Black Sabbath Tribute

The Big Top

June 06, 2006

The mark of the beast became the day of the beast on June 6th, the 6th day of the 6th month of the 6th year of the 21st century. Though I didn't see any gargoyles circling or blood falling like rain, this was supposedly the evilest day of our age. So, to celebrate, a buncha different local bands convened at The Big Top on Tuesday to pay homage to the darkest of all bands--Black Sabbath.

I missed Jonathan Freilich and The Dark Shabbos but was able to catch the reunion of Electrical Spectacle. Mike Mayfield and Anton Gussoni manned their analog keyboards for performances of "Paranoid" and "Black Sabbath," electronic rock style. Marcus from Glorybee played drums.

Even though there were no guitars involved, the music they made was riff-heavy and headbangingly righteous, dude. Mayfield sang lyrics through a vocoder and performed Iommi's guitar solos on a theremin, but I was still rockin' out like someone was banging away on a guitar.

The almost-capacity crowd showed their love with roaring applause after each song. The band left them wanting more, which was smart, even though I wouldn't have minded hearing a few more. How' bout that real reunion?

Next up was Chef Menteur. The energy from the Electrical Spectacle set carried right into Chef Menteur's perfomance, and they didn't disappoint. The trio of bassist Jim Yonkus, keyboardist/drummer Dan Haugh and guitarist Alec Vance layered snippets of Bush speeches over their first Sabbath tune. Haugh manned the mini-Moog during the less-rocking and more abstract painting of Sabbath. They wouldn't get this inaccessible again until the set's last song, which was fun in its meandering complexity and density but less obvious in its relation to Sabbath.

The middle of the set was more of a loyal, though instrumental, take on Sabbath. Vance was a guitar god while Yonkus played his ominously low-tuned bass and Haugh pounded on his kit like the Northwesterner he was. This must have been the apex of the night.

After Chef Menteur was a super-loud and annoying two-man karaoke team. If they would have closed the night, everyone would have left, but Shatner was still up.

Shatner was a straight-up take on Sabbath. Drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. Gussoni was the singer, and he headbanged with the mic and screamed and basically acted like a madman. It was obviously time for him to let some stuff out. The best was when he came off the stage prowling with adrenaline.

Shatner played "Into the Void," "Lord of This World," "Sweet Leaf," "Behind The Wall of Sleep," "Black Sabbath," and "Electric Funeral." Shatner's drummer got the job done but was confused and sloppy, nonetheless. Potpie, on the other hand, was magnficent on guitar, shining during "Sweet Leaf," which is when I guess it's sorta hard not to draw attention to yourself if you're the guitarist. Is there a heavier riff? Discuss.

All in all this concert was fun and an easy way for Sabbath fans to join together in their love for the band.

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