Last year I was looking for a possibility to meet a friend who I hadn't seen in a long time. At that time my friend pointed out that both Electric Wizard and Turmion Kätilöt were playing in the town where he lived on same weekend. This seemed a perfect day to meet, shoot shit and see some good music live. Even better, this time my friend even liked the bands we were going to see!
Electric Wizard was playing at Klubi, Tampere, a medium sized venue that looked that it was designed to cater to iskelmä (schlager) and other easy-listening bands than to metal gigs. While at my friend's apartment our socializing was somewhat awkward, lot of silence, coming to the venue and drinking beer atmosphere easened and I started talking and wouldn't shut up, probably boring the hell out of my friend and telling same tales and jokes fifty times in same evening (short attention span, bad memory and alcohol are a nice combination). The general atmosphere at the gig was laid back and easy going. During this time somebody decided that it was in his best interests to fall down stairs, getting the attention of other gig goers and the venue workers. Other than that the time before Tombstoned was quite uneventful.
I didn't know a lot about Tombstoned and still don't know (and as I am a lazy guy, don't even bother to search for info about them). As they took the stage and began playing it became clear to me what they were: a mere run-in-the-mill stoner/doom band. They had some potential but if they ever wanted to become more than medicore band they need to focus a lot on song-writing. Every song sounded the same and had the same basic structure. Next hour was filled with waiting until they would stop playing and Electric Wizard would take the stage, in hopes that at least Electric Wizard would deliver the goods.
Finally Tombstoned stopped and I sighed in relief. It was time to witness the main event and because of that we decided to try to make our way as near as the stage as possible. As Electric Wizard began playing it was immediately apparent that they were miles above Tombstoned. Their songs didnt feel half-assed jams written in cannabis (and other substance) haze (even if they were) but rather pieces with definite structure. The riffs were heavy, they were repeated for long time but never too long. There was no fear of becoming bored with the songs. Even if the music was good I felt somekind of disconnect with it and the band at the stage. A slight feeling of that they were just playing, not really performing for audience but playing like it was just another rehearsal permeated their show. The silence between songs was mostly filled with guitar and bass feedback, which one point caused one of their amps start to smoke, with Jus Osborn rarely saying something. As he was calling for drinking blood from skulls and smoking cannabis or somesuch fun things a sweet smell started to permeate the front row.
While Electric Wizard are undoubtably good musicians and are able to write great songs I wouldn't hesitate to skip their gig for something else. I left the gig content, not feeling like my money went to waste but still feeling that I didn't have any need to witness another Electric Wizard gig. Maybe my expirience would have been different if I too were high? Who knows, who cares.