» Blog Archive Baroness Are On Top of Their Game in NJ -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Tours

I believe the ultimate testament to a great live act is the reward you get for seeing the band multiple times. Now, granted, you can go on about production and stage presence and different setlists, but the true factor of success is the euphoria one gets afterwards. With that noted, I really don’t know how Baroness does it. With a – pun intended –  colorful spectrum of sound (Pretty sure that’s been done before) at their disposal and the energy flared at max capacity through a full set, one would be certain that Baroness are a band poised for longevity in today’s music scene. This isn’t just a great metal and rock band anymore: they’re making timeless music and putting on epic shows like it’s nobody’s business.

Last we checked in with the band, it was on their tour for Purple back in 2016 with Pallbearer. It was perfect, mind you, so to say the expectations I had were high were an understatement. I expect a lot from this band having been a fan for the past ten years and knowing what they’re capable of. So imagine my surprise when they hit me with the nostalgia by opening their set with “A Horse Called Golgotha.”

Compared to last time, Baroness opted for more of an expanded set. It still relied heavily on Purple and material from the Yellow disc of Yellow & Green, but with some more inclusion of Blue Record. I’m not expecting them to play all that much from Red Album, but I can’t deny the perfect placement of “Isak” towards the end of every set. (Part of me would still like to hear “Wanderlust”) Most exciting is the promise of their new double album, Gold & Grey, due this June.The lead single“Borderlines” is an instant classic and fits in with everything perfectly and was an excellent means to keeping their set’s energy going in the first half.

The song structuring of the set’s middle is where I found some missed opportunity when it came to dynamics. “Eula” creates a lull towards the middle after having “If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)” before it, and I thought it might have been a solid idea to possibly do something to bring the tempo back up. Even something like “Board Up the House” from Green might have been a good insertion there just as a means to keep the energy going.

I don’t mean for this to come across as detrimental, mainly because the rest of the set was on-goddamn-point with its construction; I love “Eula,” don’t mistake that. “Shock Me” through “Take My Bones Away” could not have been more perfect. The early arrival of “March to the Sea” and the way the crowd explodes every time. I make an effort to watch frontman John Baizley and see his smile widen once they hit that chorus because even he knows it’s just awesome.

Among the excited band members is now Gina Gleason, who has been winning over the metal press as of late. It’s impossible to missm why as she’s filled the void Pete Adams left in the band and made it her own spot rather than take Pete’s. She’s a incredible player who nails Baroness’ vibe and has a massive presence on stage that you don’t see every day. I knew from the opening moments of the set that if there were any doubts I had, that they had been for nothing. At any point, between her, Baizley, and bassist Nick Jost, you could find everyone just loving life and having an incredible time on stage. This is Baroness as strong as ever without any signs of slowing down or weakness.

Baroness can actually do no wrong. This band has all the hype in the world and they’re able to surmount it like it’s not even a challenge to them. They’re incredible players and have an exciting, beautiful show that is above and beyond so many others. While no doubt more people should be listening to Baroness, even more bands need to take note from this band and see what it is that they do right.

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