Clearing The Path To Ascend…YOB NYE Photo Essay
New Year’s Eve shows have always been a special kind of beast. Many promoters are apprehensive to compete with every other party in town, and it’s not every band that really wants to deal with that. Furthermore, once you’ve spent as much time behind a bar as I have, you become painfully aware of the fact that the last evening of the year is one of three official amateur nights as far as night life is concerned. Naturally, the cure to all these ills is to do like Modified Ghost and book Oregon’s Yob to play your New Year’s Eve party.
Astrakhan kicked the night off with a solid set. I’m constantly blown away by how tight these guys have become, and it’s really inspiring to see them grow as performers. Boasting a sound that you really couldn’t pigeonhole, these guys are all over the place yet somehow keep it sounding cohesive. Progressive psychedelic stoner doom metal with a bit of hardcore punk influence thrown in for good measure? Not even going to bother trying. Their performance left me looking forward to hearing the new record they have on the way.
Enduring Vancouver metal heroes Bison took the stage next. In the Vancouver heavy music scene, this is a band that truly needs no introduction. While the band hasn’t been too active in the last little while, in the wake of longtime bassist Masa Anzai’s departure and guitarist/vocalist James Farwell welcoming a newcomer to his family unit, it’s reassuring to see them destroy the stage without missing a beat with Shane Clark handling bass duties. Didn’t you guys say something about working on a new record?
After a brief break permitted the crowd to recover slightly from Bison, the indomitable Yob took the stage. Playing a mix of both their doomier and rockier stuff, the audience, enraptured, surrendered to what wasn’t too far removed from a trance. While the crowd sporadically erupted into a swirling vortex, for the majority of the band’s set, audience members had their eyes locked on the performers, their consciousness lost to the thick, heavy buzz coming from the speakers in waves you’d be forgiven for thinking had to be made by more than just a three-piece band. If there’s a way to do a New Year’s Eve show, this is it.