Last night I had the rare opportunity to see one of my favorite bands “Kylesa” play an intimate show at Jersey City’s Monty Hall. The Savannah Georgia band has been a favorite of mine since I saw them perform at Hoboken’s Maxwells a few years back. While I had attended Monty Hall’s screening of the documentary “Salad Days” just weeks prior. This was the first time I had the opportunity to see live music. As we drove just a short distance to the show. We found ourselves sharing out memories of the original Maxwellls shows and how they always seemed to get booking right by simply not over booking. Thankfully, Monty Hall immediately reminds show goers of that friendly, well run venue.
Without much of any wait. Ontario Canada’s duo Indian Handcrafts got the party started. As their set progressed, I found myself regretting thinking Kylesa would be the only reason to show up that night. The band played an impressive set that served as a reminder of how you can make a lot of noise with a minimal approach. Drummer Brandyn James Atkins and Guitarist Daniel Brandon Allen traded vocals and their minimalist approach to Metal with impressive results. All while keeping my attention on high and my curiosity regarding their name guessing.
As Inter Arma began to take the stage like vikings ascending on a European village. I felt the energy that eluded me entirely during the day rush back. “I’m not too old for this.” “I’m not too old for this.” overwhelmed by thoughts as I surveyed the crowd to find more people of my age range than not. Visually, Inter Arma fir the profile of most of the Metal bands I’ve seen on milk cartons and in magazines over the years. The hair, black clothes, tattoos and dungaree jackets. You know, the usual suspects. Musically however, the Richmond quintet are a sound worthy of both praise and deeper investigation. While my eyes and ears were firmly devoted to Inter Arma’s set. I couldn’t help but think of seeking out any and all of their recorded history once the night was over. All the great qualities of the best metal I’ve heard in recent years. The night was just getting better and better.
Throughout much of the night I experienced something that seems to occur less and less at shows . Members of each band thoroughly enjoying and participating each of the other bands set amongst the crowd. Though that can easily be traced to the spaces intimate nature or perhaps the lack of a large enough room for the bands to chill out in between sets. Regardless, I felt it worth both mention and praise. I can’t begin to stress how hard it was to keep myself from walking straight into guitarist Laura Pleasants and revealing “I’m you figgest ban.” Lucky for all involved, that embarrassment never took place. Instead, I waited until Kylesa’s set took flight before completely losing my shit. While it’s important to note that Savannah, Georgia’s Kylesa are responsible for rekindling my appreciation for Metal and in particular Sludge Metal and Stoner Metal. Watching the band perform such deviant noise live is pure fucking magic. The bands latest album “Exhausting Fire” Here worth more than it’s weight in metallic elements. One can only hope that their tour (Dates Posted Here) them back our way before it’s done.