Saint Vitus @ Reggies, Chicago (US)

SAINT VITUS / PALLBEARER / THE HOOKERS

Date: 08th October, 2013
Venue: Reggies Rock Club
Ticket: $15 (€11) advance / $20 (€15) day of show
Promoter: n/a


MariaV: I got pretty excited when I read the news about SAINT VITUS touring the States for the second time in almost a year (editor’s note: a few short years ago, I was convinced I’d never get the chance to watch them live), so no matter this gig was on a Tuesday night with the first opening act getting onstage few minutes after 8pm, I was already there. Simply because Doom Metal riffs and VITUS go hand-in-hand, so there was no way to miss Dave Chandler and the gang hitting the SAINT VITUS friendly scene of the Windy City that hosted the band’s re-activation after a 5-year hiatus. Entering the Reggies Club, we were watching THE HOOTERS saying their goodnights before leaving the stage and let me tell you how it went...

DimK: Entering the always cozy Reggies Rock Club few minutes after 9pm, I was pleasantly surprised meeting a packed venue, something that did not actually happen the last time SAINT VITUS were in town (September of 2012). Everyone was ready to watch two great Doom Metal bands from different generations, underlining the well-known fact that Chicago loves SAINT VITUS. The inside atmosphere was great as it should and the stage was already prepped to welcome Little Rock, Arkansas’ Doom metallers PALLBEARER and their sorrowful yet atmospheric tunes. This was my third time watching this Doom quartet onstage, after their supporting slot for ENSLAVED tour at the same venue and at the first installment of ‘Days Of The Doomed’ festival in 2011. I am sure you won’t argue with me when I say that PALLBEARER are still growing and so far have done a magnificent job having already a strong following. And that night they had their fans on their side who welcomed them onstage with the warmest round of applause. The band added two new tracks on the setlist (if I’m not mistaken) and even if there were no lyrics, they sounded absolutely heavy with trademark repetitive riffs topped off with fuzz-bass action and the always present atmospheric effects. In other words, the excitement for the next PALLBEARER album was increased... Some technical problems with Brett Campbell’s equipment didn’t stop the already Unleashed Beast to deliver the goodies, so fortunately the lethal duo, “Devoid Of Redemption” and “An Offering Of Grief”, pleased our thirsty ears for slow-as-death tunes, and it was really cool to watch many doom-heads headbanging following the Doomy and fuzzy sound. The real surprise of the night came when the guys treated us with an inspiring and refreshing take on BLACK SABBATH’s “Over And Over” (of the Dio era), and that was their way to drop the curtain and pass the baton to the other live Doom Myth of nowadays Metal history.

PALLBEARER

Pallbearer @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Pallbearer @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Pallbearer @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Pallbearer @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Pallbearer @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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MariaV: The stage preparations took almost half an hour but eventually everything was ready to welcome the US version of the late 70s’ Doom Metal spearheaded by Sir Dave Chandler (r-e-s-p-e-c-t for the man!) and the rest of current version of SAINT VITUS with Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich, the one and only Mark Adams on bass and the recently added drummer in Armando Acosta’s shoes (R.I.P.), Henry Vasquez. One could feel the excitement of the enthusiastic crowd the minute VITUS had stepped onstage, even though some technical problems in the guitar amps, maybe due to the same bad juju that harassed PALLBEARER’s set, forced Chandler to restart the intro of “Clear Windowpane” since the guitar sound was lost in the abyss of Reggies’ speakers. Well, I agree with your thinking this is not a proper start for a SAINT VITUS show but keep in mind this was a live gig and this means random technical hiccups, right?

Wino appeared in front of the thirsty for Doom crowd last but not least, and tried to overpass his shyness-mixed-with-booze thing, delivering the lyrics as Wino always does: passionate and dead on. Seconds before “Blessed Night” hit our necks with the groove and Vasquez’s pummeling drumming, Chandler introduced the band by simply saying “we are SAINT VITUS, thank you for coming” and then accepted the compliments about his “The Thing” tee before responding like this: “well, this is how I look like when I wake up in the morning, having people and brains for breakfast”.

“Living Backwards” initiated the fist-pumping festivities – at least until the characteristic quaver-y guitar sound of “I Bleed Black” filled the entire Reggies – followed by some serious headbanging in the front rows. “Are you ready for war?” Chandler rhetorically asked, helping Wino in the frontman’s role and when the first frenetic notes of “War Is Our Destiny” were heard, every fan wanted to come as close to the stage as possible to honor the Californian Doom quartet, and I remember myself thinking how amazing it was having just one guitar leading the way perfectly combined with Wino’s harsh and angry vocals. The next song was again introduced by Chandler: “this one is the video clip we did for our latest album and I’d like to dedicate it to many critics who claim to know it all and be right about everything”; “Let Them Fall” kicked in and I was amazed by Chandler’s insane teeth-played Hendix-style solo while his feet-pedals did the trick once more.

I have to admit I get goosebumps every time I listen to the opening Doom tunes of “The Troll” and this was not an exception; Wino seemed like he was hanging from his mic stand, Dave was torturing his strings nice and easy, Mark had nailed his look lost in space, while Henry was holding the mournful tempo like a beast controlling our necks according his will. “The Waste Of Time” and “Shooting Gallery” came back-to-back with less talking and more action, while the galloping “White Stallions” was the chosen one that closed the band’s regular set (I guess at least the die-hards knew that there were a couple more to follow), provoking some serious mosh-pit action in the back, even though it was a pure Doom Metal concert.

It was time for Henry to take the mic and express his ‘thanks’, right before calling the rest of the band back to the stage for the encore. Yup, it was time for the booze-Doom-hymn “Dying Inside” and the 10-minute jam of “Born Too Late” during which Chandler stepped off stage with his guitar and kept soloing in the center of the venue surrounded by the ecstatic fans (ok, there were a couple of them who were trying to take a photo with the guitarist, but there are always somewhere one or two show-offs, don’t ya think?) reaching the climax of this great show.

True dat: it will never be enough listening and singing-along with Wino the chorus lines of “Born Too Late”, especially when he screams on top of his lungs “...I don’t wanna be like you”.

SAINT VITUS setlist:

01. “Clear Windowpane”
02. “Blessed Night”
03. “Living Backwards”
04. “I Bleed Black”
05. “War Is Our Destiny”
06. “Let Them Fall”
07. “Bleeding Ground”
08. “The Troll”
09. “The Waste Of Time”
10. “Shooting Gallery”
11. “White Stallions”
12. “Dying Inside”
13. “Born Too Late”

SAINT VITUS

Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Saint Vitus @ Reggies Rock Club (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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