YOB is: Michael Scheidt (lead guitar/vox), Aaron Reiseberg (bass), Travis Foster (drums)
Forget everything you’ve ever heard or read. Throw out everything you think you know. All the album reviews, the promos, the canned and remanufactured phrases are nothing. A live show may not be the biggest money-maker for many bands, but it is the one true test of a musician. A decent engineer and average equipment can make almost anybody sound good in a studio. It is only in a live performance, when the musicians take the stage, that you really know – is this band worth my time? my attention and energy? my hard-earned money?
This is why you will rarely (if ever) see me review an album, and why I am so freaking PICKY about the skill, talent, knowledge, and performance of live musicians. This is what sets apart the master from the dilettante.
Having said all that, let’s look at the YOB show live at the WoW Hall last night. First off, I’ve never been to a “death” or “doom” metal show before or truthfully ever heard a band play this particular genre, and I was a little hesitant about doing this review. I wanted to like them, and as I was there at the request of a friend of lead man Mike Scheidt, I felt a little more than the usual pressure to give a good accounting of the show. I shouldn’t have worried…
Coming off their 2011 world tour, our Eugene boys hit home HARD. As someone in the audience during their soundcheck put it, it was so loud his cajones were vibrating! I don’t have any of those necessarily, but I do know I was vibrating! If I said this was a full sensorry experience, that wouldn’t even begin to describe this show.
This is a three-member band that is simply huge – no other way to describe them. They made me want to get out there on the floor. The audience was just mesmerized – there was no mosh pit, everyone was glued to the stage, astounded and completely captured. It was brutal… EPIC… This is what you want to hear with subs full-on when people have completely pissed you off and you just want to beat everything and everyone into absolute annihilation.
I think the WoW Hall is one of the few venues here in Eugene that would be able to carry this large a sound. YOB would probably have obliterated the sound system anywhere else – I liked them and definitely would want to see them again live.
Technically, they did some really nice work with special effects between mics and guitars and boxes. Travis’ drums were so rock hard and perfect, with Aaron’s multi-layered bass runs laying intricate patterns over that. Add Mike’s sheerly stupendous lead guitar riffs and vocals on top of that, and you have a tsunami wall of sound crashing over and over you. Their timing was impeccable – I noticed that they don’t speed up the songs as they progressed through chord and tempo changes, which was very nice. They continually pulled the audience into the performance, and their live stage presence is beyond description.
The only negative comment I have is that I have so often found at a hard rock concert (by whatever name or genre you want to use) that it is nearly impossible to understand the lyrics if you don’t know the material by heart in advance. That’s not to say that I didn’t absolutely dig the hell outta this show as I mentioned already – it just makes it more like an instrumental performance, which actually fits this genre. Mike’s vocals so perfectly matched the guitars that it almost didn’t matter in this case – they were closer to a 4th guitar running through the songs, making it that much more hot and heavy. I could easily see This Patch of Sky, for example, sharing the stage with this band.
I didn’t get anything like “death” or “doom” from this performance, which agrees to what Mike has said in interviews of their material. YOB is just really, really good LOUD heavy metal/grunge stylings. If AIC had taken “Dirt” and gone darker, deeper, and heavier, it might have sounded something like what I heard last night. Bottom line on this show – if you stay true to what you love, the music will not fail. These guys are the proof of that.
They’ll be hitting the road again soon, so if you have the chance to see them in a live show you better do it. They are the epitome of everything that is perfect in metal, by whatever name you call it.
Find YOB online at http://yobrock.com/as well as FB, ReverbNation, etc.