It was a casual rainy Wednesday. A good day to visit Vintage Industrial Bar and have a few beers in the company of Stoned Jesus. Stoned Jesus are definitely one of the most frequent visitors to our humble little country. On each tour, they keep in mind to visit us and so they did again. This time, they did it with their fellow countrymen Vovk.
Regarding Vovk, there are many influences that can be heard in their music, most noticeable are alternative, progressive and stoner rock with some post-hardcore thrown in the mix. Sounds like a very experimental band, doesn’t it? Well, the band might sound experimental in theory, even in the studio versions, but when it comes to live performances, they seem to be playing it safe. Which ultimately resulted in a highly unmemorable performance. The same case is with their music – no matter how experimental they try to get, nothing really stands out. It all sounds very ‘heard before’. The audience was also very static during their performance, I don’t think anyone was really feeling it. Overall, a very forgettable performance.
After the supporting act, it was time to grab some beers and prepare for the band of the evening. The one and only – Stoned Jesus. As it was the tenth anniversary of the band, it was expected (and advertised) that the set will be a little longer than usual. For some reason, that didn’t happen. It is understandable that some of their song are very long, but they can shorten them or play them faster. This was my fifth time seeing this band live and from my past experiences, it seems that this band is having a downwards spiral when it comes to live shows. The first time I’ve seen them in the exact same place, the venue was pretty full and the energy could be felt in the air. With each following performance, the band’s quality was dropping and the atmosphere in the audience was getting more and more dull. The venue was still filled with a big crowd as their previous performances have been, but how did that crowd feel? To remind you, they visited us in 2014, and again in 2015, and again in 2017, and again in 2018…you get the picture.
Stoned Jesus started their set when the crowd has completely gathered. The concert began very suddenly and from that moment, the lack of energy could be felt in the air. It seems that this concert was no exception when it comes to the downward spiral we mentioned. Even the vocals sounded weaker this time, which can be attributed to the fact that the band’s frontman Igor caught a cold. During one interaction with the audience he stated he was ill, so he asked them to decrease the smoke levels, although I think he was bothered by something else. Those who attended Stoned Jesus’s concerts before will get the idea.
The set consisted mostly of tracks from “Seven Thunders Roar”, which is their most acclaimed album. They played all tracks from that record except one, but that one was also hinted at during the performance. The fact that this band dwells so much on their old songs shows their apparent lack of creativity. They only played a single song from the new album, almost like they’re aware of the fact that the audience doesn’t really dig their new stuff, which could’ve already been concluded last year at this exact same location. It would’ve been all good if their old material worked like it did before, but judging by the reactions I don’t think that was the case. Not even “I’m the Mountain” can stir up the atmosphere as it once could. I have no doubt that the most hardcore of their fans were having a blast. As for everyone else, it didn’t really seem that way. They returned for one more song at the encore, thus another Stoned Jesus’s concert came to an end.
I think it is pretty obvious why people are going to Stoned Jesus’s concerts. Even the band’s name says it all. It’s not so much about the concert experience, as it is about getting drunk or high, or a combination of those things. I personally think Stoned Jesus’ time has come to pass and that this band can hardly offer any more surprises. Judging by the reactions from some people that were at this concert (or the three concerts before that), I can safely say that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I have no doubt they will visit us again, as they always do, but personally, I think I had my fair share of Stoned Jesus. As for those who haven’t yet seen them, go ahead. Even if the concert isn’t to your liking, you can always grab a few beers and relax to the tunes.