(By Leanne Ridgeway, Owner/Chief Editor, RiffRelevant.com)
You get a random invitation from folks you’ve never met, to see three heavy as hell bands you’ve never witnessed live, at a venue never been to, in a city never 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 five states, right down to Asheville NC. After fourteen hours (2.5 in traffic – Hi, Virginians? The left lane is for passing), I made it with four minutes to spare before load-in time at the venue.
I found myself pulling up to the hotel and immediately met 3/4 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 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. Friendly staff, beautiful artwork everywhere (inside, outside and all around the 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 who trekked up from South Carolina 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, it takes merely 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 my lungs, since my ribcage was already gone. They’re a four-man crew very in-tuned with each other, mostly needing only a glance between themselves to know what was wanted next, and their set was an intensely 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 at 3:00am.
I’ll let the photo gallery below do the rest of the talking (click a photo and the gallery will pop open), but you can find each band’s recent release on the Bandcamp streams right here.