Band of Skulls rocked the roof off of the Vogue Theatre when they hit town on September 16. Their opener was a band called Mothers, an indie-experimental folk group from Athens, Georgia. They did an ample job of warming up the crowd but — despite being on the scene since 2013 — their stage show could still use a little improvement.
Let me assure you, though: Band of Skulls nailed it. It’s not often in this day and age when a band sounds better live than recorded, but goddamn these guys are one of those. It’s easy to tell that the English band is a veteran in the music realm, because the show was tight. The guitars didn’t drown out the vocal melodies, which was a pleasant surprise. Too often I can’t hear the singing and it’s so aggravating.
The drums kicked through my very heart. Even if you’d never heard of them before, Band of Skulls delivered an unforgettable experience. They used a variety of lighting techniques — including strobes and colours — which really elevated the performance, and was timed perfectly with the rhythm section.
There was a bit of moshing, but it was easy enough to steer clear of, if elbows in weird places isn’t something you’re into. All in all, Matt Hayward (drums), Emma Richardson (bass and vocals), and Russell Marsden (guitar and vocals) delivered everything you’d expect from a live show, and then some.
As a whole, Band of Skulls has honed their stage presence to a T. They walked out in uniform — full black — and seemed to share a great camaraderie. Talking up the crowd was balanced really well with audience interaction during their set. It was easy to tell they were having a great time. Their bluesy brand of alt-rock was everyone’s cup of tea, and I don’t think anyone left disappointed.
They’ll be back. And when they return, I wholeheartedly suggest you check them out.