Baroness @ Stylus 26/2/16
After a lengthy absence, Baroness return to Leeds to play their first headlining set in seven years. Since their last visit, the band has achieved a more mainstream level of success, as well as suffering a catastrophic bus crash which resulted in significant line-up changes. However tonight Baroness remain as invigorating as ever, with the Americans triumphing with a thunderous set of hard-rock brimming with complexity and melody.
Dispelling all rock star antics, the band casually stroll on without an intro and launch straight into to ‘Kerosene’, a cut of their latest album Purple. Their playing is unmistakeably tight and precise to an almost supernatural level. Baroness build on this momentum, next conjuring up the powerful ‘March to the Sea’. More familiar with fans, this rallies the crowd up into the first of the group singalongs of the evening. Not content with staying static, Baroness meets the electric crowd with an impressive display of stage presence – all without missing a musical beat.
Unfortunately these first few songs suffer from a weak mix, with the guitars being much too quiet; an almost unforgivable sin within the sphere of rock music. Fortunately this is eventually rectified as the band launch into another plethora of songs from Purple; with the band courageously deciding to play their new record in full. While this provides a fresh experience for long-time fans, the absence of older material is felt, with many of the band’s signature songs perplexingly absent from tonight’s show. Nevertheless, new songs such as the headbang inducing ‘Morningstar’ and the beautifully captivating ‘Chlorine and Wine’ are met with excitement from the crowd. Once again, Baroness succeed in proving that they are one of the most awe-inspiring and technically brilliant live bands in rock music today.