First show of the year and it was my first time seeing Fu Manchu live.
Opening up the show was San Diego's Get Your Death On!. I knew nothing about them going into the show so I was curious to hear what they sound like. Thankfully their sound is hard to describe. They mix elements of what people would call "indie rock", add elements of Black Sabbath inspired doom along with elements from the "jam band" scene. If I had to guess, these guys like a lot of the same music I do. Looks like they had a friend on "aux percussion" to augment their quartet. I thought they had a couple of great jams. There's a new album from them on the way and I'm looking forward to hear what they do in a studio setting. Great band to open the night.
In the middle was slotted It's Casual from Los Angeles. I knew a little about them going into the gig mainly that they are a duo on guitar and drums and their guitar player is left-handed. After a long delay as the guitar player was having trouble with his monster rig, they were off and running. These two play with a lot of energy and have a strong hardcore punk influence. You would think that a duo would have a drummer with a huge kit to take up all of the empty space but this guy had the most minimal kit I've seen - bass drum, snare, high-hat and crash symbol. That was it. Just the right band to get the crowd fired up before the Fu hit the stage.
I really don't have any excuses as to why I've yet to see Fu Manchu live (other than I was out of town when they played last year) as I've been listening to them for many years now. I've read all about their live shows and seen video footage. Well they definitely were rocking the Casbah last night. The setlist covered much of their discography, with only their first two albums and 'California Crossing' not getting any attention. The crowd was as into the music more than I've seen at any Casbah show. Perhaps due to more Orange County/L.A. presence? 'Saturn III' and 'Hogwash' and 'Anodizer' were the best jams and the highlights of the show for me. Ending the show with 'King Of The Road' was perfect. Not sure if they did an encore (it wasn't looking like it so I left), but the set ended perfectly without one.