Mar 5, 2022

Uncle Acid - Soundstage

Category: Live Reviews



Baltimore Soundstage

Baltimore, Maryland

Uncle Acid Set List:  Mt. Abraxas, Over and Over Again, Shockwave City,  Mind Crawler, Death’s Door, Pusher Man, 13 Candles, Ritual Knife, Slow Death, Crystal Spiders, Desert Ceremony, I’ll Cut You Down, Melody Lane, No Return


In February 2020 Uncle Acid announced that they would be going on tour in the United States but it was eventually canceled due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, as was most tours that year.  Flash forward 2 years later and the Uncle Acid tour finally happened!

Formed in 2009 by Singer/guitarist Kevin Starrs, Uncle Acid and The Dead Beats have 5 studio records under their belt and have toured the world numerous times spreading their grunge soaked, gloom/doom metal to the hard rock masses.

 Sounding like 70’s era Black Sabbath with elements of Alice Cooper, Pentagram, and The Melvins, Uncle Acid are a rhythmic, treble drenched explosion of Acid Rock blended with The Occult.

 King Buffalo opened the show and their psychedelic influenced Heavy Rock was a heavy thud of thunderous rock that the Baltimore crowd devoured.  Wild guitar solos layered the atmospheric sounds that King Buffalo created onstage and at times their set felt like one giant, continuous song.

 Uncle Acid took the stage at 9:30 PM and their stage was centered around old movies being played in the background. The band members were secondary to the music and the movies.

 The venue was not totally sold out but very close.   For me, this was the first time that it truly feel like life was going back to normal post covid; most concert goers did not wear masks, there was no need to show proof of vaccination, and the standing room only audience stood very close to each other with no fear of getting sick.

 “Mt. Abraxas” was the show opener and the band were hidden under extreme rad lights while occult themed movies played on the screen behind them.  Lead singer Kevin Starrs is a tall, lanky character who hunches over the mic like a giant praying mantis.  At times it’s hard to realize but second guitarist Vaughan Stokes does a fair amount of vocals and helps to fill out the sound not only with a guitar but with lead and backing vocals.

 Drummer Jon Rice is the only member fully visible throughout the set and that’s due to his drum set being centered directly in front of the movie screen thus shining a light on him throughout most of the show.

 Bassist Justin Smith is the most animated member of the band onstage, his energy was through the roof and he never stopped moving while Starrs & Stokes held down the sonic thud.

 “13 Candles” was a high point in the set and showcased the bands love for 70’s riff rock.  There were random moments when the music got sullen and the band played melodic instrumentals; those moments were sparse through with the bulk of their 90 minute set being an ode to Stoner Rock, Psychedelia, and Black Sabbath.

 At the merch table all Uncle Acid shirts were $25 and included a free tour poster.  Uncle Acid have always been very fan friendly and offered reasonable merch prices at every show.

Uncle Acid have been announced as one of the support acts for Ghost's "Imperatour" - Europe 2022 tour scheduled for April and May 2022.

UNCLE ACID Discography:

Volume 1 (2010)
Blood Lust (2011)
Mind Control (2013)
The Night Creeper (2015)
Wasteland (2018)

UNCLE ACID Band Members:

Kevin R. Starrs – lead guitar, lead vocals
Vaughn Stokes – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jon Rice – drums
Justin Smith – bass 

Equipment wise the band carried the bare essentials and their stage was set up and broke down rather fast.

 The interesting thing about Uncle Acid’s set is how they chose to end the show…when they performed “No Return” it was the actual ending and the band thanked the crowd as they walked off stage.

 An Uncle Acid concert is more of a ritual than a rock concert.  The cliche of worshipping a rock star has been replaced with darkness and obsessions with the Occult.


Author: Bob Suehs