This past Friday night my beloved Houston Astros were playing for their playoff life in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the hated Yankees. I also had tickets to see stoner/psychedelic metal masters Elder at the worst named venue in the history of metal venues. Oh, the dilemma. Luckily, we have invented the DVR. All I had to do was manage to make it through the evening without hearing anything about the score.
I’m glad I made it to this show. The last time that I saw Elder play live was at SXSW a few years ago. They were a band whose name I was familiar, but hadn’t really heard any of their music before that show. They played an opening slot of one of the metal showcases for a fairly small crowd that night, but they left an impression as a band to keep an eye on in the future.
Elder is one of the up-and-coming kind of bands that really has the potential to make it big if they get some breaks along the way. Their most recent release, Reflections of a Floating World, is sure to be on quite a few best of lists at the end of the year. I couldn’t help mark some of the similarities in Elder’s sound to the direction Mastodon has been going through the past few years. It almost seems as though Elder is the band that Mastodon aspires to be when they grow up. Lead singer/guitarist Nicholas DiSalvo’s vocals remind me quite a lot of the clean tenor of Mastodon’s Brann Dailor. It was really nice to see that their audience has grown exponentially in size since their past SXSW performance.
An added bonus to the evening was getting to see Rochester, New York’s King Buffalo. These guys were a perfect companion band for Elder in that they played a very similar style. This is another three-piece band in the stoner tradition to keep an eye on. Much like my first exposure to Elder, I hadn’t heard anything from King Buffalo before this evening and I walked away a fan after witnessing their set.
It seems like the stoner metal brand is alive and well in the hands of these two bands.
And, luckily, I managed to make it through the evening without having the baseball game spoiled (even though it was being aired in the upstairs portion of the club) and my Astros are on their way to their second World Series. Win-Win all around.