The sheer level of power (and there is no other word to describe it – certainly none that can do it justice) within earthtone9’s Damnation performance took us completely by surprise. It wasn’t that we were expecting it to be lacking in any respect – quite the opposite in fact – but it was so far above and beyond even our already sky-high expectations that we barely know where to start when it comes to deconstructing it for this review.
The reasons earthtone9‘s set today even better than their performance at Sonisphere earlier this year – a performance that to all intents and purposes was a cracker – was twofold. Firstly, any nerves the band might still have had that nobody would be interested in a band that hadn’t played together in eight years were well and truly extinguished. From the grin that’s plastered all over Owen Packard’s face as he ploughed into riff after riff, to the casual brilliance of Simon Hutchby’s drumming landing with enough force to leave us feeling like we were getting punched, every aspect of earthtone9 was flawless. It seems such a cliche to describe a reformed band in such terms, but at Damnation they were even better than the dozens of times we saw this band when we were teenagers.
The second factor that made this almost (almost!) the performance of the day was that the horde of people crammed onto the floor of Leeds Union got it from the off. There was no awkward sideways glances among the crowd to check that everyone else was getting into it to. There was no waiting-for-someone-else-to-start-the-moshpit. No, instead there was just a floor of being going berserk. The glory of this spectacle was only topped by Karl Middleton unexpectedly announcing a new song towards the end of their set. Later on, when we heard the news that the band are recording new material, we almost found ourselves crying with delight.
earthtone9 @ Damnation Festival - 06 November 2010 by Gary Wolstenholme
earthtone9 @ Damnation Festival 2010 setlist:
Grind & Click
Tat Twam Asi
Evil Crawling I
New Song (sorry, we didn’t get the title)
I Nagual Eye