Wow, what a fun night! Congrats to 93. 1 The Fox and all the good guys there for a wonderful night of Louisville music. It was an old-school show from hell, and I loved it. I saw so many people I knew that I hadn’t seen for a long time. This show was even more packed than my Rock For Kosair show! And that hasn’t happened for several years.
We got there in time to see long time metal veterans Incursion (who have almost been playing Louisville’s scene as long as me! It’s close!) let loose on some brutal, severely down-tuned riffage. Incursion killed as they tore into some of their tunes of the distant past. The sound was pounding and the screams of Van Avery were piercing. That guy can scream really well. I’m usually not into screaming all the time, but for this type of music, Stem and Van work very well together vocally. They had Gezuz on bass, but other than that it was an all original lineup. Those guys don’t play out much anymore, but when they do, apparently they really rip it up. It was good to see such a heavy band on a Gobblestock bill. They sounded pretty darn tight to me, even though they only had one guitarist this time around, Jeremy Roberts. No problems this night though, and while in the past, Incursion has had tuning problems, everything was right on the money this Thanksgiving night. The low tuning and fat PA system made for a thunderous sound in the saloon. It was good to see Nik Houpt kicking butt on the drums again, too! That dude is a beast.
Next up was old school rockers Primer 55. I remember being the first DJ to play Primer 55 on The Fox! This version of Primer 55 is a far cry of the old Primer from back in 1997. The Primer 55 from way back when, was my favorite Primer 55. Guitarist and Primer 55 founder Bobby Burns went on to some fame as bassist for Soulfly, touring the world and seeing things not many musicians get to see. It’s great that our native Kentucky boy has done some great things. The new Primer 55 rocks, too, mind you, but its so different from the old Primer, it almost shouldn’t be called Primer 55. It’s like a whole other sound. Bobby grew up in Kentucky, has lived in Tennessee and now resides in Atlanta. The new Primer features Bobby on vocals as well as guitar. He said he has had trouble with singers, so he decided to do both and get rid of all the drama! That is one tall order. To play and sing at the same time. I have so much respect for Bobby to be able to pull that off. The new stuff is a mixture of hardcore heavy/almost punk to radio-friendly rock. It’s pretty diverse and mixes things up well. Bobby’s voice is great on the heavy stuff, but being occupied with guitar duties may take a little off of the clean singing parts. And he could have used some more vocal effects on the singing parts of this set. His vocals were very dry on this set. Effects would have really set off the vocals on the singing parts! Bobby is one down-to-earth guy and it was so great to see him tearing it up here in Louisville once again. Primer 55 may not sound like the old version of Primer 55, but they are still a very formidable band to contend with! And the new sound will appeal to people who like the heavier music. I talked to Bobby and he said they were heading up north to Fort Wayne after Gobblestock. I wish the best of luck to Primer 55 on their tour!
Next up was Louisville’s own Flaw. I have to be honest with you, with the addiction problems that plagued the band, I never thought these guys would get back together with the original lineup, but it has happened. And they sounded fantastic at Gobblestock. Out of all the Louisville bands that have been signed, I like Flaw the best. The excellent vocals, the rich, textured melodic guitar duo parts, the sweet background vocals and basswork of Ryan Jurhs, the modern drumming of Chris Ballinger, the charisma of Jay Daunt. Flaw is back, and sober! And that, my friends, is a powerful thing indeed. I’ve known these guys forever it seems, especially Lance and Chris from Shapeless Matrix days! The crowd for Flaw was awesome! The Flaw fans were there for the guys and it must have felt great to be Flaw to come back like this, to so many caring and supportive friends in attendance, singing the songs and having a ball. Chris Vols sounded great this night, and didn’t miss a beat. He might have been a tad rusty but it really did not show. He hit the notes and had good range. I really love this guy’s voice, especially in his song “My Letter.” Flaw played a bunch of their classics like “Payback, " “Only The Strong Survive, " “My Letter, " “Whole” and two new songs that rocked, one was very heavy, and the other, “Do You Remember, ” was a very good slower, more commercial song and probably will be their first single they will release of the new stuff, I’m betting. The band had to cram in some practices at the last minute to be able to play Gobblestock on such short notice, but they pulled it off without a glitch. The crowd was very happy to have their favorite Louisville band back in action, and having all original members back – and sober – made a huge difference. Everyone got along and it showed. It was so cool to see so many old friends from the scene of old. Some of these folks never come out anymore because of kids, family, work, getting old, so it was a real treat.