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Baroness Slays at the Waiting Room

The Nebraska music scene was jumping Friday night (7/26) with a wide range of shows.

In Lincoln, one of hip hop’s biggest names Cardi B, was playing to a sold out Pinnacle Bank arena. While that does sound like a pretty good time, I had been patiently waiting months for a show on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

The Savannah, Georgia band Baroness are touring in support of their new album Gold & Grey, and Omaha was lucky enough to get a stop on the trek. Also along for the ride are dirty, fuzz rockers Torche.

Playing to a fairly large crowd, the Waiting Room shook with deep bass, thunderous drums, and soaring guitars as Baroness made a triumphant return to the metro after a six year absence.

Before the metal quartet Baroness was the band Torche from Miami, Florida.

The first time I saw Torche was in 2010 at First Avenue in Minneapolis opening for Coheed & Cambria. Being that I had driven almost six hours for Coheed I think I was a little anxious to get through the opening acts. I recall Torche being really loud and slow and the crowd wasn’t overly thrilled. However, it doesn’t seem to matter what the style, if it’s a metal show, there will always be a couple of long haired dudes in the back with beers in the air and heads bobbing.

This time around, things were much different. Torche was still really loud and heavy, but the majority of the songs had a faster tempo which kept things interesting.

Also, the crowd seemed to really dig the set. With fists in the air, and metal spirit fingers during Torche’s wicked solos, the folks in the front were psyched!

My favorite part of the set came about five songs in. Torche played two songs that had a really fast, almost “Euro-beat” similar to U2 or Muse. Trading low tuned fuzz for bright guitars, it was almost as if a light had switched on! I was really digging the new more “Shoegaze” style.

Torche played about 14 songs before thanking Baroness for taking them out on tour and the crowd for coming to the show.

After a short stage set up, a large screen revealed an intricate skull and butterfly design. The image stayed the same throughout the show, but the colors changed with each song.

Baroness stepped out to riotous applause. Lead singer John Baizley raised his guitar high in the air and screamed “Yes!!” before jumping into Ogeechee Hymnal from 2009’s Blue album.

The guitar heavy instrumental was an awesome way to start the show. With a heavy dose of crunch and twin leads, the jam got the crowd pumped!

The band followed up with the smash hit “Take my bones away” from the 2012 album Yellow & Green. All around heads were banging, fists were pumping, and hair was whipping as Baroness blasted the crowd with their sonic assault of metal awesomeness.

Over the next hour Baroness played a good mix of old and new material including my favorite Gold & Grey track, Tourniquet. I love the vivid lyrics:

I’ve got an artificial heart, it beats but I can’t feel a thing! It’s an unofficial part, it bleeds but I’m already gone.

Towards the end of the set Baroness played the smash hit “Shock Me” and the crowd went wild, with folks pushing towards the front and pulling out their phones to catch a clip.

The band took a really quick break and came back for a two song encore including “Sweetest Curse” and finally “Isak” from 2007’s Red album.

Overall, I was seriously impressed with Baroness’ ability to mix heavy riffs with melodic vocals and poetic lyrics. Baroness walks that fine line between hard and soft, loud and quiet. In a way, they share a lot of similarities with my favorite band Deftones. It’s no wonder I’m so drawn to Baroness’ music!

Baroness has several dates left on their U.S. run before heading to Europe. Make sure to check out Gold & Grey which is streaming now on all platforms!

A huge thanks to Speakeasy PR for the photo access and making this review possible.

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