September 2, 2010
Stockholm Syndrome set out on a short September tour bringing with them an abundance of material from previous projects as well as original material from their 2004 studio album Holy Happy Hour. After an emotional tour opener at “the Watt” in Athens, Georgia the band made the one hour trek to play in Atlanta on a Thursday night.
Stockholm Syndrome, the rugged formation of seasoned players that includes lyrical mastermind Jerry Joseph, guitar virtuoso Eric McFadden, drummer Wally Ingram, keyboardist Danny Louis of Gov’t Mule, and of course, bass god Dave Schools of Widespread Panic originally scheduled their Atlanta engagement for the newly renovated Buckhead Theatre (formerly and better known as The Roxy). The venue was changed to Midtown’s The Loft as ticket sales did not justify playing at the larger location. Fortunately, this meant a more intimate setting and increased access to the band.
Stockholm took the stage at around 10:00 pm for what would be a powerful and captivating 1 hour 40 minute set. Opening with the Jerry Joseph original, "Pumpkin Time, " the show was off to an upbeat start. Pounding drums, raspy vocals, thundering bass, and guitar solos all around, this set the tone for a true fist-pumping fiasco of a show.
It was not long before the band paid tribute to their fallen friend Vic Chesnutt with a cover of "Flirted with You All My Life." The tune, a dark and foreboding one, personifies death as a truly evil constant. In speaking with Dave Schools prior to the gig, he made it resoundingly clear as he deeply discussed Chesnutt, delving into the “cathartic experience” that resonates within him when playing his songs. This resonance proved to be an emanating energy on this night.
The show picked up even more momentum with "Red Lightning," a song that features a few tempo changes but ultimately climaxes with an all out shredding McFadden solo.
A change of pace came with Stockholm’s "Bouncing Very Well" which, compared to other songs of the evening, could almost be considered comic relief. With no talk of politics or the tragedies of love, this emotionally light and island-inspired song brought the crowd into a euphoric state and highlighted the band’s diversity of sound.
"Bouncing Very Well" eventually turned into a veritable rhythm section clinic, as to both the bass of Schools and the drums of Ingram locked into one of the more prominent percussive and bass solo > duets of the night that ultimately segued back into "Bouncing Very Well".
The show closed out with three of their more well-known songs including "That Which Is Coming" and "Road to Damascus." This offering from an ensemble of well-known players within the jam niche was not a show for the meek, and required a taste for the raw, grungy, and dirty side of rock n’ roll.
Those in attendance got what they came for and yet still wanted more. They would get it with the encore, "Apollo," which gave that closing taste and upon the final note, the caged crowd was released (perhaps unwillingly?) into the freedom of the night.
Click the thumbnail to view more photos By Ian Rawn