Last Tuesday, I headed down to Vancouver’s lovely Downtown East Side to wait in a massive line of long-hairs in front of The Rickshaw to see the UK’s mysterious Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. It was a sold-out show, and by the time I’d made it in, the opener was in full swing. I was expecting Danava, but surprise surprise the Canadian Border Pigs wouldn’t let them in (we need a music free-trade agreement NOW!), so instead I found locals BLACK WIZARD tearing up the stage in front of a packed floor. Was I disappointed? Yes, for about 30 seconds before Black Wizard’s infectious energy got to me – these dudes were fucking stoked to be there and the crowd was feeling their classic rock-tinged metal riffage. In the photo pit, with my inadequate little camera and no massive lens to caress, my back was bathed in other people’s hair whipping at me. Black Wizard rocked out numbers from their 2013 release,Young Wisdom, and got the crowd good and ready to chuck PBR cans around for Uncle Acid. Some awesome solos, clear vocals and heavy beats – they knew what to play for their marijuana and cheap beer-fueled Vancouver brethren.
By the time the panther eyes were aglow and the tv sets started flickering, the crowd was packed in and waiting for UNCLE ACID to hit the stage. When they did, it was in almost complete darkness and shadow, in tune with the mystery this band cultivates. The three front men for Uncle Acid were in shadow, faces hidden behind curtains of hair for the entirety of the show. I think I caught a glimpse of beard on the lead singer, but I’m not sure. Despite the difficulties this placed on the photographers, the crowd loved it, and their fuzz took the Rickshaw over in a sea of thrashing hair and flailing arms. Beer cans soared through the air – luckily not onto the stage – and I was soaked a couple of times in the photo pit. A couple of dudes made it up on stage to demonstrate their amazing dance moves before they were manhandled off of it. More than once, Uncle Acid called us “fucking crazy”. They covered a lot of Mind Control, with the occasional Blood Lust tune thrown in; and just like on the streets outside the venue, it was like throwing crack rocks to a bunch of junkies – the crowd pounced on the music and went into a Blood Lust frenzy. I will say that Uncle Acid records have some crisp production that is definitely lacking in their live performance, which is a lot rawer and fuzzier than what I expected, but that could have been partially the Rickshaw sound. But the energy of the band and crowd made up for anything lacking in the finish of their sound.
After a quick encore of three songs, the night was over, and the streets were once again filled with metal heads – now with bigger hair and weaving walks. As for my impressions after the night, Black Wizard kicked ass and did the local crowd proud, and I’d hit up another Uncle Acid show for sure – overall, the music was great and the crowd was crazy. Their Acid Across America tour only has a couple of dates left (tonight in SF and tomorrow in LA), so you had better get on those tickets because they’ve sold out their last handful of shows.