It’s not everyday that you see two legendary pioneers of progressive and doom metal sharing the stage in a context unfamiliar to the majority of their perspective fans bases, but last week’s acoustic performance by Neurosis founding member Scott Kelly, who was joined by John Baizley of Baroness for select songs, found Philadelphia concertgoers thrust into such a context. For those of you just crawling out from under a rock, I feel obliged to share some back-story.
Scott Kelly first made waves in the music world back in the early 80s as one of three founding members of experimental metal band Neurosis in his hometown of Oakland, CA. With a constantly evolving framework of musical influence and output, Neurosis created a corpus of material that has seen lasting impact on progressive metal bands stretching across many niches. If you dig modern progressive metal, ambient rock, or doom, you can most certainly trace the ancestry to find Kelly perched in this musical family tree.
Kelly has also been part of several other highly regarded acts including Tribes of Neurot, Blood and Time, Shrinebuilder, and he has been a guest vocalist on the last four studio works by Mastodon. Last week’s performance found Kelly not in front of massive sold-out rock venue, but rather sitting comfortably with acoustic guitar in hand for an intimate performance at Philadelphia’s Johnny Breanda’s show theater. The setting allowed for intimate story-telling and extended musical movements that captivated an enthusiastic following of fans. This show also saw a special guest appearance by John Baizley of Baroness who joined Kelly and provided a intricately woven backdrop of melodic spices to add to this eclectic dish.
Far from the gargantuan wave of sounds produced at a Neurosis or Baroness concert, Kelly and Baizley engaged in a performance that focused on the opposite side of the rock spectrum. Metal fans may find this hard to digest, but for those that like to stretch their heads every once in while, this was certainly an evening to remember.
The bill was rounded out by Eugene S. Robinson of Oxbow, who told a tale of his extracurricular activities aside from work and the band, that he asked not be repeated or recorded. We will follow his wishes and assure you that it was quite a tale.
We know you are here for the pictures, so without further ado..
All pictures by Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging
Eugene S. Robinson
Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and John Baizley (Baroness)