If you get a random invitation from some folks you’ve never met, to see three heavy as hell bands you’ve never before witnessed live, at a venue you’ve never before been to, in a city you’ve never before seen, to drive 800+ miles in one day across seven states… what do you do?
You take two days off from work and you fucking go, that’s what. At least that’s what you do when you’re me. Starting from the Capital District of NY, through parts of NJ, PA, WV, MD, VA, and right down to Asheville NC. After fourteen hours (two and 1/2 stuck in traffic – Hi, Virginians? The left lane is for passing), I made it there with four minutes to spare before load-in time at the venue.
I found myself pulling up to the hotel and immediately met three-fourths of the members of Midmourner (from Birmingham, AL) and all of Thunderchief (out of Richmond, VA). Southern hospitality of the sludge metal variety.
They’re just as charming as regular Southern folks, they simply have approximately 14 million watts of amplification tacked on. No time for a nap, just throw my suitcase in the room and off to The Odditorium for the first show on the first stop of the Midmourner/Thunderchief Tour.
Suffice to say… I fell in love with The Odditorium before I even entered it. It’s a quirky, freaky side-show museum of wonderment and glee. Friendly staff, beautiful artwork everywhere (including the walls inside, outside and all around the entire property), strange and unusual things in every nook and cranny. Being somewhat strange and unusual myself, this is one of those places I would visit every week if I could.
I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, who made the trek from South Carolina up for the show. Alex Thorfinn, demonic artist extraordinaire. We chatted for a bit, then it was show time!
Each band was slightly different in style and speed, yet complimented each other enough to be a fantastic lineup. While I could go on and on about the three bands – Thunderchief, Midmourner, and Horseflesh – enough to test the limits of this entry’s text capacity, I will sum it up in three words. SUPREMELY GLORIOUS LOUDNESS.
Thunderchief is a one-man vs many-amp show. If you weren’t looking right at him up there alone, you’d think there were six people on stage by the sounds of it. Private thoughts turned into torturous bellows of angst and despair, with pummeling rhythms and lung-rattling wattage levels. The crowd was a bit slow to move in closer until about halfway through his set. Whether they were watching from afar or simply afraid, we may never know. They were certainly warmed up by the set’s close.
Midmourner destroyed what remained of my rib cage, since my lungs were already gone. They’re a four-man crew very in-tuned with each other, mostly only needing looks between themselves to know what was wanted next, and their set was a very enjoyable experience. The crowd got directly involved after a couple of songs and loved every second of it. Lightening things up with some jokester banter between songs, but right back to hammering your soul every time.
Horseflesh is a local Asheville favorite, and proceeded to wreck whatever was left of my innards. They are fierce, ferocious, and downright fun.
One day, seven states, three bands, one shattered soul. My night was topped off with a final first for me… Waffle House.
I’ll let the photo gallery below do the rest of the talking about the show (click a photo and the gallery will pop open), but you can find each band’s recent release on the Bandcamp streams right here.
— Leanne Ridgeway, Chief Editor