It was ten after 10 p.m., Dec. 28th, 2013, and I literally ran into the Neptune Theatre to hear Ravenna Woods playing a song off their fantastic new album, The Jackals. I meandered toward the front of the crowd to get some shots of the “gloomy darkhorse folk punkers” – as they call themselves – for the last half hour of their set. I couldn’t get off work early enough to catch Hobosexual’s set earlier, but I’d just seen Ravenna Woods the month before at their record release party, so it was a lovely case of déjà vu. But it was the second half of my night that was long-awaited.
My feet were just warming up from wandering the blocks of the U District on one of the coldest (and foggiest) nights in December when the stage was reset for Reignwolf’s set. Just returning from a tour in Australia, Saskatchewan’s own Jordan Cook sold out a slew of shows up here on the West Coast for a great end to his 2013. I’d only seen him at Sasquatch 2012 (on the Yeti Stage) and Sasquatch 2013 (on the main stage – quite a jump in a year) so the long intermission after Ravenna Woods’ set made me really anxious.
Finally at a little after 11 p.m., the three-piece called Reignwolf took the stage.
I’ll just start out with saying that they blew my mind. Seriously, I could not have asked for a better last show of 2013.
Seattle was basically a hometown crowd for them, so the energy was contagious. I’ve never wanted to head bang so much. I mean give me devil horns and call me Riki Rachtman! I can still use that reference, right?
As classic as Reignwolf’s sound is, within this rather moderate local climate of folk music, the raucous tunes “Are You Satisfied?” and “Electric Love” are thunderstorms waking you up in the middle of the night. They’re the kind of thunderstorms that you want to sit and listen to until the last little rumble is barely audible in the distance. They’re that good, and that mesmerizing.
You can’t deny Jordan Cook’s insane stage presence, as well as his rad guitar chops. Yes, I just said rad.
After about an hour-long set, there was a short encore before the trio took to the stage again to break basically all their instruments. Seriously the drum kit was slaughtered and I’m pretty sure Jordan’s guitar was down a couple of strings. You just don’t get that kind of insanity anywhere else. It just makes me wish that Black Sabbath was playing a show in Vancouver on their Canadian tour. Yeah that’s right, Reignwolf is opening for the legendary metal godfathers at all 10 of their Canadian shows in April.
Let that be a testament to how awesome Reignwolf is. I can attest to that.