Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro, Chicago (US)

UNCLE ACID / GRAVEYARD / DEMOB HAPPY

Date: 26th March, 2019
Venue: The Metro
Ticket: $30 / €27 (in advance) - SOLD OUT
Promoter: n/a


DimK: This would be the second live show on the row and it was a rather radical change from the previous day’s Vampire / Goth / Black Metal treat. That’s right; going from CRADLE OF FILTH to UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS cannot be considered as the easiest transition for a metalhead. Although, I (still) like to live in my own universe where metalheads are open-minded and know how to enjoy a powerful live show if the music comes straight from the heart and is served with the power it did that Tuesday night. So, allow us to tell you how things went down in The Metro downtown Chicago.

The evening commute gods of Chicago played it nice and therefore there was no drama getting in line to enter The Metro. Yes, there was a nicely formed line outside this historic venue, even though the opening band was already onstage. This made absolutely sense as the show had become ‘sold-out’ just like it had happened the last time Uncle Acid was in town (in 2015), proving how strong of a following the Brits have created here in the States. The Metro is an awesome venue with amazing acoustics, especially for this type of music where the '70s groove is served by some Orange PAs at a spitting distance and even though I had no prior knowledge of  DEMOB HAPPY, I quickly got in the right mood for the two bands that I already knew as being constants as far as delivering solid shows is concerned.

MariaV: A friend of mine once said, “this is what happens when you give Rickenbackers and feelings to a bunch of Swedish dudes”, while listening to the “Hisingen Blues” album, a lifetime ago, and he was so right. Τo me, watching the four gentlemen from Gothenburg live is the closest I can get to a religious experience, since I’ve laughed, loved, cried and being hurt during the years having always close at hand a GRAVEYARD album (no matter the era). Add to this, Joakim Nilsson’s unique and soulful performance every time he hits the stage, and you’ll get what I’m trying to say. This time, GRAVEYARD hit The Metro stage with a 2/4 new lineup, but that didn’t stop the Chicagoans who had already packed the nicely filled venue to try reaching as close to the stage as possible to get some of the sweat, love and tears of Joakim and co. firsthand.

One by one, Oskar, Truls, Jonathan and Joakim stepped onstage and got found their spots while waving with gratitude at the crowd, once they witnessed how packed The Metro looked from where they were standing. Yes, it feels super-awesome watching a band interacting with the audience from the first minute – even though the dimmed lights didn’t help us to watch each and every move from the band members right from the start. The first jam-my tunes of “Walk On” didn’t take long to hit us hard and get us straight into party mode, and let me tell you that the crystal clear sound did justice to this, feeling like you’re listening to the actual record. A short and honest “thank you” by Joakim led the way to “Please Don’t”, proving that GRAVEYARD were hear to mean real “Peace” business, and it was really cool hearing two new tracks from their latest studio offering. And to my surprise, it didn’t take long for the first moshpit (?) to start forming right in the middle of the venue, even though it was a bit annoying to whomever had a drink on his/her hand. Following “The Fox” came back to back with my all-time favorite “Hisingen Blues” that opened the time-capsule for some older GRAVEYARD stuff (I just can’t get enough of how Joakim screams at the top of his lungs on this one “Oh Lucifer, please take my hand”) and it wasn’t long before Joakim and the gang, working like a well-oiled machine, decided to drop down a bit the tempo; “Uncomfortable Numb” was next but it didn’t actually slow the crowd at all that seemed like hypnotized watching the modern Bluesers performing new and older material to the T. If you have watched GRAVEYARD at least once, you may think they’re a bit static or ‘meh’ live visually speaking, but let me tell you that I can’t think of another band of this era performing with such a passion, like their life depends on it; just watch Joakim spitting the lyrics like pouring his soul right then and there, being backed up by Jonathan’s trusted guitar-playing, and you’ll get what I’m trying to say.

“It’s good to be back in Chicago. We appreciate you coming out and filling this room”, were Truls’ exact words right before hitting us with the Hendrix-esque “Bird Of Paradise”, and it was a really nice surprise watching him behind the mic handling the vocals, adding an extra flair to the setlist. “Cold Love” and “Buying Truth” hit us hard without a pause, and it was once again time to drop the tempo, with Joakim saying “thank you so much everybody – this next song is for hard times lovin’”, passing the baton to the hair-rising, same-titled track. Watching him giving flesh and bones to the abundant melancholy of this track while singing carrying on his shoulders all the pain of the world is a ritualistic experience, proving that it’s simply impossible to not fall in love with shows and performances like that. Soon enough, the usual suspects “An Industry Of Murder” / “It Ain’t Over Yet” came to restore the ‘party mode’ order and drain all the energy of the Chicagoans who welcomed to my surprise the first tunes of “Goliath” with real enthusiasm.

Sure, the last hour felt like a short dream but there we were, already on the ‘encore’ part, even though the band didn’t move an inch (remember, we’re in the States) from their spots to mark that they were ready to dig deep into the triplet of the chosen songs that would drop the curtain for their set. So, the “Peace”-coming “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” and it’s numb-y bass intro led the way (it’s so cool watching Truls’ doing all that finger-work on his Rickenbacker making it look like the easiest thing in the world), while “Ain’t Fit To Live Here” gave its place to the RAINBOW-laden “The Siren” without a pause, leaving everyone speechless and emotional-broken while watching Joakim delivering so much passion in his voice which you could feel it crushing your soul.

