As always at Le Ferrailleur, the bill is pretty classy! With MOS GENERATOR as an opening act – a band with a serious live and discographic background – the night sets the bar high. They could have definitely been headliners tonight, but ELDER‘s “Lore” is still hot on the agenda, and all the buzz around this amazing record promoted them on the top of the bill, while desert punk legend NICK OLIVERI comes to round off this high class rock lineup. (PHOTOS: Gaël Mathieu)
But before any rock sonata kicks off, we have the pleasure to tread upon Nantes’ famous venue Le Ferrailleur in the afternoon and meet the bands, who are all relaxed and obviously happy to be here. After one month touring together, it seems that ELDER and their… elders MOS GENERATOR are as thick as thieves. As Tony Reed, who’s joking about the fact guitarist and vocalist Nick DiSalvo is his “hidden son” (and you’ll admit the fact they must be siblings when it comes to The Riff). As for NICK OLIVERI, he’s being all serious and focused on his job. I might say the man has such an aura that you wouldn’t dare to talk to him. Anyway, it won’t prevent our brave photographer Gaël Mathieu to snap a few pics of Nick and Mos Generator. Those moments with our fave musicians as well as a super friendly apéro along the riverfront won’t fail to make this day a memorable one…
With fans blowing in his beard and wavy hair, Tony Reed (guitar/vox) captivates us straight from the beginning of this brilliant show. His smooth voice, his coolness and his perceptible pleasure to be right here, playing in a crowded place, are setting the perfect mood to make the night take off. MOS GENERATOR are sparking things off greatly with a serie of heavy rock hits that quickly warm the audience up, trapped under the spell of their amazing grooves. Pedal to the metal songs like “Electric Mountain Majesty” and “Step Up” show the trio’s maestria in crafting high-energy pieces in the same vein as The Atomic Bitchwax, whereas cool and slightly sexy moments like “On The Eve” reveal some Thin Lizzy influences. All this is wrapped in a solid stoner lumberjack riffing and Jono Garrett’s seriously heavy drumming skills. As a member of several Texan based death/thrash metal bands, Jono injects a brutal energy into the show with his tough style and attitude, which conveys an interesting contrast between him and Tony and Sean. There’s all you need in MG’s music: a bluesy feeling, some old school doom, pop expression, hints of Motörhead, good ol’ stoner blasts… Both the variety and cohesion in the trio’s music, backed by a flawless rendition, are nailing this truth in our minds: MOS GENERATOR are among the greatest, and their records should stand on your shelves just like classics of The Atomic Bitchwax and Earthless.
“xxx from legendary band xxx goes solo acoustic”. Yeah, we know the routine. Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till, John Garcia, Brant Björk, Buzz Osborne, Dylan Carlson, even Behemoth’s Nergal…. They’re a bunch to play the solo acoustic trick to fill the void and/or their pockets between two releases of their mothership bands. Is it a real way for artists to challenge themselves by exploring another approach of their repertoire, or is it a poorly lucrative pastime to pay the bills? This time, it’s NICK OLIVERI who gets stuck with doing a nice unpretentious show, played quickly and well. Nick obviously knows how to deliver good songs – but watching the guy from Queens Of The Stone Age/Mondo Generator/Kyuss playing these classics just by himself is quite frustrating. His punk energy and typical bourbon-matured shrieking are enough reasons to fill the venue, yet I don’t feel any remorse to watch the show from the bar.
Nick performs tracks from Kyuss (“Green Machine”, the surprising “Love Has Passed Me By”), QOTSA (“Gonna Leave You”, “Auto Pilot”, “Millionnaire”), Mondo (“Won’t Let Go”, “Smashed Apart”, “Bloody Hammer”), and also covers some legendary punk acts like the Ramones, his very own project Bl’ast!, and GG Allin. The setlist is an interesting panorama of his career, showcasing his punk influences, past glories and brilliant current projects. It’s impossible to give it the cold shoulder. The whole show is unsurprisingly cool and the friendly atmosphere makes us feel privileged to have Nick just for us, in this nearly one-to-one discussion with a desert rock legend. Highlights : the Bl’ast! cover “Surf & Destroy” – which is a real success in its acoustic rendition – and of course, a fantastic “Auto Pilot” at the end of the show, subliming the mood I described a few lines above.
Released earlier this year, ELDER‘s “Lore” has gained tremendously positive feedbacks and had them landing in conquered territory tonight. Le Ferrailleur is packed and the Massachusetts based trio kicks off with bassist Jack Donovan going flat out on “Dead Roots Stirring”. The journey has begun. ELDER’s show is as epic as a long fresco with its alternatively soft and blazing colours shining through. Whereas their music is clearly rooted in the past while also drawing on stoner rock riffage and atmospheres, we’re often led to compared them to more contemporary acts such as a late era Isis or Germany’s Colour Haze, because of this “slight breeze/crushing blast” alternance in their music. Nick and his mates seem to have picked the epic and massive dimension of Aaron Turner’s music, as well as the long format and peaceful guitar shredding style of Stefan Koglek.
Just like Addams Family’s Cousin Itt, we won’t see much more than Nick Disalvo’s (guitar/vox) mane, from which a massive Gibson guitar neck is popping out, a big fan constantly throwing back his long strands on his face. If you’ve ever wondered how ELDER cope with studio arrangements and extra guitars once on stage, the answer is: GREATLY. The show is very dense with riffs and yet, all sounds very fluid and is performed with such ease that we’re all get cradled by the psychedelic sonic waves and videos displayed on the background.
For a whole hour, we’re totally elsewhere, our minds are put into orbit of a faraway planet, where giant fluorescent dinosaurs are grazing marijuana, ridden by telepathic primitive warriors. Yeah. One of the highlights of the show is paradoxically one of its quiet moments:both melodious and tense, the magnificent introduction from “III” is dragging us away like a little river slowly ending in a gigantic waterfall exploding along with our brains.
Six songs tonight, a saga linking two different eras: the one of Black Sabbath and the one of Isis. ELDER brilliantly crafted this unique alloy, with a special mention to vocalist and tender shredder Nick DiSalvo. His feeling, humble technique and beautiful voice have had us glued the whole show. The audience, bewitched, asked for an encore and got it with fifteen minute title track “Lore” closing the night. A delightful three headed night.
Thanks to Blue Wave Production, Dead Pig Entertainment, Le Ferrailleur, the bands and their management: your names will shine forever among the stars.
Last modified: 1 September 2015