words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Jonny Leather

Murder By Death

The Builders and the Butchers started the show with an up-tempo set, echoing other new traditional bands O'death and the Decemberists - especially in its strained, twangy vocals and mandolin/banjo on the side. The muddy stage mix accentuated the malleted drums, which sounded like steel-toed boots kicking Rubbermaid containers (in the best way possible). Singer/guitarist Ryan Sollee passed the crowd hand percussion for the last chorus of the band's last song. All together, the band came off like a fun work-in-progress, with its various songwriting and stage-show parts fine-tuned enough for the welcoming, appreciative crowd.

Murder by Death played both of their "Desert Series" records, Red of Tooth and Claw and Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them?, in full. The band's round sound (bolstered by founding keyboardist, Vincent Edwards, back again) was crowned, as always, by Adam Turla's rumbling, in-your-face, Danzig-like voice, which unfurled like a barroom brawl through the opening notes of "Comin' Home." Both keys and cello filled out the songs without sounding extraneous or out of place alongside Turla's whisky and the devil tales. Behind, black and white video clips from films like The Seventh Seal, Nosferatu, and The Good, and the Bad and the Ugly played off the stormy mood of the set.

By the end of the 21-song night, I was drained (especially after the closing slower numbers at the end of Who Will Survive) but the band returned strong for an encore of "Brother,"" I'm Afraid of Who's Afraid of Virgina Wolf" and "Flamenco's Fuckin' Easy," all by request.

Fake Problems played first of three. More pictures from Friday's show (2/6), below...

Fake Problems...

Fake Problems

Fake Problems

Fake Problems

Fake Problems

Fake Problems

Fake Problems

Builders and Butchers...

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Builders and Butchers

Murder By Death...

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

More tour dates HERE.