Crucify Your Ears. deafheaven at T.T. The Bear’s Place

Was it blissful?

The long answer; Hell yes. Probably one of the best show experiences I’ve had in recent memory despite my being new to the deafheaven camp. Openers VYGR (pronounced Voyager) with their Crowbar meets Cult Of Luna meets something else massive riffage laid the ground bare for those who had seen them before and total ignoramuses like myself. I’ve also had the distinct pleasure of experiencing Marriages, who I didn’t know existed before this show, but their brand of dreamy shoegaze with the occasional rock-out moment to prevent drowsiness meshed well with my tendency to look down at my shoes, mainly because the air was fresher. People fucking reek, man.

I had hoped to say hello or possibly get a picture with the main man of the night, George Clarke of deafheaven, and possibly say “Hey, I’m that guy that used 10 minutes of your time for my own personal glory!”, however such an opportunity never arose before he changed from a grey t-shirt featuring a band I can’t remember at the moment into a sleek black button-up shirt topped off with some killer gloves. I don’t know how he could stand the heat in his accoutrements at the time, but he bore it with a tremendous porous deluge that drenched us all like a heavy evening rain. I tell you, no one came out of there dry.

The tension was almost too much to bear; the men were lined up, looking almost entirely different from one another, sporting everything from Raiders shirts to formal-esque attire to Emperor to Boris. Diverse interests make this band what it is, folks, and the sounds that came from that stage had so much more impact than on record, it felt like there was a switch that George had flicked with his unnerving stare. If you get caught on the business end of that like I did, good luck staring back without fearing that he’ll leap out and kill you.

The setlist contained mainly songs from Sunbather (obviously), and the crowd was constantly surging with an energy unexpected. My copy of The Odyssey’s cover is falling off, it was so dense and humid, not to mention the constant knocking about and impassioned screaming along, complete with some accidental blows to the head, both recieved and given. A frenzied outpouring whirlwind of dithyrambic emotions later, topped off with an encore of “Violet”, and you’ve got a live experience that you wouldn’t expect from an American Black Metal act, particularly in the post-vein. Don’t miss their next show, should they ever come to your town. It’s like a dream.

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Are You That Goddamn Son Of A Bitch? Trap Them at the Great Scott

The thing about the Great Scott is that their shows start late, end later, right? So I waltz up to the joint at around 11, on dat dank, hoping that I missed the openers and could skip right to the part where shit blows up, see. But I underestimated the Great Scott’s capacity for timewasting and still had two and a half more Phantom Glue songs to go. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy their music, but I needed to show up amped and keep my vibe going for the remainder of the show. And I dunno about you, but their Bison B.C. meets Mastodon stoner/sludge swagger doesn’t make me want to pit it up all night. Lunglust and Jack Burton v. David Lo Pan would have done even more to mellow the fire that burned away the skeletons in my belly that fuel my rage, so I wasn’t havin’ that. Ladies and gentlemen, with little further ado: Trap Them.

One of the most furious and uncompromisingly dark of the modern metalcore movement (read: All Pigs Must Die, Armed For Apocalypse, Nails, etc. not Asking Alexandria, Born of Osiris, etc.), Trap Them is blood-boltered from figurative head to toe. Taking their cues from Converge but adding in that Sunlight Studios tone so effectively weilded by Swedish death metal masters in Entombed and Dismember, adding in drums that alternate between sandblasting fury and timeless punk rhythms, and a growling rumble of a bass that provides not a backing for the guitar, but a feeling of anxiety and claustrophobia that fits the theme and aesthetic of the band. If this sounds like hyperbole, go listen to any of their releases and come back wowed by how a band can so effotlessly juggle sludgy endurance rounds with short and brutal workouts for your neck and mind.

The pit’s perpetual motion could have been harnessed to solve the world’s energy problems. Nary a moment was spent in rest, except of course between songs. But even then some people were liable to collide into one another. It’s a marvel I managed to get out with only a headbut to the right side of my face, a few mysterious (but tiny) cuts on my hands, and the soreness that comes from doing amateur martial arts to aggressive music. “Insomniawesome”, “The Facts”, “Saintpeelers/Manic In The Grips”, among others, formed this pleasant soundtrack to my mental escape. Catch them sometime, but beware of rabid Seans.