I know you’re probably here for the Yob pics, but I feel compelled to preface the photographs with a little personal history. If you could care less about that, just scroll down. For those of you who are still here, thanks for indulging me…
It’s been about 30 years since I attended a metal concert with my old friend Jose. Jose and I have been friends since fourth grade. We became metalheads during our teens listening to WNYU radio’s ‘Hellhole’ show where we got turned on to Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Anthrax and a bunch of other underground metal bands (I’m talking early 80s here – the dawn of Thrash/Death Metal). In high school, we went to see bands like Megadeth, Overkill, Flotsam & Jetsam, Manowar, Metal Church, Motörhead and others; mostly at the old Ritz Theater in the East Village (now Webster Hall).
Through the years, our lives evolved from a couple of metalhead teenagers to adults with wives and kids and all that other stuff that happens when you “grow up”. Moreover, I moved to South Florida 15 years ago. In short, we hadn’t attended a metal concert together in almost 30 years (and unlike me, Jose still sees about 10+ metal shows a year). But on my recent trip to NYC last week, Jose turned me on to a doom metal band called Yob who happened to be playing at my favorite place for live music in NYC, Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street. Before my trip to NYC, I gave their albums a few listens while at the gym (they kicked ass) and next thing you know, I’m arriving at LaGuardia Airport in the afternoon and meeting my old friend in front of LPR later that evening to see Yob. Twas like old times. Good times. Now enough about me and Jose.
On the bill were two other bands, Seattle based duo Bell Witch and all grrrl outfit Heavy Temple, who were a late addition. Now, I never walk into a show at Le Poisson Rouge without my camera and a few good lenses so here are a few photographs I snapped at the show (edited while listening to, of all things, Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works 85-92” and Agnes Obel’s “Philharmonics”), enjoy…
A late addition to the bill, Heavy Temple weren’t just a pleasant surprise, they were…how can I put it best? Fucking awesome (excuse my French). I mean, these ladies just blew me away. Give them a listen HERE and should they be in your area (they’re currently touring so check their Facebook Page for upcoming shows), go see them…
High Priestess Nighthawk on bass and vocals
Lady Thunderhorse on guitars
Siren Tempest on drums
The Seattle based duo of Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman make up Bell Witch. Using only bass (Desmond is pretty remarkable), drums and vocals, Bell Witch create a stark, bone-crushing sound. It’s an acquired taste but if doom metal is your thing (and I mean doom with a capital D), give this band a listen…
Formed in 1996 in Eugene, Oregon by Mike Scheidt (guitars, vocals), Yob released their debut album ‘Elaborations of Carbon’ in 2002 and released their 8th album, the critically acclaimed ‘Our Raw Heart‘ in 2017 with Relapse Records. The album was conceived amidst dire circumstances that nearly left frontman Mike Scheidt dead after suffering from an extremely painful and potentially fatal intestinal disease in 2016 (read all about it HERE). I mean, for a guy that nearly died a year and a half ago, Scheidt and Yob did little else but kick ass all over the place during their fierce 90 minute set. They just tore the roof off the place. They’re also on tour – a must-see show for any fan of metal. Doom or otherwise…
Mike Scheidt on vocals/guitar
Aaron Rieseberg on bass
Travis Foster on drums
As for my pal (and longtime Yob fan) Jose? A handshake from Yob frontman Scheidt, who spoke with us for several minutes after the show. Dude was all class.
LE POISSON ROUGE
As for Le Poisson Rouge, there is probably no better place to see a show, especially a metal show. It’s a smaller venue so you’re never too far from the stage, bands that play there don’t have the egos of the stadium-fillers and are usually accessible after the show; most importantly, the place sounds fantastic. I mean, I don’t remember the metal shows I went to as a kid sounding this good. For all their crunchy riffs, pounding drums and guttural growls, Heavy Temple, Bell Witch and Yob sounded amazing. Check out their events schedule for upcoming shows. Nuff said.
THE FINAL WORD
Gotta say this about Yob’s fans (and metalheads in general) – they’re as cool as shit. Squeezing my way through a packed crowd to get in position to snap a few photographs (from one side of the stage to the other), I got nothing but support. People helped me get through as best they could, never giving me a dirty look. As I was shooting, one of my shoelaces became untied and as I worked through the crowd, stepping on my loose shoelace, stumbling every two steps I took and bumping into people, I had guys hold me up and help me get through. To all you fans who I bumped into or squeezed past – I salute you. And thanks.