To say I was excited about this show – ELECTRIC WIZARD‘s first North American tour since Let Us Prey – is a major fucking understatement. Press requests were in to Timbre last year. Babysitter lined up in February. Edibles purchased and joints were rolled. Nothing was going to stop Sean and I from being at their Vancouver show at The Rickshaw on April 14th. We talked about it for the months leading up to it, but the more we built it up, the more I was afraid that they wouldn’t live up to the expectations we, and no doubt most of the crowd, had.
The lineup ran all the way from the front doors to the lovely, junk-strewn alley just off Main and Hastings. By the time we had reached the inside of the venue, we’d made some friends and fended off many a zombie looking to milk our beer money. SATAN’S SATYRS we’re in full swing, their “punk n’ roll” bringing some energy to an audience that was either already stoned or in the process of becoming so. They warmed the steadily growing crowd up and I managed to fire off a few shots.
After they left the stage, I got in a photo pit stuffed with people with cameras much more impressive than mine…and waited. And waited. For what felt like an eternity of soundcheck. Luckily, our comrade Taylor Fergusen was next to me, and he assured me that we were on the right side of the stage – Liz’s side. He was right, because after the eternal wait, the lights dimmed, and ELECTRIC WIZARD came out on the stage, Liz planting herself right in front of us, ready to pound out some massive feedback right in our faces. From that point on, it was an all-out assault on my unprotected eardrums, which are still intermittently ringing more than a week later. Liz is the most bad ass woman I’ve seen on stage, and watching her set the tone for Electric Wizard’s spine-tingling sonic atmosphere was life-changing. I have loved this band for so long, and yet never seen them, and experiencing the all-encompassing vibrations of their music was both breathtaking and terrifying.
By the time I was finished in the pit, the edibles had kicked in pretty hard, and the music and visuals reached an almost hallucinatory level – this is where it became a little terrifying, but the fear just added to the physical, adrenaline-fueled response I had to their sound. I had a similar experience seeing Neurosis in 2012, where I was so engrossed in the thick atmosphere they had created that I couldn’t tell whether I was feeling joy or horror. That’s how you know it’s a good fucking show. I can’t tell you what songs Electric Wizard played – I’m pretty sure I heard a bit of everything in there – but I can tell you that they surpassed all my sky-high expectations. I only hope that they also had a great time here, and that it won’t be so long before they grace our shores again!