Lady Beast, Savage Master, Bewitcher, and Eel Hold Off An Army At An Old Warehouse In Pittsburgh!

It was a turbulent, gloomy Saturday night. Storms had hampered the Millvale Music Festival as other semi-famous groups such as Rival Sons were in town also happened to be in town, but in an old, decrepit forgotten building left untouched by Lawrenceville gentrification, one punk band and three fervent NWOBHM revivalist acts set what is now known as “The New Shop” ablaze with the same magical fire that once burned in London decades ago. Eel kicked off the party in predictably raucous, irreverent fashion. Seemingly aware that they were somewhat out of place, Eel decided to shake the awkwardness with a quick, who-gives-a-toss performance that was as fleeting as most punk is wont to be. Bewitcher were next, striking hard, fast, and without mercy, their unabashedly riff-driven, Satanic, pitch black speed metal calling on early Bathory as much as it did newer acts such as Midnight. Band leader Matt Litton conjured Cronos and a young James Hetfield simultaneously, engaging in ripping guitar heroics as he gloriously spat out blasphemous lyrics that celebrate mayhem and nocturnal misdeeds. Betsy and Bitch disciple Stacey Savage and her gang of hooded executioners Savage Master followed Bewitcher in much the same vein. Having seen Savage Master twice prior, I can candidly say that this was their best performance I’ve witnessed to date. The caped, chainmail, fetishist, blood-spitting theatrics aside, entertaining and vital as they are, one has to own up to the fact that Savage Master has matured into a very good metal band. The song-craft was there. The performances were nailed to the wall. Like Bewitcher, Savage Master are as tight musically as they are a spectacle, an Stacey Savage just improves as a frontwoman, her vocal range and confidence showing so much growth over the past 4 years. Furthermore, she has that horror movie actress vibe about her, that Hammer Films air, and that precious scowl that can’t be taught or learned. She has “it” written on a ouija board. Speaking of stars, locals Lady Beast shone as brightly as they ever have in the ten or so times I’ve seen them, lead throat Deb Levine roaring and undulating and playing the part of stage general as well as she’s always done, her squadron of effortlessly skilled musicians tearing through songs that could’ve been written 40 years ago yet possess an urgency and rage to them that burns the nostalgia away, revealing a very current grouo that wants to put everyone on notice as they put Pittsburgh in the spotlight and refuse to be denied. All told, this evening’s gig was nicely clandestine, thriving in the shadows cast by other musical happenings in the city, and I hope to see more of them occur.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.