There’s no better way to start a placebo 7 day holiday break as with a powerful show, don’t you think? This is one of the reasons I love summer. Every weekend there’s some cool event, and at least during the first half of July it’s usually music related.
Last Saturday it was time for Torche. I had been recommended by several friends, had read many positive reviews and had recently listened to their last album Harmonicraft, with a positive feeling about them and thinking that a live performance could be a good one. the attendance confirmation by several friends made me finally decide to join them, and luck was on my side, as thanks to my dear Rockzone magazine friends, I eventually got a freebie. The night was promising.
Salamandra, the venue the show was scheduled at, is a good one, sound quality is more than acceptable and is very comfortable for the audience, but since its capacity is for approx 800 people and I reckon we weren’t even 100, the feeling was that it was too empty, and it contributed to the shyness of people, who weren’t approaching much to the stage.
I had been explained by the promoter that Torche’s sets usually last about 45 minutes, which is quite poor for a headlining band, so they were requested to extend to minimum 65 minutes, and they stuck to this minimum timing. Their show was pretty intense and powerful, barely interacting with the audience, except for Andrew Elstner, who had this permanent smile. The band focused on their new album, more accessible and let’s say “friendlier” than their previous ones, and very energetic, with Kicking, Reverse Inverted, Snakes Are Charmed or Letting Go, although they had the chance to include songs from their older stuff such as Grenades or Healer. I personally enjoyed more the most dynamic parts in the show rather than the heavier.
Sound was pretty impressive, guitars were perfect, bass presence was strong musically and physically, as Jonathan Nuñez didn’t stop for a second, and voice was quite decent too, but again it happened, I loved the drummer right away. Powerful riffs and machine drummers are the key for this sludge/stoner style, and this guy, Rick Smith was excellent.
Nothing to complain about except for the short length of the show. A couple of songs would have improved the final result in great deal, but still, it was a fine one, and the added value was that the band came out to have a beer with us and we got the chance to exchange impressions. Very nice guys, split in Atlanta and Miami and combining the band with standard jobs as they cannot afford living of this yet. What a pity, but seeing the lack of attendants at the show in Barcelona, it’s understandable. Very humble, hardworking and quite pro, yet another underrated band which delivers awesome albums, but is barely known by anyone who is not into the style.
The sentence of the night was said by a glorious San Francisco girl I meet in the show named Melissa, when trying to convince the band to have some drinks with us after words, started to ring a bell at the venue saying “Torche, I know you’re in there” very insistent. The guys had quickly left the building as they had to catch a flight to Italy at 5 AM on Sunday. What a great laugh!
I’m quite pleased with this personal revival of stoner music I’m going through lately, discovering a bunch of very interesting bands, and enjoying brilliant live performances. From time to time I seek for pure energy in music.. Now I got it with bands like Torche, Clutch or The Sword. Great scene, good bands, great live performances…Good times!