Thursday, October 7, 2010

4 LIVE REVIEW: The Sword Bring "Warp Riders" to the Showbox

This is another generic show review that you may or may not actually read as you scroll through the really cool photos that Nik got, which will ultimately do a way better job of conveying what a kick ass show went down at the Showbox the other night. Alas, the blogosphere needs copy, copy, copy… So here we go.

Mount Carmel, a seriously throw back blues-rock outfit, opened the show. They were a little out of place amidst a crowd that was ready for serious shredding. The band played alright, sounded alright… the guitarist had some seriously annoying ‘guitar face’ happening. Really, it’s like this: Mount Carmel was easily the world’s most awesome bar band but the world’s crappiest opening band simultaneously. Fancy that.

Next was Karma to Burn. It was nice to hear some burly, tough, straightforward rock that is begging for radio The set was an interesting mix of instrumental and vocal tracks, neither were particularly impressive. The crowd dug them, though, and that’s what counts. Personally, it seemed a little too postured and contrived. Or maybe it was because the singer was using a Mesa Boogie Trans-Atlantic guitar amp, which looked heinously stupid and tiny perched atop a Marshall cabinet. Seriously, why the fuck would you use the littlest Mesa, ever?! I mean, fuck! That’s just me, I guess. This whole lunchbox amp craze needs to die and go to hell.

Finally, The Sword appeared and slashed and shredded the ever-loving fuck out of all those in attendance. Sounding great and playing possibly tighter than I’ve heard any band pull off live, they ran a clinic on old-school groove meets new-school shred while playing a wealth of material off their Matt Bayles-helmed effort, ‘Warp Riders’ through a myriad of awesome vintage B.C. Rich guitars and Orange Amps.

What specifically did The Sword play? Fuck, what DIDN’T they play?! Seriously, whatever song you wanted to hear was probably in the set. Highlights were “Iron Swan”, “How Heavy This Axe”, “Tres Brujas”, “Night City” and a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat”. The Thin Lizzy cover is the a-side of a super-limited tour 7” on sale for a measly five bucks at the show. Very cool.

Sadly, after a three-song encore, The Sword concluded their set and returned to their time machine (cleverly hidden behind the venue) to beam off into realms unknown. Let’s hope they find their way back to this dimension soon.

Karma to Burn | Photo by Nik Christofferson
Orange Heads | Photo by Nik Christofferson
The Sword | Photo by Nik Christofferson

The Sword | Photo by Nik Christofferson

The Sword Crowd | Photo by Nik Christofferson
Words by Matt Abramson
Photos by Nik Christofferson


  1. KTB is mostly known as an instrumental outfit. The guy playing frontman was son of Dave Davies, who's own band is far superior to what you heard on Monday. They're called Year Long Disaster. They're on the B side of that single. Check 'em out. I was surprised to see him onstage with them. He must've owed someone a favor. Agreed on the Sword The Set. It was The Rad.


  2. Ah, good to know. Thanks! Year Long Disaster's version of 'Maiden, Mother & Crone' is fantastic, so I stand corrected. Slightly.

  3. Fuck I totally recognized that dudes voice. All makes sense now. Cheers.

  4. No shit about Mount Carmel's guitar faces. And they definitely would have been better in a much smaller, less "metal" setting.



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