WIRE brings DRILL back to the West Coast for the first time in 4 years!

When I was seventeen I went to “The Warped Tour” in San Francisco. I had never been to a festival and it was definitely a bit mind blowing. The concept of walking from stage to stage strategically placed in a given area, with an enormous lineup of bands, having to pick and choose which bands to see and which bands to miss, was thrilling to say the least. I continued going to bigger and bigger festivals after that (Coachella, Sasquatch, Treasure Island) until about 2010 when I ultimately began to feel jaded by them and I haven’t been to a single festival since. So here we are in 2017, I am now in my 30s and I’m going to another festival. This one, however, promises to be a whole different experience entirely. Since around 2013, English post-rockers WIRE have been curating a festival called DRILL. The catch with DRILL is that it doesn’t rely on gigantic locations and 100s of bands but, instead, focuses on smaller venues and puts more energy into bringing diverse musical styles and bands, both new and old, together. While, thematically, many of the bands are linked by the post-punk, darkwave, dream pop genre, it is safe to say from past DRILL lineups that it promises to be an exciting and unique experience.

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Another landmark release from the post-punk forefathers, Silver/Lead is a true treat for listeners new and old.

Any band that can keep it going for longer than 20 years deserves a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The relentless love and pursuit of enjoyment through music is no easy feat, and many bands live a flash-in-the-pan life for the most part. The bands that endure not only have to find ways to be fresh with changing trends, but also have be 100% true to themselves, which, in many cases, will alienate or polarize fans. Wire has now hit the 40 year mark since they first hit the English punk rock scene in 1977 with Pink Flag. Despite their aggressive beginnings, they shifted to a more atmospheric post rock genre, while still occasionally playing with punk staples, and their upcoming release Silver/Lead continues in this fashion.

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Boris 01

To say that Boris’ performance at the Fillmore was good is an understatement of the highest degree.  Though they are Japanese, they came to San Francisco like Romans.  They saw, and they conquered.  Playing the Japanese track list release of their seminal 2006 album ‘Pink’ they completely owned the stage.  Woe to she/he who was not wearing ear plugs because this band plays LOUD.

First of all:  Anyone who says women can’t play guitar can get back on the Misogyny Train with a one way ticket to “Fuckoff Town,” because Wata destroys the guitar.  Does she explode around the stage like your most punk/metal/rock/insertsomethingovercompensatingHERE person?  No.  But that couldn’t possibly matter because her absolute control over her instrument and her ability with it shine spectacularly.

Earth 04

But let’s backtrack a little bit.  Tour mate’s and opening act, Earth, got the crowd started with their unique western styled sludge metal.  They played 5 songs in their 45 minute set, all of which drew in attention like the white flash of a nuclear blast.  Clad in white cowboy hats, the guitar players clearly needed no bass (especially with a beautiful moog pedal to replace it) and were in their grandest element before a packed house.  I kept seeing images from Sergio Leone westerns over their music which was, in my mind, a worthy replacement of the already wonderful Ennio Morricone scores.

If you think playing the drums FAST is hard.  Imagine playing them slowly.  There is nothing harder than to play slowly (as far as I am concerned) but Adrienne Davis is 100% unperturbed by downbeat half-time tempos and wrecks on the drums in a way that is utterly fascinating to watch.

Boris 05

Throughout the night, all I could say was “What a fucking show.”  That is what was delivered.  Whether you like their music or not, you got a memorable performance.  One for the books; not to be forgotten, etc. etc. etc.  Between Takeshi’s masterful double neck Bass/Guitar (just look at the god damn pictures), Wata’s shredding leads, and Atsuo, the hype master’s, precision drumming (complete with gong bashing insanity), you could not ask for a better show.

Boris + Earth

And just when I thought, “How can they top anything that I just saw?” Instead of an encore set of anything recent, they brought Earth back on stage (completely) and played an epic sludgey jam to close the night.  How often do you get to see 2 drummers and 4 guitarists (one who can switch from bass to guitar at will) just rock the fuck out together for 8 minutes?  The answer is not very often.  If only you could have been there!
They’ll be in Los Angeles tonight and continuing the rest of their US tour throughout the next month or so and they are NOT to be missed.

Earth Setlist: Introduction/Coda Maestoso in F (Flat) Minor | Even Hell Has Its Heroes | The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull | Torn by the Fox of the Crescent Moon | Old Black | High Command.

Boris Setlist: Blackout | Pink | Woman on the Screen | Nothing Special | N.F. Sorrow | Pseudo-Bread | Afternburner | Six, Three Times | Talisman | Are You Ready | Electric | My Machine | Just Abandoned Myself | Farewell | (Encore) Ouroboros Is Broken (Earth cover w/Earth)

Setlist based on Previous and Following concerts dates where the setlist was identical.

*More photos will be added at a later date.