On a wild Oscars night, Baroness deliver their own brand of theatrics in LA for a sold-out crowd at The Echo

BaronessBy Josh Herwitt //

Baroness //
The Echo – Los Angeles
March 27th, 2022 //

If you didn’t catch it on live television, you probably have heard plenty about it. You know, how that one famous guy slapped the other famous guy in the face during an awards show over a bad joke?

Well, that’s all anyone can seem to talk about now. Even the ongoing war in Ukraine took a back seat to the “slap heard around the world.”

But for those Angelinos who could give a rat’s ass about the Academy Awards or the latest drama that’s surrounding Hollywood, you could find us at The Echo getting slapped in the face by some heavy metal … compliments of Baroness.

The alt-prog-sludge band with roots in Virginia but originally from Savannah, Ga., has been winning over metalheads dating back to the mid-2000’s with a sound reminiscent of former desert rockers Kyuss, and its fan base has only continued to grow in that time with a Grammy nomination five years ago.

Founding member John Baizley (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, percussion) has been working with Nick Jost (bass, keyboards, backing vocals) and Sebastian Thomson (drums) for nearly a decade, and Gina Gleason (lead guitar, backing vocals) has proven that she can shred with the very best since replacing Baroness’ other founding member Peter Adams in 2017.

Baroness

While the four-piece has yet to follow up 2019’s Gold & Grey with another studio album, Baizley and company have been powering through the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic on their “Your Baroness Tour” after having to cancel and reschedule last year’s shows in Boise, Salt Lake City and Denver, as well as subsequently postpone its second leg from January-February to March-April.

But when they arrived in the City of Angels last Sunday for their first appearance since headlining The Wiltern with Deafheaven, there was a capacity crowd waiting for them. And judging by the line outside the venue, I wasn’t quite sure The Echo could even fit everyone inside. The 350-person room did, but there certainly wasn’t a lot of space to maneuver once we got through its front doors.

What was different and unique about this tour, though, was that Baroness were giving ticket holders the opportunity to request songs each night, with the top 10 being included in the performance’s setlist. LA’s own “by-request evening” began like many of them have as “Ogeechee Hymnal” paved the way for lead single “Take My Bones Away” off 2012’s Yellow & Green — and a whole lot of headbanging as Baizley’s and Gleason’s guitars intertwined with ferocity and regularity for the next two-plus hours.

By the end of it all, no one could argue Baroness had shortchanged anyone. Unleashing a 22-song set that covered all five of their full lengths and concluded with “Swollen and Halo” on 2009’s Blue Record, they even had something a little special saved for the encore as they gave us the option of hearing the first recorded track “Tower Falls” from their aptly titled debut EP First instead of fan favorite Red Album track “Isak”, which has often assumed the position of show closer lately.

Would it have been better if they had uncorked both to completely melt our faces? Of course, but with Baizley seemingly in high spirits due to the sold-out audience’s response, you can count on Baroness’ next visit to Tinseltown being even bigger, better and bolder than their last.

Setlist:
Ogeechee Hymnal
Take My Bones Away
Rays on Pinion
Kerosene
Tourniquet
March to the Sea
Green Theme
A Horse Called Golgotha
Shock Me
Chlorine & Wine
The Gnashing
Cold-Blooded Angels (Acoustic)
I’d Do Anything (Acoustic)
Can Oscura
Little Things
Borderlines
If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?) / Fugue
The Sweetest Curse
The Birthing
Cocainium
Eula
Swollen and Halo

Encore:
Tower Falls

*Editor’s Note: “Isak” was written on the setlist as the encore, but fans were given the option to choose.