I Went and Saw Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats & Danava at Urban Lounge in SLC

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As per protocol, I stopped at The Pie Underground on the way to the venue. I won’t get to into it here, but if any of you find yourself in Salt Lake City with some extra cash, get your ass to The Pie. I highly recommend it. I don’t recommend, however, trying to solo a 16″ pizza.

It is after doing exactly that that I drove to the venue, grumpy for a few reasons.

  1. I’m always grumpy.
  2. I ate too much.
  3. Anything “retro” is major hipster power-bait, especially around these parts.

I made it to the venue at around 9:05, and the doors still hadn’t opened even though the show was scheduled to kick off at 9:00 sharp. This is nothing new for Urban Lounge, the son-of-a-bitch venue that only starts shows on time when I’m running late and really want to see the opening act. They like people to show up on time, get really bored waiting, and buy a shitload of rip-off beer.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the bullet-belt count far exceeded the fedora count. Here in SLC, we consider that a serious success. Mark one up for the good guys!

Once they filled their pre-show beer sale quota, the show finally started and Danava stumbled through thick weedsmoke from backstage. I had never heard of the band, but the band members’ appearances and the impenetrable wall of Orange gear gave me a pretty good idea of what to expect. The guys are from Portland, and have apparently been players in the throwback, proto-metal game since 2004. The drummer looked exactly like Mikael Åkerfeldt (which means he also looked exactly like Dustin Hoffman in Hook).

Judging by the high concentration of bell-bottoms, the dudes in Danava were just as unreasonably obsessed with the 1970’s as Åkerfeldt, too. The vocalist/guitarist was so devoted to the era that he had fucking feathered bangs. That’s dedication, I guess.

When they started playing, it became immediately apparent that this was relatively high-energy music when compared to the slower groove of headliners Uncle Acid & The DeadbeatsIt was significantly more rowdy than I expected it to be, sometimes even reminding me of Orange Goblin if Ben Ward’s burly, beer-bellied vocals were replaced with a skinny little Ozzy impersonator (read as: more annoying).

Crowd response started off pretty lacking, but by the second song most people were bobbing their heads or half-dancing really awkwardly. After a few high-energy numbers showing increased enthusiasm on the stage, the crowd followed suit and were soon spilling those $7.00 beers they were dumb enough to buy all over their only shirts. As the band loosened up, it became more difficult for me to dislike them, and eventually my still-slightly-cranky/food-concussed ass was headbanging right along. Apparently the venue was having some trouble with the lights, because this is what most of their set looked like:

There was no doubt that these boys could riff, and today my neck can attest. But by the end of their set, my interest was waning. The thing about being a band that worships the 70’s is that you’re just a band that worships the 70’s. You don’t have much of an identity beyond that, so it’s not easy to make an impression. That being said, Danava’s set was a good time. Nothing more, nothing less.

After a short break (PLEASE BUY MORE BEER), Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats were up. For some reason their mic stands had glowing cat eye decorations on them and there were two “totally retro” 90’s box TVs on either side of the stage buzzing with static. After the obligatory horror movie soundtrack intro, they broke into “Mt. Abraxis” with cabs spitting copious amounts of fuzz. I was worried the songs that I prefer (pretty much anything on Blood Lust) were going to take the back seat to songs on the two albums they’re sandwiched between (Vol. 1 — their debut, and Mind Control — their most recent). My fear became reality as they followed “Mt. Abraxis” with “Mind Crawler” and then “Crystal Spiders.”

Just as I was poised to abandon all hope and commit myself to arms-folded bitterness, they said the fated, heavily-accented words: “This one’s called ‘I’m Here to Kill You.'” The song reminded me why I bought tickets in the first place, and the band went from slouching in a psychedelic stupor to performing with contagious, enthusiastic energy. Even the pissed-off bartenders couldn’t help but join in on the communal headbanging. Everything suddenly felt right. They followed it up with another killer Blood Lust track, “Over and Over Again,” and yet again with “Ill Cut You Down.”

I even went out to the floor during this one to join in on the lethargic, swaying mosh because you just can’t deny that riff (1:00 in the video). This song was born to be played live. Uncle Acid are at their best when they’re all singing in nasally falsetto together over killer riffs like this. It’s creepy, it’s engaging, and it really does their horror motif justice, especially in a live setting.

