Live at The Viper Room
West Hollywood, CA
April 27th, 2017
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Metal Assault presents an intimate night of metal music with one of my favorite groups, Huntress. Led by the enigmatic and stunning front woman, Jill Janus, Huntress have proven themselves from day one with their occult themed heavy metal and propensity for putting on amazing live shows.
Instead of huge festivals and large venues, on this occasion we got to see them at the legendary but cozy Viper Room on the Sunset Strip. I have witnessed Huntress many times now but this show was different in terms of the proximity to the band and the overall vibe of the crowd. It was especially cool being that close to Jill as she sang, you could literally see right into her eyes as she emoted while belting out heartfelt songs like their set opener, "Sorrow".
They played a lengthy show with songs coming from all three of their albums. Jill also bantered with the audience more than during previous shows which made it seem like a night among friends.
Their latest offering, "Static" featured heavily in the set list for the evening. Jill gave insite to certain songs such as when she explained that under pressure to finish a track for the album, she quickly came up with a song based on a female serial killer which became "Flesh".
A twisted tale of magic, potentially lost love, and obsession gave us "Brian" and they also did the reflective tale of destroying our own planet in "Harsh Times on Planet Stoked". I love this song, I ended up singing this one days after the show, "Phantom limbs, Solar winds!"
Their sophomore release, "Starbound Beast" is a tale of cosmic mysticism and destiny. They played the title track as well as the stellar powerhouse, "Zenith" . They also did one of my personal favorites of theirs off of this album, "Destroy Your Life". I always love the lyrics with phrases like, "Three things to fear at home - Fire, Thieves, and Ghosts".
From their first album they chose two of their biggest hits that are both based around witchery and dark magic with "Spell Eater" and their set closer, "Eight of Swords".
Despite the extremely cramped quarters on stage, Jill still went through her wardrobe changes for various songs. The entire band seemed to be having a great time up on stage which was reflected in the equally awesome time the audience was having.
Jill introduced the band towards the end of the set with cofounder Blake Meahl on lead guitar, his little brother, Tyler Meahl on drums, Eric Harris on bass guitar, and Eli Santana on rhythm guitar. She also gave a shout out to Andrew from Metal Assault for putting on the gig and being an all around awesome dude.
I always love seeing Huntress and experiencing Jill in person but this night was especially cool because of the intimacy and air of camaraderie at the show. It was a good time to say the least!
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