October 20th, 2011 at Club Zwölfzehn/Stuttgart, GER
You cannot imagine, dear readers, how truly thrilled I was to hear that this excellent package will play a couple of shows in Germany. All three bands belong to my favorites of the Small Stone Records label roster and I know that especially ROADSAW and DIXIE WITCH unfold their true power on stage. Then the time came at last and my buddy Steve and I made the long drive up to Stuttgart. The weather was great and we were all in high spirits. After approximately 4 1/2 hours we arrived in Stuttgart at the Club Zwölfzehn where we met Büffl and Timon from Advanced Music Stuttgart who were the local organizers. That was the first time for me that I was a guest at the Zwölfzehn and I can tell you that this is a great venue. It isn`t too big, more cosy and well furnished.
SASQUATCH was the first band who appeared on stage and I was really excited for them, because I like all of their albums, especially the last one. Moreover, this was the first tour for the band outside of the U.S.A. and I could imagine very well that this was an exciting trip for the band. SASQUATCH is a real power trio on their albums and now I was curious if they were able to develop the same effectiveness on stage. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and to this day I ask myself why this was so. They delivered a passionate performance of character and verve, but the spark didn't jump over. This didn't changed even though they played 'Pull Me Under', which is one of my favorite SASQUATCH songs. Despite this, it was a very solid show and a promising prelude for ROADSAW and DIXIE WITCH.
After a short break ROADSAW entered the stage and what followed was definitely a fantastic rock 'n' roll show and one of the best I've seen for a long time. Craig Riggs is a hell of a singer and one of the most entertaining vocalists, and, to crown it all, a real cool guy. And then there is guitarist Ian Ross as well as the super tight rhythm section, consisting of drummer Jeremy Hemond and bassist Tim Catz. All this together results in a extremely powerful hard rockin' machine that is powered by tasty guitar riffs, delicious hooks and ass-kickin' grooves. I still clearly recall their gig in 2002 at the Underground in Cologne (that was also fuckin' great), but this evening they were on top of their game.
The whole venue was shaking and rocking because nobody could resist ROADSAW's high energy show. Even the setlist was pretty amazing, including songs from 'Nationwide' over 'Rawk N' Roll' to the new self-titled album. They played 'So Low Down', 'Right On Through' and more great tunes. It was a very memorable performance and what I can say is that when all comes together I strongly recommend you to keep the name of ROADSAW in mind. To be honest, it is almost impossible for me to describe that show with words, because that was rock 'n' roll heaven. And it was heavy!
If the concert would have been over now, I would've been a very lucky man. But there was DIXIE WITCH, another passionate and super heavy rock 'n' roll beast that was waiting to massage my heart and soul. After just a few minutes DIXIE WITCH had the audience firmly under control. The band blazes with energy, charisma and sheer power. To me, guitarist Joshua "JT" Todd Smith (who replaced Clayton Mills in 2009) seemed as if he was always in the band. He is not only a true riffmaster but also a virtuoso soloist, and it was clearly noticeable that he had a lot of fun. That was also true for bassist Curt "CC" Christenson, who alternates lead vocals with drummer Trinidad Leal. His thunderous bass lines fill each hole, although there are not much holes in DIXIE WITCH's massive wall of sound.
This massive wall is complemented by Trinidad's awe-inspiring drumming style. He plays the double bass drum to good effects in the songs but he is also a great vocalist. To be honest, he's is one of my faves. I was very glad that DIXIE WITCH played a lot of songs from their new album 'Let It Roll' as, for example, the title track or 'The High Deal' and 'Red Song'. But there were also some older tunes like 'Set The Speed' or 'Into The Sun'. It would have been nice if they had played more tracks from the debut such as 'Thunderfoot' or 'Throwin Shapes', but nevertheless it was a great setlist. Just as with ROADSAW, DIXIE WITCH is a band that truly comes alive when they are on stage. They are ten times punchier than their records and they are the perfect embodiment of the term power trio. This steamroller racket is the very essence of heavy rock 'n' roll itself, purified, amplified and ready to testify. Here, too, it's very difficult to describe a DIXIE WITCH live show with words. You have to actually see it to believe it.
That was a glorious, overwhelming evening - and in this spirit my thanks goes to SASQUATCH, ROADSAW, DIXIE WITCH but also to Vibra Agency and my friends from Advanced Music Stuttgart who did a killer job!