Getting a better picture would have required me to squeeze through a sweaty, beer-soaked mass of non-showerers... Not something I was willing to do after so much pizza.

Getting a better picture would have required me to squeeze through a sweaty, beer-soaked mass of people that don’t shower… Not something I was willing to do after so much pizza.

 

Just when I thought their setlist was getting too good to be true, they broke into “Death’s Door,” another solid Blood Lust headbanger, followed by “Poison Apple,” the only good song on Mind Control. That bouncy first riff packs way more of punch live than it does on the album. Headbanging ensued.

After an impressive chain of excellent songs, they finally dropped the dreaded combo-breaker with “Desert Ceremony” — the most boring song in existence. A couple more and they said they’d be closing with “Devil’s Work,” another boring song from Mind Control. Disappointed at first, I expected the show to end on a bad note. As it turns out, “Devil’s Work” is an absolutely killer live tune. The repetitive, pounding drums are hypnotic and building-shaking, something that was completely lost in it’s translation to recorded music. It ended up being a great sendoff.

I left in a much better mood than I arrived in, and I’ll attribute that to Uncle Acid’s performance. For the most part, they played all the right songs, and they played them damn well. Their creepy shtick works and really lends itself to a live setting. Hurry up and see these guys if you get the chance, preferably before they dilute their Blood Lust-heavy setlist with songs from their growing catalog.

Here are the rest of the dates:

10/06 — Seattle, WA – Neumos
10/07  — Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw
10/08  — Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
10/10  –San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
10/11  — Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theater

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  • Edward Meehan

    This is a great show write up.

    I’d like to see Uncle Acid & the deadbeats at some point, but it will have to be on their next tour it appears.

    Pyrrhon & Artificial Brain in one week in Minneapolis!

    • Cock ov Steele

      I still need to get on that one, need to make it up to my friend cuz I can’t go see to Angry Samoans on Friday.

      • Edward Meehan

        I am an unrepentant Pyrrhon & Artificial Brain fanboy, so needless to say I am psyched for it.

        • Cock ov Steele

          I just looked it up and found out that aren’t playing my state anywhere. Major bummed.

          • Edward Meehan

            That sucks!

          • W.

            I would have loved to catch that tour, but the closest show was about 6 hours away 🙁

          • Edward Meehan

            Long drive. I am under the impression both bands tour a fair amount, hopefully they are much closer to you on the next one.

          • Cock ov Steele

            Same, closest to me is San Diego.

    • Keegan Lavern Still

      So fucking stoked for that show. I will see you there, my friend!

      • Edward Meehan

        I guess shows at Memory Lanes are always on the cheap, too. At least htat is what I have heard.

    • They’re gonna fight you bruh!

      • Edward Meehan

        I might see if I can get a Doug Moore selfie for my blog friends lol

        • W.

          It will be even better if you have a black eye in the selfie!

    • more beer

      I`m in the same boat as you they are playing in Denver soon but there are so many shows coming up I have to pick and choose I`ve got Macabre, Obituary & Carcass,King Diamond, & Iron Reagan in the next 3 weeks. I make good money but that`s a lot to swing in that little time.

      • Edward Meehan

        Have you seen King Diamond? If not I would suggest seeing him cause it’s King Diamond. I’d like to see all those shows though lol

        • more beer

          Yea I have a bunch of time`s he used to play on Halloween in New York every year. I`ve also seen Mercyful Fate. I`m pretty old been doing this for a long time. I saw Carcass in April I`ve seen Obituary but it`s been a while and Iron Reagan a year ago but want to see them again. I have a friend in New York named Eddie Meehan by the way.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            Had the King Diamond tickets not sold out I would have gone to the NYC show considering I live an hour and a half from the city. I might go to either the Samhain show, the Death To All show or the Opeth and In Flames show.

          • more beer

            That sucks they did sell out quick there they aren`t sold out here.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            Lucky you.

          • more beer

            I miss a lot of things about New York but at least there is a really good scene in Denver

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            My uncle lives out in Denver. I’ve never been there but my dad has and he said that his house is nice. Then again my uncle is the lawyer of Red Robin and a minority owner of a chain called Smashburger, so I guess his house is probably very nice. Have you ever been to Red Rocks out there? I never have but I wonder if it’s really all it’s cracked up to be.

