Friday, February 15, 2008

Blue Cheer/Supergiant 01-28-2008

Blue Cheer/Supergiant
The Launchpad
Albuquerque New Mexico
January 28th, 2008

Concert review by Nightwatcher

There are a lot of arguments on who exactly were the first metal band of all time. Some say Sabbath, some say Zeppelin. And still many others lay claim to this band, namely the still "Louder Than God" Blue Cheer, who burst onto the scene in early 1968 with the molten, heavy sludge classic "Summertime Blues" and corresponding album 'Vincebus Eruptum'. Well, one thing is certain. In the year 2008, there is no band still around from the 60's who are as unrelentingly and unrelentingly heavy as this trio. A fact which they displayed quite mind-blowingly as they rocked the house at The Lanchpad in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Although they were contemporaries of Hendrix, Cream and Joplin, this is one band who is anything BUT a nostalgia trip. True, a lot of the songs they played were originally recorded by the power trio 40 years ago, but their delivery is incredible, and would be the envy of musicians 1/3 their age. From the moment founding member bassist/ vocalist Dickie Peterson exclaimed, "This is Blue Cheer and this is what we do", thereby launching into a powerful version of "Babylon" they owned the stage. Throughout a two hour set, which contained all the favorites, from devastating versions of "Parchment Farm", "Out Of Focus", "Doctor Please" and the previously mentioned "Summertime Blues", also incorporating selections from their brand new album 'What Doesn't Kill You...', this was one prime example of pure rock power.

Also an example of pure rock volume as well-one of the loudest shows I've had the pleasure of witnessing, quite befitting of a band whom before Deep Purple took the honor away, was once classified by The Guiness Book Of World Records as "The Loudest Band In The World". It's no wonder Peterson has callouses on his eardrums!

So loud in fact that I'd venture to say that they may have disturbed the heavens that night, resulting in a freak snow storm, with visibility reduced to near zero by the time we left. The interplay betwen the members was quite impressive. Also comprising of co founder Paul Whaley on drums and long time guitar wizard Andrew "Duck" McDonald on guitar, they were as a well oiled machine, firing on all cylinders. Do yourself a favor if these guys come to your area. Go and see them. You will NOT be disappointed, trust me.

Support for this was provided by local band SuperGiant, whom, due to the overwhelming volume, failed to capture the subtleties heard on their debut EP, but still show a lot of potential with their Sabbath-like stoner sludge being leavened out by classic hard rock leanings.

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