I was a little surprised they booked this show at Neptunes and not up at Kings, especially since there wasn't anything happening at Kings on this night, but the bookers here have been putting on gigs for a while so I'll defer to their expertise. I do know Neptunes was fairly packed and hot and overwhelmingly populated by dudes with beards...there's probably a bear joke in there somewhere.
I got there just a few minutes before Birds of Avalon started their set, once again proving my natural instinct for knowing when a show will actually start is amazing, and why can't I be this talented at any actual useful skills. When I saw them play a few months ago with Ex Hex, their regular drummer wasn't available so they had the drummer from Valient Thorr filling in - who did a fine job. With their regular drummer now back, but the Thorr cat still available, what do you do? Two drummers of course! They played together like they were mentally and physically linked, and it sounded awesome. Other than that, it was the typical fantastic Birds of Avalon outing - heavy kraut rock jams with hints of prog and pop mixed into the fold, all while a light show enveloped the performance. They're easily one of my favorite local live acts, and not to be missed if you have any goddamn sense.
I saw Big Business a ton of times back in my California days, which seems like yesterday...only I moved back to North Carolina seven years ago so it has definitely been way too long since I last witnessed their pummeling brand of sludgy punk metal. From Karp to the Whip to now Big Business, Jared Warren keeps his sound in the same lane regardless of band, but the results are always excellent, so no complaints here. Drummer Coady Willis beats the drums so hard during every single song that it's amazing he doesn't spend a fortune in replacement drum heads; he's such a badass that you totally forgive him for wearing a headset mic. I don't know shit about Big Business when it comes to song names or any of that nonsense, but they put on a helluva good performance - unrelenting really - and the low ceilings and tight confines of Neptunes made it feel even more intense. hopefully I won't be so stupid as to wait this long before seeing them again.