Things got started really early at the Masquerade. Funny enough the three level venues had the Insane Clown Posse, playing up stairs as this show took place on the ground floor. I did not see any Juggaloos, but this is Atlanta and they can blend in easily with some of the trailer trash outside the city limits that reminds you Atlanta is in Georgia. It was unlikely that openers Swedish metallers Tribulation were mistaken for being down with the clown, despite the little bit of make up they wear. They deftly attack their instruments in earnest, allowing the songs to breathe a little more than they do on the albums. At times it feels like they are jamming. Which is fine by me because if you want to hear a band sound just like the album, then why leave the house to go look for parking somewhere?
Deafheaven This was my third time seeing Deafheaven. The first time they blew Alcest off the stage in a small club called the 529.On the “Sunbather” tour they played a larger club, and were intense, but it was a less aggressive energy than the first time I saw them. Like any good drug addict, we often go into shows wanting to have the same feeling we had when we first saw the band. But they are no longer where they were in fact the set steeped in their two most recent albums with “Roads to Judah” ignored. Judging from the crowd that made me feel I might as well have been at a Minus the Bear concert, lending credence to the line of thought that they make black metal for people who don’t like black metal.
They did not seem as loud as a metal band should be, while the high ceiling of concrete box known the “Hell” section of the masquerade which is often used as more of a dance club, didn’t help, I have seen bands like Converge and Watain play there and leave me ears ringing. They are more about clarity and less about the power of volume this time around. For their encore they came back and played “Sunbather” and “Dream House”, which were of course crowd pleasers since they served as the entry point into the band for most. I am not surprised by the fact the crowd has grown with each show, the cat was out of the bag with “Sunbather”. I however like “ New Bermuda” for it’s added aggression and more metallic edge, the only way this came across like was in Clarke’s vocals which carried more snarl and sometimes dipped into lower growls. His stage presence was not as in your face at times he looked to be waving his hands like a conductor while he connected himself to the song’s heartstrings. What Deafheaven is or isn’t can be bickered out on comment sections as long as the band is in our consciousness. They played with a great deal of sincerity. The sound they make is who they are. I am ok with most of the changes I just want them hear them louder next time.