April 22, 2016
A gloomy Friday night in Baltimore; the weather set the tone for the music at the Ottobar quite perfectly on this evening. The bands were a proper mix of punk, hardcore, and metal with the common denominator for the night being an overly distorted guitar tone that pierced the inner soul.
Eyehategod are a legendary sludge/doom metal band from Louisiana and the bands rhythm guitarist Jimmy Bower is best known as the drummer for DOWN.
Pennsylvania’s own Fight Amp played a set that was at times more atmospheric than rock and they are clearly influenced by early Sleep. Up close to the stage you could feel a rumble because the bass tone was so thick that it filled in every gap. I was impressed that Fight Amp brought a decent crowd and they knew the bands material.
Negative Approach are a legendary Detroit hardcore act and my buddy Billy was schooling me on their history before the show. I had no idea Negative Approach influenced so many artists yet never really crossed over to sign with a major label.
Looking at the crowd I was impressed that so many people were actually screaming every word to every song. I was intrigued to see the bands guitarist play the entire show with his back to the crowd and the bands bassist had a light bulb tattooed on the bald spot on top of his head!
Negative Approach added a cover to the end of their set which made them play over their allowed set time and thus making the entire show run about 15 minutes later than scheduled.
The members of Eyehategod set up their own stage, they had no roadies, no crew, they did it all on their own, and when Mike Williams took the stage to set up his vocal area fans began talking to him and it was as if the members of the band were simply playing for friends rather than fans.
Eyehategod were extremely loud and Jimmy commented that the bass was feeding back so bad in his monitor that he couldn’t hear anything.
Eyehategod’s set was a wall of distortion with moments of bluesy sabbath licks. Towards the end of the show there was a strange stop to the show and the bands members started to jam and noodle around. Jimmy had to go to the bathroom so they took a small break and fiddled around onstage until Jimmy came back.
Mike commented that the band had played Ottobar so many times that he was surprised they were allowing him back and was extremely grateful to be onstage and thanked the crowd numerous times for their support.