After splitting in 1995, the world has had to wait a long time for the reformation of one of the most influential stoner rock bands. This long wait has created an atmosphere heavy with anticipation and excitement, especially as the majority of the audience ready to experience the band for the first time.
Admittedly, the band are minus the golden balls of rock, Josh Homme, but this doesn’t seemed to have deterred the sell-out crowd one iota. As the lights go down, Holst’s Mars blares out to announce Kyuss’ arrival on stage, with minimal fuss the band pick up their instruments and launch into Gardenia.
The wall of sound produced washes over the audience with an immense heaviness that allays any fears; the return is going to be purely awesome. Everyone embraces the rhythmical groove of Oliveri’s bass most noticeably with the head movements of the majority of the crowd who have been engrossed in the performance already. Garcia’s unique vocal style cuts through with power, demonstrating his strength as a singer.
As the set progresses with Hurricane and One Inch Man, the depth of the sound becomes even more overwhelming as it is not dirgey blurring of noise; Kyuss produce a heaviness which incorporates a delicacy and sensitivity that is rarely heard in the metal scene at present. The rhythm section of Oliveri and Bjork create a world in which to lose yourself, supported by newcomer Fevery, who uses the guitar line to add a further level of intricacy but not over complication to the mix.
The backdrop to the performance is nothing more than the name Kyuss Lives and with simple lighting because the band’s live set speaks for itself. The setlist consists of tracks from most of their albums, with the exception on Wretch, and sees a number of pairings played in album order, probably because they complement each other so well and take the audience on a well-crafted journey. During the show, Garcia warms to the crowd eventually encouraging the crowd to participate in the proceedings, noticeably Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop, which is greatly appreciated by all involved.
After seventy five minutes of pure bliss, the set comes to an end and sees the band leave the stage to a phenomenal amount of applause. Kyuss return with Allen’s Wrench and Green Machine to ensure a final ending to what has been one of the greatest reunions ever.
I would question whether anyone who witnessed the evening’s performance could raise a criticism, because as a musical unit Kyuss were so tight and in tune with each other and their set choice was well considered giving the audience a perfect collection of their back catalogue. As I left the Wulfrun, I was left considering the timeless quality to Kyuss’s music and how groundbreaking their sound was nearly twenty years ago.
Review – Toni Woodward