Gypsyhawk at the Black Forest, Eugene, OR
In Concert-Going 101 we're taught that, broadly speaking, there are four kinds of metal concerts: Fucking big ones/festivals (macro modus concentus), medium-sized ones (mediocrus modus concentus), small gigs (most concentus metallumus ad oregon), and fucking tiny ones (Gypsyhawk at The Black Forest [nigra silva] in Eugene).
The show was at a small bar known for attracting metalheads and the like about a five minute walk from my apartment. Went into it pretty much clueless as to how large a crowd would show though, expecting around 50 + for Gypsyhawk's set.
Turned out to be a liberal estimate on my part. As far as my alcohol-sodden/slightly-concussed mind (I'd somehow managed to hit myself in the head with a baseball bat before trekking out) could grasp, there looked like there might have been 20 people in the building, tops. Which is a goddamn shame, really, considering the variety of the show as a whole, and the blistering, ass-kicking that Gypsyhawk threw down a little after midnight. Honestly would gladly have paid to see it.
The first band up was a drone group called Stalagmite. They played loud and, being true to their name and the title "drone," they played slow. Led some older guy sitting by me at the bar to say "don't have enough acid in me for this," or something along those lines. I don't know or have any background listening to the kind of stuff they play, so I can't comment on the merit of the
Without any aid from fog and lights and hooded costumes, there wasn't much in the line of "stage presence," but when I took the time to bow my head and close my eyes I did feel like I got or was coming close to getting whatever it was Stalagmite were going for. It was an engaging, though definitely not an energetic way to start the show off. Cool nonetheless.
A group called Waning played next. Sounded like they play some kind of doomed-out shoegazy sludge, and even that was a pick-me-up after the droning from the stage beforehand. They have a dual-guitar, triple-team vocalist thing going on that proved pretty engaging too. Made for a good reason to get drinking again before Gypsyhawk took the stage.
Gypsyhawk didn't play long, but they played a lot faster than Waning and about 250x faster than Stalagmite. Even though the crowd stayed small and relatively stationary, the amount of cheering and noise from the audience marked the newly found energy Gypsyhawk injected into the room. They play old-school, traditional, Thin Lizzy-style heavy metal, and they play it with passion. I imagined some kind of apathy from them on the stage considering the miniscule turn-out, but they seemed to play as fast and hard as they would have at a bigger, more packed venue.
In a painful 3-minute series of inebriated "interview" questions about touring and how elves are gay, I leveled at a few of them afterward, they mentioned that they're about to go on a bigger tour with The Sword. Add that to the fact that they're signed to Metal Blade and it seems safe enough to assume that, if you don't know these guys as of now, that'll probably soon change.
Definitely give their new album Revelry & Resilience a spin and, if you're a fan of traditional metal, don't miss them on their upcoming tour if they make their way near you. Really fun stuff.
Photos courtesy of Connor Backlund
||Written on 08.10.2012 by Wormdrink's real name is George and he's an American.|
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