“Thank you so much, everybody – see you next time”, were sweaty-AF Joakim’s final words for the night, delivering a well-warmed up crowd to the canny hands of Uncle Acid and his deadbeats. Tack, GRAVEYARD – we’ll definitely be there.

“I’ve been leaving you since the day we’ve met”

GRAVEYARD setlist:

01. “Walk On”
02. “Please Don’t”
03. “The Fox”
04. “Hisingen Blues”
05. “Uncomfortable Numb”
06. “Bird Of Paradise”
07. “Cold Love”
08. “Buying Truth”
09. “Hard Times Lovin’”
10. “An Industry Of Murder”
11. “It Ain’t Over Yet”
12. “Goliath”
13. “Magnetic Shunk”
14. “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)”
15. “Ain’t Fit To Live Here”
16. “The Siren”

GRAVEYARD

Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou)
Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou)
Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou) Graveyard @ The Metro (photos by Maria Voutiriadou)

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DimK: Despite the rather static onstage presence, GRAVEYARD did set the bar high for UNCLE ACID who were ready to return to The Metro with all cylinders firing and with a solid album as the perfect engine lubricant. The beer had been flowing from the start and therefore the buzz was running across the venue with some scattered ‘already-had-too-much’ concert-goers being kindly directed to the back. In case you are not aware, UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS is the definition of an anti-star band and even though “Wasteland” is their fifth album, this has not changed at all. I mean, the focus is on the music and not at all on the musicians who are sweating their arse off in every single show. And you can literally see this when the band steps onstage and the stage-lights are directed in such way that the faces are kept in the dark (maybe I should have said "you can literally not see this"). Sure, this makes the life inside the photo-pit kind of meaningless but definitely puts the show on the highest of gears like flooring the gas pedal immediately after turning the ignition key. This is exactly how it felt the moment the lights went out and the intro marked the time for the setlist opener (how cool was listening to the taped warning "You are a great audience. You are now entering the wasteland"?). Oh yeah, the brand new “I See Through You” kicked off the show and it didn’t feel like ‘new’ at all. Even though this comes from the band’s latest LP, it sounds so UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS that it is easy to assume that it has been around for quite a while. Uncle Acid (aka Kevin Starrs) assumed the singer’s spot and with his hair blocking his face revealed right away why this band’s music is so addictive. There is a strong sense of groove that combined with the '70s (Horror) aesthetics get the viewer into a time-machine and start the trip keeping the breaks as minimal as humanly possible.

Even though half of the lineup has been recently revamped, the intensity was there, so I am sure Uncle Acid chose while whom to put behind the drum kit and the bass. Oh my goodness, “Waiting For Blood” kicked us in the face with that groove that makes you stomp your foot as hard as you can following the band’s lead. Of course, headbanging is always on the menu, so the projections at the back of the stage did not really matter, and on top of this, having the band members hidden behind the absence of light made the music feel even stronger. I am sure this what Kevin wants to keep your hearing part of the brain hooked with minimal visual stimuli. Ok, the latter were not totally absent since watching Kevin hunched over his guitar when singing and then stomping his foot the stage floor following all those killer grooves are things that you cannot but copy and feed from this energy. In fact, that energy gets bounced off the audience and is amplified while creating a spaced-out loop that you do not want to end. Damn, the SABBATH-esque of “Mt. Abraxas” is impossible to resist and to follow this with the Stoner-infested “Mind Crawler” makes your sink crawl (pun intended). Watching the audience moving along the groove is a solid proof of why this band has created such a solid following getting shows sold-out in the middle of the week.

The back projections kept the aesthetics as close as possible to the '70s but in this the bloody UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS logo brought some Horror Movie quality that I think fits perfectly to the music as the ugliness of humanity did through the images showed during the other groove-maker titled “Shockwave City”. What I said about the new material matching the old was once proven by the unique pairing of “I’ll Cut You Down” and “Blood Runner” that kept as banging like it was the last thing we were meant to do. We were in the groove-zone and we refused to live because “13 Candles” demanded our undivided attention... Damn, this one sounds amazing in concert.

I could not believe that almost one hour had already passed and we were about to hit the last two songs of the night... The joyride with UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS on the stage was about to finish and I already knew that I would be left wanting more and more... Although, getting “No Return” after the most addictive and BLACK SABBATH-heavy “Melody Lane” blew our eardrums once more. Oh my, the rhythm guitars on this one, combined with the catchy chorus, are impossible to resist, so singing along went on the menu right away. The set ended as it started with a song from the new album and I hope that UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS will be adding more material from “Wasteland” although I can sense a headache building up on what to remove from the set... Well, another visit from Uncle this year will definitely help; can you hear me, Kevin?

UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS setlist:

01. “I See Through You”
02. “Waiting For Blood”
03. “Mt. Abraxas”
04. “Mind Crawler”
05. “Death’s Door”
06. “Shockwave City”
07. “Crystal Spiders”
08. “Dead Eyes Of London”
09. “Pusherman”
10. “I’ll Cut You Down”
11. “Blood Runner”
12. “13 Candles”
13. “Melody Lane”
14. “No Return”

UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats @ The Metro (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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Date: 10th June, 2012
Venue:
Mayne Stage
Ticket: $23 (€18)