Blow The Scene recently had the pleasure of catching up with r5production’s promoter Jamie Getz (Gods and Queens) for an eclectic Philly showcase of regional and national talent featuring Bay Area’s uber-pissed, hardcore 3-piece Ghostlimb, and local acts Plague Dogs, Heavy Medical, and Xanax. Original headliners, local boys Reign Supreme had to drop due to the passing of an immediate family member. Stepping up to fill the void was none other than artist and Baroness guitarist / vocalist John Dyer Baizley who made this solo appearance his first public musical outing since the band’s now infamous bus crash in the UK in 2012.
Philly newcomers Xanax (featuring members of Hirs) opened up the evening with a catchy and poignant rash of songs that saw irate vocals delivered over aggressive but catchy hardcore punk vibes. The duel-drums and lone bass of Heavy Medical threw forth some abusive distortions over a cacophony of driving drums that made for a captivating spin on this dirty blend of driving noise rock.
Holding up the crusty Motörhead-riff worship for the evening was one our favorite Philly acts, Plague Dogs, who preceded to just pummel the crowd with an onslaught of blistering, bottom-heavy riffs with plenty of crust and metal goodness worked in.
Bay Area’s Ghostlimb (Vitriol Records) took control of the floor next with an unforgiving wall of sound that crashed on this unsuspecting crowd like a title wave. Running a healthy gambit of niche influences that include hardcore punk, grind, and melodic hardcore and metal, this three-piece has a output much larger than the sum of its parts. The band is supporting its 2012 effort that Blistering described as “Ghostlimb have managed to inject some much-needed intelligence into the style on their fourth album, Confluence. The product of Graf Orlock/Vitriol Records mainman Justin Smith, Ghostlimb is one of Smith’s various side-adventures, part of a body of work that has pegged the man as one of the hardest working people in the underground. And yes, Confluence certainly works it.”
John Dyer Baizley took the floor with a single guitar and amp to close the evening as an intimate circle of concertgoers surrounded the healing front-man like pack of protecting wolves. We shared a collective moment as candid words and emotional song renditions of a handful of new Baroness tunes echoed into the darkness. From there, Baizley meandered into a few covers of Townes Van Zandt that we first heard live during a solo performance by John Dyer Baizley and Scott Kelly of Neurosis last year at Johnny Brenda’s. And while we are on that topic, Baizley and Kelly will re-unite again on Sunday as Neurosis plows through Philly’s Union Transfer venue. Per usual, Blow The Scene will be on hand to deliver an exclusive set of photos for your viewing pleasure. But before we get there, scope this exclusive gallery by Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging.