Burn Fest 2023 ignited the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor with blistering rock from Odd City, Warhorses, Black Note Graffiti, and The Lucid Furs.
Burn Fest 2023
Last year, I happened upon Burn Fest at the Blind Pig and was blown away. Hosted by Ann Arbor’s Black Note Graffiti, this show features a diverse lineup of music to hypnotize and tantalize. Seeing the lineup for Burn Fest 2023, I was floored. Black Note Graffiti had enlisted heavy psychedelic rockers Warhorses and The Lucid Furs’ untamed fury. Combined with the slamming progressive grooves of Black Note Graffiti, I knew this show would be a treat. The big question on my mind was, who is Odd City?
Apparently, I missed the memo on Odd City, as they drew in a respectable crowd to open up Burn Fest 2023. They came out swinging for the fences with an adrenaline-fueled metal-tinged rocker. Moving with muscular vocals, gritty guitars, and hammering drums and bass, their opener had me intrigued. The pace changed up a bit as they moved through their set. I was reminded a bit of alt-rock legends Chevelle with notes of Fuel and some of the melodic fun of an Alien Ant Farm. Check out Odd City for an invigorating night of hard rock.
Warhorses never disappoint. While I would have loved a bit less fog and a smidge more light for photos, their set was mesmerizing. Ok, maybe the darkness added to the mystique. Regardless of the light, it is the sound that matters, and Adam Wilkinson had them dialed in. EZ’s guitar wailed, Kristin’s drums thundered, Nathan’s bass punched, and Mike’s vocals were charged and magnetic. The savage insistence of “Sound of Thunder” and the burning irresistible allure of “Killing” combined with the lethal danger of “We Are Invaders” creates an enthralling soundscape. Warhorses put on an unforgettable performance that took us to another plane of existence.
Black Note Graffiti
As I attempted to square myself after the growing intensity of the prior performances, Black Note Graffiti took the stage and knocked me silly. In the year since I’d seen this band, they have honed their sound to razor sharpness. It isn’t as if Black Note Graffiti weren’t great last year, but at Burn Fest 2023, they were in a league of their own. Why this band isn’t filling arenas is anyone’s guess.
Behind the drum kit, Kurt is a whirling dervish, a tank driver, a demolition expert. Veiled in fog, Adam’s pouncing bass lines merge with Kurt’s commanding drums to deliver each song as a wall of sound. Kris and Ric’s guitars join the fray, weaving melody with fierce power. Gabby’s superb voice adds the final flourish to Black Note Graffiti’s unparalleled music. In addition to great tunes such as “Inch X Inch” and “Fallacy,” Black Note Graffiti unleashed a bunch of new music. Sadly, I failed to catch the titles. We’ll just have to wait for the new album coming later this year.
The Lucid Furs
I can’t say for sure, but I think the Lucid Furs watched Black Note Grafitti’s set and said, “Hold my beer.” They came out and matched the intensity, note for note. Evocative and intoxicating, Karen O’s vocals are sublime on every tune, but most especially “Queen of Spades” and “Right On My Level.” Gordie makes his strat sizzle and scream with his one-of-a-kind blend of funk, soul, and Hendrix-esque howl. Joseph and Dan are the ultimate tag team in rhythmic domination with a perfect combination of tightness and swing. The relentless grooves and force of the Lucid Furs tonight at Burn Fest 2023 is a spectacle to behold. I’ll be telling people about this show for years to come. Can you imagine if this whole package was on tour? My lord, the world would never be the same.
There are more pictures from Burn Fest 2023 in the gallery. Take a look, and then let us know what you think.
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