          • more beer

            I haven`t been to red rocks no real metal shows there i have been by there and it is beautiful up there it is a public park when they are not having shows. Smash burger is awesome.

          • David Prokupek is one of my clients.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            His name is not David it is Ronnie. You don’t know him.

          • Dave is former ceo of smashburger

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I see. I wouldn’t know that as I don’t see my uncle from Denver often enough to ask him about Smashburger.

          • Edward Meehan

            Then honestly I would suggest seeing Pyrrhon and Artificial Brain. Edward Meehan, hell of a name. Is dude Irish or at least part Irish?

          • more beer

            Yea he`s an Irish dude his family owned a bar called the Shamrock I think that pretty much sums it up.

  • Beunhaas

    You fucking Americans always get the best tours.
    At least I get to see Solstafir next month and maybe Meshuggah in December.

    • W.

      Meshuggah are always great live. Don’t let McNulty tell you otherwise.

      • Edward Meehan

        Same with Christian Molenaar and True Detective. Don’t let him dissuade you!

        • KJM

          Have you ever watched the FOX TV series ‘Millennium’? If not, you should.

          • Edward Meehan

            I have not. Pretty solid? I’m currently in the very beginning of the second season of Twin Peaks, I watched the double length season premier and I need to watch s2 e2.

          • KJM

            Beware. Season 2 has some cringe worthy moments but is worth it over all, especially the finale.

            If you like Dale Cooper & Rustin Cohle, you’ll be cool with Frank Black, even more so if you’re an X-Files fan since it’s a Chris Carter production.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcKyW_AtXB0

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            anything with lance henriksen is cool.

          • KJM

            Speaking of which, you have picked the best fucking time ever to become a Twin Peaks fan.

            http://www.fangoria.com/new/it-is-happening-again-twin-peaks-to-return-on-showtime-in-2016/

          • Edward Meehan

            I glanced at that article but it looks like it has potential spoilers, still exciting stuff though! With Lynch directing all the episodes it’s bound to get weird.

          • KJM

            It doesn’t, but that’s a good strategy nonetheless.

            I have waited 25 years for this…”I’ll see you in 25 years”…

    • The Satan Ov Hell

      Triptykon and at the gates in the uk, woo!

      • KJM

        Patiently waiting for Triptykon to get back to The US.

    • KJM

      The UK and Europe got headlining Uncle Acid shows long before we did. I was almost convinced they wouldn’t get here until the next album came out.

  • IronLawnmower

    Seeing them open for Black Sabbath was the best. The two bands were born to share the stage.

  • Stockhausen

    Excellent wrote up, m’Masterlord. Hope you rested off that inevitable contact high.

  • God

    The pie mentioned. Swell with utahn pride while holding my 20 wives.

  • Mon*Star

    Thanks for the write up, my feelings about Uncle Acid are confirmed. As a casual listener throwing on random albums, I always wondered why I loved some songs and hated others. Clearly due to the uneven discography. I’m about to give ‘Blood Lust’ another go. Plus, while I know there are guys out there that will pound a whole 16″ pizza (like myself), fewer will admit to it publicly (as I do). This day I have found a brother.

    • We share in shame and indigestion.

      • W.

        You’re a man of true grit. I can’t eat that much pizza nowadays. In my younger, huskier years, though…

        • I’m very much into eating healthy but I will fuck a pizza right up.

          • W.

            I made some homemade pizza on Saturday night. I look forward to finishing it off for lunch.

          • I like making homemade pizza and cooking it on the grill, good stuff.

          • Either you or W should put up an instructional pizza post.

          • DUDE. We should totally do a metal-themed cooking post. I don’t necessarily mean the food has to be metal-themed but a funny instructional article referencing bands and some music to go along with cooking would be rad as fuck.

          • W.

            I’ve actually been wanting to do this for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it. I need to just take pictures the next time I make something.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            You know what music goes really well with cooking? Electric Light Orchestra. I love playing their music while cooking up some food, specifically my trademark buffalo wings or my amazing smoked sausage. The sausage goes even better with the beer bread and potato skins recipes I got from the WWF cookbook.

          • Stockhausen

            You really, really should.

