Underworld, London 07/12/2010
US Doom legends “Saint Vitus” return to London for the first show of their European Tour, opening for them are the Swede troupe “The Graviators” who kick things off with a nice slab of Sabbath inspired Stoner Rock/Metal in the vein of a heavier Witchcraft.
However they were hindered slightly by the soundmen preferring to talk amongst themselves, than pay attention to what’s happening on stage; as vocalist Niklas desperately signals for the vocals to be turned up to the sound desk as the engineers not taking so much as a glance at the stage. It’s only when the microphone cuts out all together forcing them to notice there is a band playing, that the sound starts making its way towards anything that could pass as reasonable. Never the less, the band manages to surprise the crowd and it’s obvious this is a band that shines in a live environment much more than on CD. Things finally come together for the group near the end of the set with guitarist Martin Fairbanks breaking out into some impressive sounding solos which seem to be effortlessly plucked from decades gone back, despite the sound problems, the band certainly leave the stage with more fans than they had at the start of the set.
Now it’s the turn of Vitus to take the stage amongst a sea of Vitus inspired Tats and newly purchased shirts, they launch into the mammoth “Clear Window Pane” to the delight of the crowd who now fills the venue, Vitus showcase all the classics, mixing up their slower songs alongside the faster ones very well, though sadly missing out “War Is Our Destiny”. Dave Chandler entertains the crowd pulling faces during his insane possessed solos. The band look to be having fun with their legacy now carved in stone as being one of the most influential doom groups, Wino has been round our isles a lot as of recently, with his side projects touring up and down the country, which makes it all the more upsetting that Vitus only play a one off London date in a less than stellar venue.
Never the less it’s nice to see Wino totally in his element heading up Saint Vitus. There is even time tonight for the band to show off some much anticipated new material which is very well received. Chandler begins pointing at Liz Buckingham of Electric Wizard as they begin to play “Mystic Lady” which is aired alongside “Saint Vitus” before the band depart for a brief break before coming back louder and stronger with “Living Backwards” “I Bleed Black” and “Dying Inside” before ending the evening with “Born To Late” dedicated to recently departed drummer Armando Acosta. The crowd lap it up, singing along with what now has become a doom classic and then the band depart.
Born to late but gone to early.
Scribed by: Drian Nash