Live Show Reviews


Goatsnake @ Dynamo Festival (NL) 23rd May 1999 Kerrang! (UK) By Morat

Monstrous riffs are unleashed, pants are well and truly swung, and vocalist Pete Stahl's uncanny resemblance to the bloke from 'The Hills Have Eyes' sends at least half-a-dozen frazzled dutch casualties screaming for the sanctity of the campsite.


Electric Wizard & Goatsnake @ Camden Barfly, London (UK) 25th May 1999 Kerrang! (UK) By Ray Zell.

Down, Down, deeper and down. Tonight is like a battle to see whose bass guitar can shovel the deepest. This is a subterranean co-headline bout, which sees Goatsnake (featuring ex-Wool and Obsessed personnel, plus former Kyuss four-stringer Scott Reeder temporally filling in) taking the ring first. Frontman Pete Stahl comes on like a man possessed, clutching the mic with both hands, sweating from the off under the minimal red spotlights, his bald bonce glistening like a happy condom. Following opener 'IV', Stahl apologises for his Dynamo Festival-ravaged larynx. But he sounds fantastic, as do the band. Never have earth's foundations been churned up with such passion & power. On a less pleasing note, it's unbelievable that the nutcase down the front who seems intent on ramming his fingers up Stahl's nose walks out of the venue with his life. Stahl's patience stretched, he eventually has to physically shove the character off the stage to cheers from the crowd.


Goatsnake & Electric Wizard, Bradford Rio's, Friday 28th May 1999 (Eyeless)

Arriving at the venue at the late hour of 9:20, your correspondent was relieved to find that proceedings had not yet begun. In fact I was unsure as to which band was even due to play first in this Rise Above event made even more special due to the fact that replacing Guy Pinhas on bass was Scott Reeder, former bass player for the legendary Kyuss. Enough to get anyone excited.

Sure enough five minutes later an immense guitar tone heralds the arrival on stage of Goatsnake. It is immediately clear that the crowd is a mixture of genuine fans and early arrivals for the club that follows tonight's bands, meaning that the bands have some work to do to ensure a favourable reaction from the merely curious.

Goatsnake amble into position and set about their demolition of the venue with a monstrous, stalking rendition of "IV." Slower and even heavier than on record, as an opener it succeeds in baffling certain members of the audience (particularly those in Insane Clown Posse t-shirts) unused to such a measured yet still ferocious approach. Obviously unconcerned by this, Goatsnake drop the pace even further for the next two songs, as if challenging the crowd not to like it. But there's little chance of that, as things warm up and people are won over by the sheer force and dynamism of the band's performance.

Visually, Goatsnake are also impressive as Pete Stahl stalks the centre of the stage, almost beside himself as he belts out his distinctive vocals. Greg Rogers is a powerhouse at the back, sweat arcing up from his sticks as he drums. Stage right we see Greg Anderson, totally into it, an opened mouthed guitar hero, swinging his impressive mane as he grooves along. The real star though is Scott Reeder. Bare feet planted, he sways with each rhythm, wielding his bass in a bizarre stirring motion completely immersed in the music.

Goatsnake are incredibly heavy in a live environment, yet the sound remains warm and clear at all times.


Man's Ruin Showcase @ The Troubadour, Los Angeles, Ca. (USA) 7th January 2000 (from Roadburn, by Ethan)

Goatsnake kicked ass. I had never seen them before, but I levels small towns, so I had an idea they'd bomb shit. They did. Excellent sound, tight all the way around. I didn't know who to watch- Greg Anderson engrossed in his mighty riffs, their (new, apparently) bass player, the precision drumming or Pete Stahl ripping his heart out. For the most part, I chose Stahl. Along with John Garcia, he would prove to be the most passionate singer of the night. "Slippin' the Stealth" rocked. They played a new song which I've forgotten the name of, but most importantly they played "Innocent." God DAMN I like that song. "Mower" blew me away as well. Since it was my first time seeing them and they were so fucking good, I give them Band of the Night honors- in some tough competition, too.


Orange Goblin, Goatsnake & Sunn 0))) @ The Underworld, London (UK) 12th May 2000 Kerrang! (UK) By Phil Alexander.

A man is lying down on the dancefloor smoking and soaking up the vibes. A bank of amps sit at the front of the stage behind which the members of Californian three-piece Sunn are sprawled and lumbering their way through their self-styled 'ambient power drone'. The only focal point onstage is a tea towel draped over an amp which bears the slogan 'Coventry - Cathedral City' in homage to Lee Dorrian & co. You expect Sunn to break into some kind of stoner-rock canter at any time. They don't. Instead your legs quiver, your nose starts twitching and eventually your shoulders shudder due to the sheer volume of their repetitious pounding. "Right, I'm off for a shit," states a bystander as Sunn conclude their one-song set. A bowel-moving experience, Sunn leave the stage, pissing themselves laughing, having deconstructed the word 'heavy'. The Underworld is left bewildered and stunned.

