Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Hot Snakes at the Chapel - 11/10/2017
I didn't necessarily travel all the way to San Francisco to see the recently reunited Hot Snakes play, but I did choose this particular weekend to take a trip I had been wanting to make all year because of them. After having now seen them perform for the first time in probably a decade, it actually would have been entirely reasonable to make that cross-country pilgrimage based on the performance they gave at the Chapel. The place was packed, the show sold out long ago - I actually bought my tickets to this gig before I bought my plane ticket, because it was the much more important purchase. The sausage party levels in the club were off the chart - from where I was standing, I couldn't count more than a half-dozen women in the crowd, and three of them were from the opening band. I'm not entirely sure why this is, as I've known a number of women who like Hot Snakes, but the facts remain that most metal shows I've attended were more diverse than this one.
The whole band is great fun to watch, but I had forgotten just how amazing it is to see John Reis on stage. He is truly possessed - prowling the stage like a wild tiger in a small cage, a crazed look on his face, spitting everywhere, and mixing it up with the crowd constantly (those interactions include occasionally berating them for their lack of energy). He has a smile on his face almost the entire time, but it's the type of smile you see on a demonic toddler after they just decided to dump all of their food on the floor while staring you straight in the eye. They were also touring with both of their drummers - the first half of the show was with with their original drummer Jason Kourkounis, the second half with Mario Rubalcaba, and then Jason came back out for the encore. Given we're all getting older and how hard they play, two drummers might not be bad idea for any band that's been around this long.
Other than them not playing my favorite song "Mystery Boy," I have zero complaints about this performance and I'm so glad I made the trip for it. Word is this reformation isn't meant to be short-lived - a fourth record is on the way for Sub Pop, and a tour in support of that album to hopefully/probably follow. I'll go pretty much anywhere to see them again, though financially I wouldn't be mad if they decided to play closer to my home.