Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Yob - Live 1/23/12 - The Bourbon Theater, Lincoln, Nebraska
It was on a Monday, so that sucked, but I still couldn't pass it up. After all, this was gonna be up-close and personal. Intimate.
The Bourbon Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska is a tiny one but it still draws some pretty big names in heavy rock music, believe it or not. Clutch and The Sword come to mind. I don't know why it surprised me so much that YOB would also be appearing there. I guess I just never expected it.
"Lucky you got one," the guy behind the table said. "Only 3 left and then they're all gone. Totally."
Sweet. I took the stuff out to the car, had a small break and headed back inside. By the time the first two bands finished the place was getting crowded and I decided to grab a spot as close as I could. Yes. A little stage-right from the drum kit.
I'm ready. Let's do this!
After a short sound check YOB tears into "Prepare The Ground", the first earth-trembling track from Atma. I'm not prepared. I had a thought about grabbing a pair of ear plugs earlier that day at work but that's as far as I got. A thought. Too late now. After the first couple riffs it doesn't matter anyway.
To tell you the truth, I totally lost myself somewhere in the middle of that first song. I didn't have anyone shoving me from behind and no one was brushing either of my shoulders. It was almost like I was the only one there and YOB was playing just for me. My own little private concert in Nebraska. Fucking awesome. I had plenty of room; my body was writhing and contorting to the thunderous grooves being laid down.
I didn't find myself until maybe the third song, I think it was "Atma", when Mike S. broke a guitar string. He apologized and took a couple minutes to fix it himself. No guitars techs at this show, but I didn't mind at all.
"I needed a break anyway," I thought to myself. Maybe I do feel old - my neck sure does. Damn.
YOB tear it up. During a couple songs I find myself fixating on drummer Travis Foster, who has a focused, determined look on his face as he's bashing away. His arms contort in ways I didn't know were possible as he apparently tries to beat his drum kit to death with two wooden sticks. Not since WEEDEATER have I seen such a punishing performance.
A good hour or more after they started, YOB follows up with a cool TOOL cover and then finish the show with "Quantum Mystic", off The Unreal Never Lived. I wipe my face with my shirt and then rub my eyes. Is it over? Wow. That's when I try to clear my ears and remember there's nothing in there.
"We already are," Mike said and then thanked me and my friends for coming out. He expressed that he's also a little nervous about thousands and thousands of people staring back at him in the coming month. Unexpected bodily functions are a possibility, he joked. Still, go see 'em if there's a show anywhere near you. I can only hope your experience was a great as mine.
To me, this show wasn't just a little warm-up before their big arena tour on the east coast with TOOL. It was special. It was an intimate night with YOB and I'll never forget it.