As you may have gathered, although I live in SoCal, I grew up in the Chicago area. My best friend for about 25 years now (where has the time gone, brother?), Mike "Skull" Sullivan, still lives in the Chicago area and is as big a metalhead as I, for as long as I (he figures prominently in the ongoing details of my own metal history). Recently, on March 22, he attended the Isis/ Jesu/ Zozobra show at The Cabaret Metro in Chicago. He sent me the following review of the show as an email, which I am now happy to post...
"I just got back from The Metro where I saw Isis, Jesu, and Zozobra. The Metro is the same lovable dump it always was, only it seemed smaller than I remember. There wasn't anywhere to fucking sit (due to the fact that there were no chairs or seats at all), and I'm having a problem with my right foot so it was a long 4 hours.
The crowd seemed to be the college age Q101 (editor: a Chicago-area, non-metal oriented rock station) crowd with a few metalheads like myself strewn about. I felt old. I staked out a spot directly in front of the soundboard and did not move until it was all over.
Zozobra, a band I am unfamiliar with, started late with the singer coming out looking like a roadie, hooking up a Gibson, and cranking the amps way up. He played a short, loud, heavily distorted piece (reminiscent of Sunn O))) or Earth) with some vocals. It was pretty heavy. Then the band joined him and they played a short set of high energy, moderately heavy distortion with shouted vocals. The crowd enjoyed it, as did I. It was one of the loudest sets I had ever seen any band play.
After a quick change, in which Justin Broadrick spent most of the time messing with his laptop, Jesu (pronounced Yea-zu, I found out today) started their set. Justin told the crowd he was very sick before the set started. Jesu is a strange band. Not much finesse. The music is mostly slow to mid tempo without changes. JB's vocals suffered due to his illness and, at times, were inaudible. I don’t think Jesu is about lyrics or vocals anyway. Jesu focuses on pure sound. Layers of sound programmed into Justin’s laptop played over his incredibly heavy guitar. The bass lines are so simple that even Nikki Sixx could play them. Dave Cochrane, the touring bassist, looked plain bored with them. The drums were well done and complex due to the synching to the programmed sounds. That said, they KICKED FUCKING ASS! I loved the set even though it was only four songs long. Their songs are sort of lengthy. I wanted more! I will keep the set list to myself because there are a few more shows on the tour and I don’t want to blow anything for the West coast.
After Jesu finished, and another quick change over, Isis took the stage. Dude! They were FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!! They are so complex, eclectic, energetic, and fucking talented that I was blown away. They can be very Rush-like and even Yes-like, at times just picking away and building up. Then, they hit their mark, fucking crank it up, and get seriously heavy. Their drummer was excellent and kept everyone glued together. Once again, I won’t divulge a set list, but they leaned on “In The Absence Of Truth” as expected. They did an encore that was so hypnotizing and awesome that I was stunned. They just blew me away! I really liked them going into the show, but I have a whole new appreciation for them after seeing them pull off what they pulled off live.
If you live on the West coast where this tour is finishing up, DO NOT PASS THIS SHOW UP!!"
So there you have it. Mike had also mentioned that band members were wearing Leviathan T-shirts (had to throw that in). Thanks, Skull!!!
Lastly, I have three new reviews (Diagnose: Lebensgefahr, Nagelfar, and Obscurus Advocam) posted here at L4M.