Once again Southern Lord have bestowed us with a astonishing line-up for The highly awaited 777 West Coast Tour. Headlining the spectacle were legendary drone metal bands Sunn o))) and Earth, accompanied by Weedeater (ex Buzzov-en) and Wolves In The Throne Room. Both Opening bands having received a remarkable response from metal enthusiasts, and of course the headliners being the phenomenon that they are, this was a show not to be missed, and definitely one that should be attended with the appropriate mind set. That mind set being quite high in the clouds.
Having to do the necessary preparatory session before entering the show, and El Rey being the strict on schedule venue it is, I ended up missing both opening acts. Quite disappointed yet careless due to my spaced and incoherent thoughts, I stood back and observed my surroundings. There I was encompassed by black outfits, long hair, and red eyes. A large group of young (by young I mean most likely still in their teens), tastelessly conspicuous metal kids (by tastelessly I mean they where trying a bit too hard) and indie rockers overthrew the usual hairy, 40 year old metal heads. Feeling quite tantalized I proceeded towards the snack bar.
The performance concluded with him screaming in a blood drenched potato sack and with the audience wanting more.
It was then time for Earth to commence their set. Eagerly I awaited to be blown out of my mind, as they have succeeded to do with all of their remarkable albums. Sadly enough this time it wasn’t the case. Although the set was flawless and the sound heavy, they lacked a certain component. That component being the ability to keep the crowd drawn in. After the first fifteen minutes I found my mind drifting off as the audience began to thin. The music being as surpassing as it is I feel as though it deserves a appropriate stage performance to accompany it. A quiescent Earth just didn’t cut it.
Then proceeded Sunn O))). Anticipation built up as the fog thickened around me. Soon enough one was incapable of seeing further than four feet away. Finally, cloaked in black they appear on stage illuminated by insidious lighting effects. Starting off quieter than usual, I was a bit taken back. Then I came to the realisation that I was at El Rey, and it was obvious that they had put a restriction on volume. However, as the set progressed so did the volume and with that one began to feel the bodily experience that is Sunn O))). With frequencies so low you could feel everything from the tip of your nose to the center of your soul in a steady and constant humming. As I entered a one note trance, I look up to see a character (who is assumed to be legendary Hungarian black metal vocalist Attila Csihar of Mayhem) with his face painted white and a long silver main sporadically appear with haunting low and high screeching vocals reciting what seemed to be a death curse in latin or perhaps glossolalia. The performance concluded with him screaming in a blood drenched potato sack and with the audience wanting more. Needless to say Sunn 0))) give the audience more than just a show, rather a ticket to be submerged into a surreal world of dark, ritualistic, “brown note” doom.