I knew the venue was small. There was no way I was going to miss this.
What I could have missed were the openers. The first act, An Optional Circus, didn't know what they wanted to do. There was such a mix of styles thrown together (with very obvious seams) that they just sounded like a band that was trying so hard not to be "something" that they ended up being nothing. At times they sounded like Pearl Jam, Incubus, The Tea Party, Our Lady Peace and at times almost heavy. I almost got the impression the singer just paid the rest of the band to play whatever he told them to. I have trouble seeing 5 guys all having that same vision. The drummer was a beast though. I just concentrated on him.
The Sitcoms were a more likely opener for Jucifer led by the fact that it was just a singer/guitar and a drummer. But it really ends there. Very artsy, in a lack of structure kind of way. I don't recall much in the way of a solid riff anywhere. I felt like I was at a coffeehouse. Again, drummer was pretty cool.
Do I really need to tell you how Jucifer was? If you know anything about the legendary, almighty Jucifer, then no. But, (gasp) there may be some poor souls who have yet to bathe in the glory of the Amp Wall. It was a scaled down amp wall on this night but it still blew other backlines (for full bands) out of the water. I'm not super good with gear, or inches, but I'm assuming they were all 12". 3-4 X s, 2-10 X s, and 2-8 X s cabinets. All jacked in to 1 guitar. And that's just what they could fit on the stage! I could see a pile of cabs stacked up in behind the wall. I even think they were using them. Despite the limitations of, in Edgar's own words, "the smallest stage I've ever been on" those that turned up to risk their auditory senses were assaulted in a way only Jucifer can deliver.
As the smoke rolled across the room, the lights were aglow in crimson red. A hooded and cloaked figure revealed herself through the haze. Edgar Livengood stood sentinel clutching four drumsticks in each hand. He waited as a blast of drone and doom riffage brought forth the demons that would transform his entity and that of Gazelle Amber Valentine from mere humans into the beast known as Jucifer. With the transformation complete, Jucifer laid waste to a multitude of senses. Auditory, visual, sixth, and common sense were obliterated. Even touch could not escape the onslaught as the space reverberated under the weight of a set heavy on material from Throned in Blood. Amber played like a woman possessed. Relentless and bent on total destruction. Edgar mercilessly beat the living shit out of his drums as if they were a dog that ate his mother.
As the last cymbal crash faded, and the low thrum of the final riff droned on into the infinite, the captive audience was relieved of their virtual hypnosis only to find themselves forever changed. And a part of their soul will remain empty until Jucifer inevitably returns.