Friday 6 April 2018 saw the American trio Earthless perform a jaw-dropping set to a packed Islington Assembly Hall in London. The London stop was a part of their European tour in support of their latest album, Black Heaven (Nuclear Blast). Although the new album has seen a reduction in the length of their songs, the quality of their music has not suffered, and their live show is just breathtaking.
As their name suggests, Comet Control, opened the show with a space-like atmosphere. The first track was slow, bass-heavy and very much guided by the drummer who was positioned in the centre of the stage. The vocals were reminiscent of a dream pop act. As Comet Control’s set progressed, the songs were more upbeat, riff-heavy with a 90s grunge spice to them. It was difficult to please the audience as people were mostly there to see the maestros in Earthless, however, judging from the headbanging around me, I’m sure Comet Control picked up a few new fans in London.
After we finished jumping from one galaxy to another with Comet Control, the venue started getting more crowded and a funky atmosphere was created with great old-school tunes played from the PA. Following a brief wait, it was finally time for the band we have all been waiting for. There were no gimmicks. Earthless walked onto the stage to loud cheers and went straight to business with the 14-minute “Uluru Rock”. The set list then continued with tracks mostly from the new album, such as “Electric Flame”, “Black Heaven” and “Gifted by the Wind”. There aren’t that many instrumental bands that can woe an audience as much as Earthless. Guitarist Isaiah Mitchell may be performing mouth-watering solos throughout the concert, but this is not one of those “show off” instrumental acts. Catchy melodies and rhythms are present all the time, painting pictures as if Earthless’ music was telling a story depending on an individual’s imagination. Although it is tempting to name drop them as “psychedelic”, “instrumental” or a “jam band”, there is much more to this band. Their music has the potential to reach music fans beyond heavy metal and hard rock, reaching the hearts of blues fans, or even classical music aficionados.
Earthless closed the show with a Led Zeppelin cover of “Communication Breakdown”. Perfect end to the night and a great start to the weekend for everyone present that night.