameras from becoming shrapnel in the pit. Putting safety issues aside it was a fantastic concert. Tombs, a doom metal band from Brooklyn New York, kicked off the night with what seemed to be an abbreviated set due to the late start. They have such a heavy bass and drum sound you can feel it hitting you. Pallbearer was the second band to take the stage. They have a very similar sound to Tombs. If you like one you will definitely like the other. Brett Campbell’s vocal style is somewhat reminiscent of Ozzy Osborne, giving their set an old school Black Sabbath feel.
This was the first show of the first tour back for Baroness since their bus crash last August in England. Having been away from the fans for almost a year made the night all that much more exciting for fans and the band alike, which would account for the a awesome pit and all the crowd surfing. It seemed like the crowd was really happy to finally hear songs from “Yellow & Green” live. Though they voiced their requests for older songs too, screaming for particular songs or just “Blue” or “Red” referring to the older albums. Their unique powerful sound with duel lead singers is something you just need to hear in person. Every single song was treated like a crowd favorite people sang along, moshed and cheered for all of them. Baroness generally doesn’t talk between songs on stage, but singer/guitarist John Baizley took the chance to thank everyone for their support over the past several months and to introduce the new band members, on bass Nick Jost and on drums Sebastian Thomson. The set was well over an hour long featuring mostly songs from “Yellow & Green” with a few older songs mixed in ending with “Jake Leg” for the encore. If you get the opportunity to see this tour definitely check it out. Even if you never listened to Baroness before, you will not be disappointed.