Concert Review: Baroness “U.S. Summer Tour” Essex, Rochester, NY

U.S. Summer Tour 2023

Baroness, Portrayal of Guilt, Gozu,

Sunday, June 2nd 2024
Essex, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Progressive heavy metal-ers Baroness made a stop in Rochester, NY at the newly opened Essex music venue for a night of thunderous guitar driven music. The show is one of a handful of dates making up the Georgia based bands Summer tour and is support of their most recent studio release titled “Stone”. Along with the evenings headliner were Portrayal of Guilt and Gozu who each took their turn at filling the air of the dimly lit, industrial venue which served as a near perfect location for the nights sonic festivities.

Taking the stage first were Boston, MA natives Gozu. The band consisting of vocalist/guitarist Marc Gaffney, guitarist Doug Sherman, bassist Joe Grotto and drummer Seth Botos performed a brief set which oozed forth a sonic dirge of fuzz driven stoner rock that had those in attendance slows nodding their heads in a eerie cadence as the bands dual guitar attack ripped through the venues front of house speakers. The band played performed tracks from their five album catalog including tracks from their most recent release “Remedy”. Fans who made it out to the venue early got a real treat as Gozu’s performance was a perfect blend of melodic psychedelia.

Next up was the black metal band Portrayal of Guilt. Hailing from Austin, TX the three piece group couldn’t have been more different from the other bands on the bill as their intense attack and abstract song structure was much more aggressive than I think some fans were ready for. Vocalist/guitarist Matt King was all business as his guttural vocal style socked listeners in the gut while the bands instrumentation finished them off with a bludgeoning knockout blow. Though personally I didn’t find anything particular appealing about the bands sound or performance they did receive a sizable amount of applause at the close of their set.

After a minimal set change Baroness would take the stage next performing a 13 song set made up of tracks from the bands expansive catalog. “Last Word” from the recently released “Stone” album would kick things off by setting the foundation for fans favorite like “A Horse Called Golgotha” and “March to the Sea”. The blend of guitar and vocals provided by John Baizley and Gina Gleason worked flawlessly together and only seem to get better as the set progressed in to tracks like “Chlorine and Wine” and my personal favorite “Shock Me”. Equally impressive was the bands rhythm section which features Sebastian Thomas on drums and Nick Jost on bass and keyboards. Much like the duo of Baizley and Gleason both Jost and Thomas are keyed in to one another on such a high level that they could easily be considered one of the best rhythm sections out there. The frantic “Borderlines” and the overdriven “The Sweetest Curse” would close out the main portion of the evenings set however after a short pause the band would take the stage for two final songs. Before ending the night John Baizley would thank the crowd for their continued support and dedication to the band which goes back to the bands early days. The band then closed out the night with the always popular “Take My Bones Away” a track which had the crowd singing along to nearly every word and “Isak” an older number that’s notes and lyrics seemed to hauntingly hang in the air as the closing sounds rang out and the band exited the stage.

It was surprising to hear that Baroness was returning to the area so soon as we were lucky enough to catch them in late November about and hour north of Rochester in Buffalo, NY so to be able to see them again so soon and with a new set of openers was certainly something the crowd (myself included) were not complaining about. I felt the second time around the package of opening bands far surpassed that of the previous run and Baroness only continues to impress me each time I am able to see them. With shows running through the end of June you will certainly want to get a ticket for this show as you will not be disappointed.

Baroness Setlist:

1.) Last Word
2.) Under the Wheel
3.) A Horse Called Golgotha
4.) March to the Sea
5.) Green Theme
6.) Beneath the Rose
7.) Chlorine & Wine
8.) War, Wisdom and Rhyme
9.) Shock Me
10.) Borderlines
11.) The Sweetest Curse

12.) Take My Bones Away
13.) Isak

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