By: Samantha Shaffer

Halloween came early this year with King Tuff’s first stop of his Black Moon Spell tour at the Irenic last week. The venue was decked out in spooky, psychedelic skulls and creatures, which surprisingly did not seem out of place for this tiny church venue.

Up first were local punks, Grand Tarantula, who were sadly performing their last show under that name for legal reasons. Despite that, they started their set with a bang almost as electrifying as the lead’s blue hair. What followed was a flurry of loud beach-y guitar and pounding drums that demanded to be danced to. Of course, what’s a proper punk performance without some crude, obnoxious lyrics about avoiding responsibility?

Up next were the babes of Feels. You know that line in the Cherry Glazerr song “All My Friends” that goes “you are an alien princess, baby”? Well that seriously describes all the ladies in Feels. As soon as they walked on stage with their out-of-this-world style, they began to play something that is hard to explain. It was rock, but also punk, at times psychedelic, and other times I had no idea what it was. Feels definitely knows how to blow out your eardrums but their best songs were the ones where their instruments hardly made a sound and all you could hear were the slurred harmonies of these indie-angels.

After Feels’ set left me all dreamy and starry-eyed, I was ready to forget all that with some crazy, sweaty, rock’ n’ roll. King Tuff didn’t look out of place as he stepped on stage with the rest of his band, all of whom looked like some truckers straight out of Vermont. They opened with the moaning riff of “Black Moon Spell” and played mostly songs off of the new record, including “Headbanger”, “Eyes of the Muse”, and bassist Magic Jake’s favorite track, “Eddie’s Song”. King Tuff and Magic Jake were cracking jokes between songs all night and during the final song “Anthem”, Magic Jake invited the audience to shred on his bass. By the end of the night the stage was covered in empty beer cans and my ears were buzzing. Overall, King Tuff’s first show of his new tour started and ended with a bang that left a ringing in my ears for days after.

Photos by Amanda Martinek

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