The Gates of Slumber
June 7, 2011
Bottom Of The Hill
Hearing about how the God that Bono believes in isn't short o' cash, mister.
A mere thrown stone away from the Bottom of the Hill, the corner of Texas and 17th streets is just within the thousand-foot rule
for public marijuana consumption by registered weedheads. Hearing this gladsome news from my photographer was enough to initiate a long round of hashish
inhalation that put me in a prime receptive state for the opening act. Which,
happily, was about to go on to a sparse house when we took our place in front
of the stage for what looked like one more underattended weekday show for the
From Brooklyn, Naam trades in churning, ultrathick blues
choogle loud enough to blast whatever dull cares you came in with back out into
the street. Three songs in, and I turned to see nearly a hundred fans nodding
with rhythmic approval at this slow-motion detonation, with more pouring in
every minute. The band stepped off to sharp applause as the venue began to fill
with heshers in familiar leather 'n' boots regalia. Not quite the bratwurst
party that is most metal shows, this one was closer to a livable two boys for
every girl. The wait was brief for the
Gates of Slumber
, a doom metal act from Indianapolis composed of three burly
fellows who plied the sludge shovel relentlessly. One drunken beefwit up front
set up a leather-lunged squall for some song or other and mainman Karl Simon
shut him down with a dry "You must be somethin' on Christmas morning, brah."
The crowd liked these hardworking Hoosiers even better, sending them away with
The venue was now crammed to near capacity and the people
settled in for a jolly liquid wait for the headliners. Before long, Orange
Goblin frontman Ben Ward jumped onto the stage and bellowed that heavy metal
had arrived. The audience began thrashing and bobbing from almost the second
note of OG's barrage, and Ward was plainly knocked out by the oversized and lusty
crowd turned out on a Tuesday for U.K. cultists who haven't played the city
since 2004. These have been tough years for heavy rock, but the sheer vivacity
of this audience showed that OG's kind of crunchy, sophisticated stoner metal is a
long way from chamber music. They went through the cream of an uncompromisingly
fierce catalog with brio, until the singer hauled up short and asked if we
wanted more after declaring it was too far to walk to the dressing room. After
an affirmative shout, the band cranked up again, energized even more by the
throng, now beginning to thin from exhaustion.
Ward looked blown away by our enthusiasm, vowing to return
here again. "And it won't be any seven years either," he grinned.
Random notebook dump:
"This mob looks aware of U2 only as a possible traffic hazard."
Orange Goblin setlist:
The Ballad of Solomon Eagle
Cities of Frost
They Come Back
Some You Win, Some You Lose
Time Travelling Blues
Quincy the Pigboy
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