          • JWG

            If I contributed to a food post, it would only be to totally rip off Annick Giroux’s “Hellbent for Cooking” – a solid cookbook that I’ve totally used to feed large groups of non-metal-fans without ever having to explain myself.

            ‘Mosh Potatoes’ works too, but its lack of pictures means it’s impossible to tell if my end-product meals are even remotely like the intended presentation.

          • The Prophet Mohammed

            I was stoned and making tacos for National Taco day and thought this exact same thing. That reminds me, I have to check on my pork shoulder.

          • W.

            That sounds tasty!

          • Mon*Star

            Me too, I eat healthy 90% of the time so I can go apeshit on a pizza from time to time.

          • Stockhausen

            I’ve been known to punch a pizza in the face with my face.

      • KJM

        I can only manage 2 slices of real pizza or 1/2 of a store bought one, old man’s gotta watch it.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan

          On Saturday I had two amazing slices of my favorite kind of pizza at this pizza place near me called Bacio. Their pepperoni mushroom pizza is the best.

          • KJM

            If I want Pizza RIGHT NOW, this is where I go, right on the next block.

            http://www.cristospizzeria.com/

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I live about a minute from a great pizzeria called Goodfellas Pizza but I don’t eat there much. I also live near a Dunkin Donuts and a Rite Aid that is the only place I can still can get Jolt Cola.

          • KJM

            Strangely enough I also have a Rite-Aid and a Dunkin Donuts in my neighborhood, 1-2 minute walk from my apartment. I don’t think Jolt is available here, definitely not at Rite-Aid. That’s my go-to store for Diet Mt Dew.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I don’t think they sell Jolt anymore. I know they sell bottles of the old stuff online but the continuation of the brand in stores is gone I think.

          • Stockhausen

            Abso-friggin’-lutely.

        • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

          looks like rise above are going to stay afloat after all. EW is never going to break like these guys.

          • KJM

            They would’ve by now if they were going to. In fact I’m willing to believe that this will be EW’s last album.

  • KJM

    Nah, Mind Control has 6 out of 9 good songs. It ain’t nearly that bad.

  • KJM

    And ‘Crystal Spiders’ is the jam.

  • KJM

    ‘Desert Ceremony’ is awesome. ‘Valley Of The Dolls’ is the boring one that I was hoping wouldn’t get played since I don’t drink and I didn’t have to pee.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Saw Danava with Witchcraft back in 2006. Danava was meh, as was the crowd.

    • KJM

      I checked out some of their stuff on Youtube and wasn’t impressed, otherwise I would’ve arrived earlier.

  • KJM

    My journey to the show, as with all shows at the Middle East Club, was boring and uneventful consisting of a 2 minute walk to the Red Line, a 10 minute train ride(3 stops), and another 2 minute walk to the club arriving about 15 minutes before Uncle Acid started. The set list/stage show was the same as described above. A great time was had by all and then I left the way I came. No fuss, no muss.

    The Middle East is an awesome fucking club that’s ridiculously easy to get to, and it’s staffed/run by professional non-assholes who treat you like a paying customer and not like cattle or potential trouble makers. I fucking LOVE going to shows there. The Royale in Boston is also a great place with great staff. OTOH I wipe my ass with House Of Blues Boston. Fuck that dive. Ditto The Palladium in Worcester.

  • Xan

    Great article. I hope to someday see Uncle Acid live. One of the best new doom bands out there.

  • JWG

    Would totally go see them following this gig review, which has sold me on the idea of doing so next time I get a solid chance plus a decent heads-up, but one day is much too short notice to set up a day trip.

    I’ll keep an eye out for the next time. Shouldn’t be too long. It used to be ages between when a band would reappear in the PNW except if they were *from here*, but thanks to The Invisible Orange (no, not InvisibleOranges.com) bigger bands are dropping by Vancouver at least every few months.

  • The Prophet Mohammed

    I got to see them at the Bowery Ballroom and it was a great night minus the hipsters of course. Definitely a band that sounds much better live. The live vocal harmonies were very impressive as well. Danava was a great opener and I was very happy to see the lead singer of Sons of Huns playing guitar for them.

  • crazytaco_12

    Wanted to see them tonight, but I have to work a 12+ hour shift tomorrow starting at 6 am sharp. Sucks.