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Down | January 20, 2013

If you happened to have been teleported into San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom at 9:15 pm this past Sunday night, you would have found Warbeast on stage, a mini mosh pit spinning around stage-left and a small stream of folks spilling into the lobby for some fresh air. You could have chalked it all up to the post-game crash from the Niners win or maybe an apathetic San Francisco crowd waiting to be entertained. In either case, you would not have been further from the truth. When DOWN took the stage at 10:05 that exact crowd, much of which seemed more inclined to hang in the lobby than mix it up for the supporting act, packed the floor and went absolutely berserk. They were here for one reason and one reason alone … the mighty DOWN.

It’s easy to refer to Anselmo as the band’s “front-man” but while he does most of the talking (and much of it sometimes), the reality is that not one of these guys holds back expecting any of the other members to pick up the slack. After strolling on stage to their intro music, they collectively unleashed upon the crowd, setting the ballroom floor spinning and a steady flow of bodies coming over the barrier.  Sounding heavy as hell and looking like they were having a great time doing it, DOWN made use of every inch of that wide-open stage.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since DOWN was last here. Currently supporting their critically acclaimed release, Down IV Part I – The Purple EP, DOWN re-vamped the seltist and included a healthy dose of the new, pulling out “Witchtripper” and “Open Coffins” early in the set much to the packed floor’s pleasure.  While some may be tempted to pick the highlight of the night (*cough* “Swan Song”), the reality is that each time Phil announced the next number, someone somewhere in the crowd went crazy … it didn’t matter if it was a rarity or a standard, the reaction was the same.  Phil said it himself, this crowd has been with the band since NOLA days.

With the encore came a bit of predictability with closers “Stone The Crow” and “Bury Me In Smoke.”  But in this case, predictability of this particular one-two punch (replete with an on-stage party as members of the opening acts picked up instruments mid-song without missing a beat) remains (and may always be) the perfect closer to 90 minutes of DOWN.  An outstanding show and for those fans that have been with the band since the NOLA days  … with shows like this they will keep coming back.

Setlist:

  • Hail The Leaf
  • Lifer
  • Witchtripper
  • Open Coffins
  • Lysergik Funeral
  • Pillars Of Eternity
  • Temptation’s Wings
  • Losing All
  • Ghosts Along The Mississippi
  • New Orleans Is A Dying Whore
  • Misfortune Teller
  • Swan Song
  • Eyes Of The South

–Encore–

  • Stone The Crow
  • Bury Me In Smoke

Supporting acts: Warbeast, Honky

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© 2013 Alan Snodgrass | www.digitaldiversion.net. Please do not use without express permission. If you like what you see, leave a comment below and subscribe so you can be notified of new posts. You can also become a fan on Facebook.

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2 comments

  1. John

    Were you there for the soundcheck? They played Robin Trowers’ Bridge of Sighs. It was epic to say the least…

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