From the moment we walked into The Astoria during Conan’s soundcheck it was clear that this would be one of the loudest shows of the year.
Better yet, the deftly-curated support acts successively raised the bar from one band to the next, beginning with an incredible opening set from Heron – whatever your plans are for the summer, make it a point to see this inspired local band before the rest of the world catches on to the sound of their gloriously raging doom.
Seven, Nines & Tens rocked the house with familiar material that somehow seemed heavier and more brutal than one recalls from their gig at SBC last November. Closing their set with the debut of a scintillating new track, the quartet offered a tantalizing hint at the direction of the band’s perpetually evolving songwriting pf which we can’t wait to hear more.
While North delivered an intense and well-received set before Conan took to the stage, the preceding performance by Mendozza remains the high point of the evening for this reviewer – few bands offer as rewarding a listening experience as this trio, which is clearly in its pummeling, crowd-pleasing element on stage.
Unfortunately due to logistics and Vancouver’s much-maligned exorbitant cost of living, this reviewer had no choice but to retreat before the advance of the mighty Conan (Surrey is a land as nearly distant as Cimmeria when public transit is involved.) Fortunately contributing guest photographer Milton Stille captured the slaughter in our absence, and his firsthand account reaffirms our conviction that the northwestern UK act, having now concluded its second visit to Vancouver, is among the loudest and heaviest bands currently active in contemporary heavy music. All hail the barbarian!