Kylesa, Torche, Ruby The Hatchet
August 29, 2013
The Chapel
San Francisco, Ca

Kylesa, Torche and Ruby The Hatchet Converse About Life

The best things in life are free? What a cute idea. Sadly we live in a world where this is pretty much only true in the reality depicted by bumper stickers. But don’t pout your lip thus juttingly yet. It turns out that sometimes rad stuff comes to us on the breath of the wind of freeness, supplied by people with big hearts. And even bigger wallets. Converse has been putting on some top-tier shows here in San Francisco with us (you, me, that one guy) as their guests. Candice managed to get her Chucks in the door of one of these shows and it was not only free, but priceless. Wow, I clearly watch too much TV.

Anyway: Converse, you know, the kicks that have adorned the hooves of hip youths since the 50’s, put on a show at The Chapel with Ruby The Hatchet, Torche and Kylesa. Three bands that put the Arrrr in Rock. Candice and I were pleased as (spiked) punch to see this show, both of us wearing our dancin shoes…which made me feel like a kiss-ass cause my dancin shoes are Cons. So, stage set, mics checked, we taxied our silly asses down to Valencia Street and strutted on in like we owned that bitch.

The whole mood in there was spellbindingly jovial. We had many friend-sightings, each member of our unspoken family of metal enthusiasts was there and drinks were flowing. Ruby The Hatchet took the stage and so began the soundtrack to our night. They’re a troop of four men backing a lady at the mic, creating a musical harmony like the combined ingredients of a Cheesesteak. Oh, I should add here that they’re from Philly. They definitely got our attention with the weight of their sound, alternating between slow power bouts and rockin-ass quickety shit. I must admit that they felt a bit like a faded version of acts from the past (let’s say Sabbathian Motorheadica), but I still enjoyed their set. Highlights included a singing drummer who needn’t employ a Britaney Spears head-strap microphone thing, and a keyboard player. You might even say he held the Key that unlocked the…metal…doom… Christ, leave me alone, I totally like keyboards okay?!

After their set my friend Robb met up with us. Robb rules. He’s in a band called Asada Messiah and they’re dangerously amazing. Check them out. I’ll just wait here. Did you check them out? Rad, eh? You’re welcome. We mingled and got some drinks before Torche lit up the stage (intellectual word choice, don’t you think?). Torche rocks ass. They’re heavy, like a musical Refrigerator Perry. The band has a 75% shaved head ratio and they wield said heads mercilessly alongside the guttural roar of their tones. Standing there watching them play is like balancing on a lightning bolt as it emits a cavalry of thunder-sparks. They reminded me a little bit of some of the good shit from back in the day. Sorta like if Biohazard and Helmet had a demonic butt-baby in 1992 and now it’s this pissed off young adult named Torche with shitloads of student loans and a tude of hellfire. They’re rad.

The final act was Kylesa. They too have a female vocalist who sounds like a Siren of Death Incarnate. She employs an ax as well, but the way she annihilates your world with it makes it seem more like a wood chipper! There’s a dude who sings as well and the two of them create a harmonious vigor that brings depth to that wonderful destruction. Speaking of destruction, they have two drummers, both punishing their skins with the rhythm of a perfectly timed underworld masked ball. Those two are a duo that I found it hard to take my eyes off of, like watching the bails section of a skate vid with terrified glee.

This annoying dude stood right in front of me and he looked like a high school kid dressing up like Rod Stewart for his school’s talent show. He kept trying to mack on some little harlot and would bend over right in front of my line of vision. I tried desperately not to let it bother me and my out-rocking but I couldn’t take my eyes off his carefully weathered jean jacket that I suspected he’d cut the sleeves off of that night when he heard that Kylesa was a metal band. It’s alright, I’m just as concerned with my stupid-ass image, carefully plucking hairs from my head to achieve the totally hip look of baldness; I just wished he would stay the hell out of my line of fire.

Nonetheless, Kylesa brought our wondrous evening to a close and we smiled our whole way home, having lived another bad-ass chapter in our Metal Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Bible. Thanks for the show, Converse. Twas a good one. (*If you’d like Sean and Candice to go to another enjoyable concert, turn to page 69. If you’d rather they stay home and pick their noses, turn to page…the end.)

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