Black Mountain @ Waldorf -- 08/25/12

It's been a long time since I last saw Black Mountain (almost exactly a year) so I was more than a little excited to see Vancouver's psych-rockers at the Waldorf's Outdoor Summer Concert. Joined by a returning Ladyhawk, Basketball, Toronto's Quest for Fire -- who will be touring with Black Mountain -- and Von Bingen, they packed the Waldorf parking lot for an evening of rock.
Unfortunately I was off earning some money, so I missed the bulk of the show, arriving mere moments before Black Mountain hit the stage.

Right out of the bat, Steve McBean broke a string on the first song, and the intensity of the show didn't let up from there. Launching into "Tyrants" early on, the eight minute song ebbs and flows from ear shattering, head banging guitars and drums to the powerful beauty of Amber Webber's voice; and mirrored the structure of the set, which flawlessly went between straight ahead rockers like "Old Fangs" and the calmer moments, like McBean grabbing an acoustic guitar for "Buried by the Blues".

Other highlights of the set included "Angels" -- which McBean dedicated to his mother who was wed at the Waldorf years ago -- and the moody "Queens Will Play", that was yet another great example of Webber's strong and haunting voice.

The climax of the set was the explosive "Stormy High" and they ended with "Don't Run Our Hearts Around" from their first, self titled album. But they were, of course, back out for a few more including the driving "Let Spirits Ride" and finishing off with "Roller Coaster"

Maybe it's because they don't play all that often -- they don't over-saturate themselves -- I always forget just how incredible they are live. McBean amazing shredding, his & Webber's voices blending so well together, and Joshua Wells' wailing drumming; they're all factors that make Black Mountain one of Vancouver's best, most intense, and ass-kicking-est, bands to see live.