In the wink of an eye, Sunn men Greg Anderson (guitars) and Stuart Dahlquist (bass) re-emerge to assume their full-time jobs in Goatsnake, and tonight the LA foursome are on fire. Led by the ever arresting ex-Wool man Pete Stahl, on this occasion it's the new material that impresses above all else. The harp driven 'Coyote' is full of Danzig-esque blues power, 'Flowers Of Disease' boasts a chilling Iommi-esque riff, while 'Cleveland Steamer' is another monolithic slice of top quality doom. After 45 minutes, Goatsnake depart to tumultuous applause, forcing you to wonder whether Orange Goblin can genuinely follow that.


Orange Goblin, Goatsnake & Sunn 0))) @ The Underworld, London (UK) 12th May 2000 (NME) (UK) by Neil Thomson

Stoner rock. It's a scene, of course, and a club. All you need to join is a love of loud guitars and a desire to get down and greasy.

For the dedicated stoner disciple, it's Goatsnake who are the real draw tonight. California's gnarliest and least glossy masters of the movement have left the hero-worshipping Sabbath vibes of last year's 'Dog Days' mini-LP behind and gone full-on heavy Valium doom metal. It suits them. Baldy singer Pete Stahl (ex-Scream and Wool, and soon to feature on the new Queens Of The Stone Age long player) lets up on the dungeon-master shouting only to ask for more beer. Good attitude.


Orange Goblin, Goatsnake & Sunn 0))), Glasgow Cathouse (UK) 17th May 2000 (Roadburn)

An interesting line-up of bands hit Glasgow this evening for some serious ear blasting cosmic vibes and low-end rumbling. One of the few good things about being in Glasgow, from the stoner and acid rock point of view, is that we get the Rise Above Records bands up here on a semi-regular basis. We don't ever see anyone else, but we do get the rise above bands! So, tonight was a particularly good night when three of them rolled into town a bill to end all bills...

FIrst up there was the much talked about Sunn 0))). Two people on the stage (that I could see). Two massive amplifiers. Lots of dry ice. No drums, no vocals. The best reference point I can find to compare Sunn 0))) to is "Jerusalem"-era Sleep covering Flying Saucer Attack. It's basically massive tuned down guitar and bass at huge volumes with slow, droning riffs lasting minutes turning into aeons with walls of low frequency feedback washing in and out, creating a dense soundscape. Members of Goatsnake and Orange Goblin were found to be sitting and lying down on the stage during their set, obviously seriously getting into the groove. Wise plan. Sitting on the floor redefines the experience into being totally physical as the waves of low-frequency noise washes through you. Quite bizarre stuff, but quite exellent at the same time. I don't think many of us mere mortals could quite grasp the whole thing. Stoner Rock as a new performance art form?!

Next up were Goatsnake. I must confess to not being 100% into them finding "I" an album with highpoints and lowpoints, but not really fusing as a whole. Live, they're a totally different animal. Loud, thick sound with some really awesome riffs and a really animated performance from the band as a whole made this a really standout set. I was converted. Tracks that had seemed a bit derivative on the album suddenly turned into behemouths of sound steamrollering the crowd who were unanimously into them. They played heavily from "I" with two tracks from the "Dog Days" EP and a couple of new tracks. One called "Coyote" particularly stuck in my mind as being a monster. Watch out for the next album!

All-in-all, a brilliant set. Even the tambourine!


Orange Goblin, Goatsnake & Sunn 0)),Derby, Victoria Inn (UK) 16th May 2000 (Yaz)

So, it's been more than 2 weeks since the last gig. Can't say I've missed it, getting a bit bored of it recently. Also managed to be traumatised by reaching me thirties in that time. Only just begining to come to terms with that one. But still, some things don't change. My impeccable sense of timing means I've manged to miss Sunn in their entirety and Goatsnake are already playing by the time I've arrived.

I've never actually heard Goatsnake before, but may well be tempted to take a listen to their stuff having heard them. There's some almost floor rumbling low end in their sludgy groove, but they've got a hidden weapon in the vocals. This kind of music always seems to benefit from someone with a soulful, almost bluesy voice, and that's what this sounds like. It means that tracks like Four and Who Are You standout rest. Impressive stuff.