The call through the stage monitors goes “10 minutes,” Jacob Bannon of Converge paces in five step intervals to the left side of the stage. Rolling his head around in circles like a prize fighter before a big bout, Bannon shadowboxes as the house lights go down. There is a collective breath the crowd holds in all together as Converge explode into “Darkhorse” and the whole of the crowd heaves forward towards the stage. It’s no wonder why Bannon takes the pre-rituals he’s learned working out in Muay-Thai gyms on the road with him, Converge not so much as play as they do smash their way through a set. As Nate Newton throws his bass around all while chugging out technical riffs, Ben Koller pummels his drums into submission.
Converge constantly straddle the line of chaos and synergistic brilliance behind the wild and hard charging guitar work of Kurt Ballou. In just a little over an hour after the evening was opened by the Belgian group Amenra with heavy dose of doom power, Converge rattled through a set list spanning over two decades, even playing the title track to 2001’s “Jane Doe” much to the crowds delight. Converge may not visit your city often but when they do they will leave a mark.
Normally Amenra and Converge would be enough to satisfy a fan of the heavy stuff but this tour was being headlined by the bay area legends Neurosis, one of the pioneers of post metal and pushing the boundaries of hard rock. From the ambience to the crushing riffs Neurosis was full on, letting everyone know who paved the path for modern day post metal and experimental rock outfits. Similar to Converge, Neurosis’ setlist comprised of material that spanned the bulk of their career during a two hour set.
While this tour only has a few dates remaining, if you find yourself in a city that it’s about to visit find a scalper and get yourself to the venue in order not to miss one of the heaviest and best tours of the summer.