Baroness – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA – Sunday March 27th 2022

Baroness made their triumphant return to Los Angeles on Sunday night, March 27th. It was one of the first heavy shows I’ve been to post-COVID and it felt great just to be back in a crowded venue with a lot of people, enjoying live music again.

One of the things I personally missed was that the band encouraged fan voting on songs for the setlist ahead of the show. Fans could literally vote for the songs they wanted to hear. Had I known this I would’ve put in a vote for “Try to Disappear” which is one of my favorite Baroness songs.

There was no opening act and the band walked on stage smiling ear to ear as the song “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” by W.A.S.P. played over the speakers… It seemed like Baroness had selected the perfect theme song to match the juvenile and ultra-sexual atmosphere that engulfs Hollywood (and Los Angeles as a whole).

They kicked off the set with “Ogeechee Hymnal” a slow and powerful song that builds into something epic and unwieldy. This blended right into “Take My Bones” followed by “Rays on Pinion.”

By the time they exploded into “Kerosene” the venue was lit up with energy. The Purple Album is probably my favorite Baroness record and this song is definitely one of my favorite tracks from that record.

By now I had begun to notice that the lighting on stage was giving hints to which album the song they were playing was from. When they played tracks from the Red album, the stage was lit red. When they played songs from the Blue album, the stage was lit blue. It was a cool nuance and effect that I’m sure a lot of people noticed.

The mood mellowed out slightly and the band broke into “Tourniquet” this ended up being the slow melodic pre-cursor to “March to the Sea” another one of my favorites.

“Green Theme” slowed it down again and brought the serious and somber vibe back into the room again right before the band burst into “A Horse Called Golgotha” a much more aggressive and upbeat track. This gave way to “Shock Me” from the Purple Album. Fans raised their fists and sang along as the energy in the room really began to bubble up.

Back to a more somber vibe the band played “Chlorine & Wine” next. The band carried the flow of the set from mellow and serious tracks into faster heavier songs. The mellow songs made the heavy sound that much louder and vice versa. “Light and Shade” as Jimmy Page called it.

“The Gnashing” was next up on the track list. Loud and fast… and you know the pattern by now.

The next couple songs saw the drummer and bass player taking a break while John Baizley and Gina Gleason played and sang harmonies. “Cold Blooded Angels” was followed by “I’d Do Anything” both from the Gold & Grey album. This lead into “Can Oscura” a very drum and bass heavy song and that blended into the track “Little Things”

“Borderlines” was up next keeping the energy levels high. “If I Have to Wake Up” was next up and the crowd once again became very vocal singing along with John’s every word. When the song exploded into the chorus the room lit up.

“Fugue” was up next. A perfect instrumental to set up the track “The Sweetest Curse” that followed.

After this the band jumped all the way back to the Red Album to play the song “The Birthing.” A lot of these older tracks have a much heavier and more abrasive vibe than the newer more polished stuff.

“Cocanium” took us back to a more mellow and drifting vibe. The crowd began to participate, clapping along as the band flowed into the next track “Eula.”

Finally the band announced their last song would be “Swollen and Halo.” They powered through the track as if they had just started their set. Once they had finished they thanked the crowd again for their energy and left the stage.

The band was gone for all but about 3 minutes and the crowed chanted “ONE MORE SONG” “ONE MORE SONG!” Eventually, they rushed back out onto the stage and John announced that they had planned to play the song “Isak” but the crowd convinced them to change it up. They tuned down and played another one of their older, more foundational tunes “Tower Falls” for the Encore.

The crowd was upset to see it finally end but also left feeling fulfilled. We had been blessed with quite a long set, containing just about all of our favorite Baroness tracks.

If you have never seen this band I highly recommend catching them on this tour – you won’t be sorry. They bring a blend of high energy metal and melodic / ethereal mood that makes for a very interesting live show. These dynamics helped to keep their performance interesting and entertaining. As a result, a 30 song set that lasted almost 3 hours – seemed like it was too short.

Get out there and catch Baroness when they come to a town near you!

(Review and video from the L.A. Show – Photos were taken at the Salt Lake City date of the tour)

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