Why the Black Angels at Invisible Wind Factory is the Best Show I’ll See This Year-

The question of “best show I’ve seen lately” comes up more in conversation than I’d like to admit and I usually have no idea how to answer. I mumble some bullshit and then ramble thru 20 or so bands I think deserve attention, usually including my own in a selfish attempt to insert myself into the public consciousness, somehow.

So, trying to broach this subject is a sore spot, and one I would rarely if ever touch until now because it came flying at me, clear as day when watching the Black Angels the other night, that it was the best, most refreshing thing I’d seen lately. While completely living up to their ‘legend’ status, they smashed through a whirlwind hour-and-a-half long set missing none, and absolutely transforming the atmosphere of Wind Factory on Sunday evening.

This is a very biased review. I am a fan of the Black Angels. For context, they were the band I listened to in my freshman year of college in the back of my friends car outside of Sonic while we smoked and chatted shit between classes. Over, and over again.

Nostalgia… a good hit of that affects my perception of this show and they deliver it in full force, but sounding better, fuller, bigger live than I could’ve imagined… that is what made this my favourite show this year.

At times sonically reminding me of Jesus and Mary Chain, King Gizzard ATLW, Brian Jonestown, CAN and all the other classics (new and old), I felt like I had gotten a ticket to see all my favourite bands, not just one.

Looking into the crowd, it was slow goings to get people moving… no shock here in Liverpool where it takes a beer or two to get a groove in, but from the get-go there was a certain trance we all fell into… slipping into 4/4 head nods and shrug-stepping rhythm.

“Black Grease” was already one of my favourites but honestly, the live delivery was unmissable. Vocals, I reiterate, were trance-like and exacting in performance. The guitar work from all three musicians was propulsive for the music and kept every track exciting without being bullshit and over-the-top in theatrics. Very good playing and showmanship… I was taking mental notes… so were the other guitarists in the crowd I’m sure.

Last but not least, the encore was the kind of thing you get from stadium sets… not a Sunday night rock show 10 minutes from home. Maybe that feeling was further invoked by the insane depth of that mondo guitar solo that spanned a few different tracks. Wish I could tell you the name of the tunes but I was well-in by then and my notes became jarbled in the pit.

Torture recommends /

‘Without a Trace’, off their new record, intros with a sound reminiscent of the Unicorn’s track ‘I Don’t Want to Die’ and quickly shifts into something far more akin to local (and international) favourites, the Mysterine’s guitar sound. A fucking great listen, makes me wish I had a car, and a Sonic to sit outside of.


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