Written By Braddon S.Williams aka “ The Concert Critic”
On this date in history, 11/10/2021, my wife and I eagerly attended a sold-out show at The Black Circle in Indianapolis featuring Baroness. Anticipation and curiosity were running rampant in my brain as I wondered if this incredible band could top the life changing show that we had witnessed in 2019. The simple answer is “Yes, they did!” The more complex answer involved a number of factors…
1. There was no opening band at The Black Circle. This allowed Baroness to stretch out and play a longer show (one that was voted on by fans). No disrespect to the opener at the previous show we attended, but I really loved seeing Baroness in its purest form.
2. I was much more familiar with the Baroness catalog this time around. In 2019 I had attended just wanting to expand my musical horizons and check out a band I had been aware of but hadn’t really familiarized myself with.
After that show I quickly went back and purchased all their albums and explored the vast treasure trove of Baroness music.
3. Both venues we have caught shows at have been fantastic. However, The Black Circle is so intimate (capacity maybe 200 if packed in as tightly as possible) that there was a perfect storm of magical musical majesty happening. Oddly enough, we were standing almost directly in front of guitarist/vocalist Gina Gleason both times. Gleason and John Baizley (band leader/lead singer/guitarist) have this wonderful symmetry to their singing and playing that is such a beautiful thing to witness and hear. Their voices blend almost into a third voice when they harmonize, and their guitars build these tapestries of sound that are like cathedrals of almost heartbreaking beauty that suddenly rage into colossal riffs of crushing power. Equally important are the contributions of the terrific rhythm section;
Nick Jost pulls double duty on bass and keyboards, contributing tons of inventive grooves and ambience throughout the show, while drummer Sebastian Thomson plays super intelligent counterpoint to all the creativity bursting form this most exceptional band. Thomson can hit with the best of them, but he was fascinating to watch as he reacted and adjusted to all the myriad peaks and valleys of this challenging music.
Their dynamic range is staggering and inspirational, truly every shade of dark to light and a whisper to a scream is displayed throughout the performance. Our view of the entire band was perfection…every facial expression, all the interactions between all four Baroness members, and of course all the physicality and exuberance that are hallmarks of their passion for their music…in short, a concert experience of a lifetime.
I’ve been attending shows since 1976 and I’ve literally seen some of the legends of all time. I haven’t been this excited about a band in a long, long time. Baroness is an elite band, and I place them among the best of the best that I have ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot! But don’t take my word for it. By all means, go see for yourself…you can thank me later!
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