Pig Mountain, Before the Eyewall, Musket King, Homewrecker
Oct. 12, 2011
Arriving to the Milestone in a van full of touring musicians is always an interesting start to the night. Before the Eyewall caught my attention while they were touring through Philadelphia — I happened to be in town and caught their show in a dingy basement. As promised, I gave them a place to crash when they came to Charlotte. As we arrived early for their load in and sound-check, I was anticipating the culmination of when they would take the stage and show the Queen City what I had been raving about for weeks.
It's always a different experience arriving with the bands. You get the full spectrum of what it takes to operate a show. From set-up and sound-check to watching the door open up and people file in, there's a whole lot of elbow grease put into shows that is seldom recognized by those who haven't ever experienced this perspective. It makes you appreciate the show in an entirely different way.
Before the Eyewall began setting up while everyone gathered in anticipation of the band those of us that were fortunate enough to witness kept bragging about. Playing a 35-minute set consisting of one 25-minute and one 10-minute song, you might think most people wouldn't be able to pay attention, but with the energy expressed, it would be impossible to look away. The band's psychedelic, sludgy beauty took us to a place most would covet, getting lost in a trance of the many, well-orchestrated layers the music provides. The crowd flung their bodies with every note, satisfied to an almost incomprehensible degree. I believe after this experience, the story will spread and carry on — the tale of that crazy, talented music from Columbus, Ohio, that melt faces by the bunches.
The night started off with a bevy of smoke bombs attracting the crowd to the stage as Homewrecker, dressed in corpse paint and toting along cough syrup began the night with their eclectic hybrid of musical taste. Their catchy, genre-bending attributes are the biggest attraction to their sound. It's not often one band can take you from garage-sludge to pop to punk to beach rock in one song. They play music that leaves your body clueless as to what it's going to do next from head banging to riding out catchy beats. Spectators in the room were getting down, enjoying the Gastonia-based band and embracing their songs ranging in topics from pizza to women.
Next up was Musket King, bringing a slight change of pace but leading the crowd in the right direction with their sludgy, cock-rock-hinted rock n' roll. With explanations for each song, the singer kept the crowd intrigued and involved throughout the band's set, motivating attention their way. The audience was into it and winding themselves up in a frenzy of musical delight as they kept up the consistency with each song. At the end of the set, to our surprise, they played a tribute song they had written for Pig Mountain — what seemed like an original take on several Pig Mountain riffs titled, “Swine Hill.” The boys from Pig Mountain smiled and rocked out with the rest of us, caught off guard but appreciative nonetheless.
Pig Mountain took the love of the crowd and stomped on it like a cockroach as they brought us the brutality we had all anticipated to close the night. Engulfed in a crowd of flinging bodies, the floor became a frenzied pit of fans, transported to the depths of sludge projected towards us. As the crowd shouted the lyrics right back at the singer, Doob, the admiration for these guys was clear. It is impressive that a band that is still so young has such a dedicated fan base. It is apparent that talent such as theirs is not under-appreciated by Charlotte's music scene.
It was nice to see Charlotte appreciate a touring band that leaves a legacy everywhere fans of psychedelic heavy jams may be. It was the colliding of two music scenes I have grown to love and a privilege to share my neck of the woods with Before the Eyewall. “Welcome to my home,” I said as they had entered the Milestone and at the end of the night, they understood what I meant through their experience with the close-knit, music loving community we have here.