Concert Review: High On Fire @ Baltimore Soundstage — 11/17/19

Matt Pike of High On Fire performing at Baltimore Soundstage (Photo by Andy Jillson)

High On Fire performed at Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore, Maryland on November 17, 2019 — and I, Andy Jillson, was there rocking out with my fellow photographers and dedicated metalheads. Soundstage was packed, people were drunk and high, and the music was fucking amazing. I did my best to capture these musical madman in action despite the obstacles.

Jeff Matz of High On Fire performing at Baltimore Soundstage (Photo by Andy Jillson)
*All photos and words by Andy Jillson

That’s right, American sludge metal masters High On Fire recently stopped at Baltimore Soundstage and I was there being pummeled by their brutal musical onslaught. Matt Pike and Jeff Matz brought High On Fire back to Baltimore once again and played a killer set of songs from their varied metal library. This was my first time seeing High On Fire live and I’m grateful to have obtained a photo pass for this show.

High On Fire are out on the road as headliners on a juggernaut North American fall tour. For support, the band have brought along Creeping Death, Devil Master, and Power Trip. Whoa. This is a tour no fan of metal would want to miss. High On Fire delivered a style of metal that was equal parts harsh/abrasive and ambient/technical. This is a crossover band that has done it right.

This past January, High On Fire was forced to cancel an entire tour due to frontman Matt Pike suffering a medical emergency involving his big toe. However, he is back out doing what he loves and all seems to be well. High On Fire amazed the crowd in Baltimore with their pioneering brand of sludge, stoner, doom, thrash, metal music.

High On Fire was formed in Oakland, California in 1998 and to date have released eight studio albums. High On Fire is currently touring in support of their most recent album, Electric Messiah. This album was released in October 2018 and serves as a tribute to Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. The song “Electric Messiah” won the Best Metal Performance at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Holy shit! A band that actually deserved a Grammy?!?

All the bands on the bill were great and the vibes were positive all around. The air was filled with the sound of top notch heavy metal and the smell of marijuana and beer. Everyone in attendance appeared to be having a blast and High On Fire delivered an epic set. Noteworthy songs they played included; “Zion,” “Spewn from the Earth,” “Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil,” “Rumors of War,” “Fertile Green,” “Freebooter,” “Fury Whip,” and “Electric Messiah.”

Luckily for the fans, High On Fire is still touring in support of their newest album, Electric Messiah. Be sure to check out the Official High On Fire Website for all upcoming tour dates and other info about the band. Don’t be a lazy stoner…go out and see High On Fire!

Here are some more photos of High On Fire performing at Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore, Maryland on November 17, 2019. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All words written by Andy Jillson.

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