Last week I was at Fitzgerald’s to catch the Torche show. I have a been a huge fan theirs ever since I hear their album Meanderthal, decease which carried so much melodic heft it was able to transcend not just the obvious audience but was also able to draw listeners from other, order less, uh, metal circles. With good reason, too, because while the album is pretty damn dense, it is also somewhat open and inviting. Steve Brooks, the frontman, who bears more than a slight resemblance to Jack Black (sorry, dude), manages to coax a really fun vibe from the murk, and ultimately create an album that is not only satisfying from a muscular standpoint, but is just plain fun as hell.
Torche is a band that pretty much constantly tours, and yet, due to my rarely going to shows anymore, this was my first time seeing them.
As it turned out, it was the opening night of their tour. It was also the debut of their new, second guitarist. And they were noticeably a little rusty. Not that it mattered because they were amazing. Even with the shitty sound, the billion degree no AC, and hard-to-hear vocals, they rocked.
I missed the opener, Helms Alee, so, no comment there, though I would have liked to see a heavy band with two women in it.
Next up was Big Business, which for a long time was a bass/drums duo. They now have a guitarist, and while I never got into them, and so, can’t vouch for how they were without guitar, I will say that he added some nice texture and midrange tones that had to have been missing before. The original two guys also play for the Melvins, and listening to Big Business, it was no surprise. They sound a hell of a lot like the Melvins. Overall, they were a bit boring, to be perfectly honest. A little too samey for that sort of stuff, but they had their moments.
Easily the highlight of the night came during the Torche set. Near the end, Brooks hopped off the stage during one of their more driving songs, and started playing from the audience. As cliched as it sounds it was a really light and fun moment. Everyone was smiling, more or less. After a minute or two, Brooks went to climb back up on stage. He quickly realized that he was too short to get up there. He handed his guitar to the bassist, and then turned to make the walk of shame. As he passed me, I laughingly asked him if he had to go around. He looked at me, giggled, and said, “I underestimated it.”