It only took a mere 21 years for Riverside to make their first ever appearance in San Francisco, playing to a near capacity crowd at Slim’s on their first ever extended U.S tour in support of their most recent release ‘Wasteland’.
I arrived at the club around 8 pm looking forward to seeing the opening act, Contrive, a two-piece band from Australia, featuring twin brothers, Paul Haug (Guitars and Vocals) and Andrew Haug (Drums).
Due to a problem at will call (specifically not having my media credentials), I missed the first 2 songs or so, which is a major bummer due to the fact my favorite song by them, ‘ What’s Mine’, is their second song in their set – a complete and total banger of a song.
After I received my credentials, I went inside to check out the rest of their set. I absolutely enjoyed their set of heavy, thrashy and hook-laden Metal. What I found very humorous was the reaction from the mostly prog rock crowd was their initial reaction to when the band played. The crowd looked confused and a little unsure about what they were listening to considering Contrive is not at all Prog Rock, they are someone you would expect to play with the likes of Machine Head, Opeth, and Testament to name just a few. But in the end, I believe they made a bunch of new fans. If they ever happen to come to your neck of the pond, I highly recommend checking them out. Highlights from their set were, ‘What’s Mine’, ‘The Human Game’, ‘You’re Owned’, and ‘Slow Dissolve’ just to name a few.
After a short intermission of about 20 minutes, Riverside who hails from ‘Warsaw, Poland’ hit the stage to a loud and supportive crowd opening their set with a heavy dose of songs off of their ‘Wasteland’ album including the opener ‘Wasteland Soundscape’. The band was in fine form tonight with Mariusz Duda, handling his usual bass and vocal duties and a fantastic backing band consisting of Piotr Kozieradzki (Drums), Michał Łapaj (Keyboards) and the newcomer on guitar, Maciej Meller, replacing ‘Piotr Grudziński who tragically passed away in 2016.
Piotr Grudziński, was the backbone of the band with his emotional guitar playing and memorable guitar tone. He had a huge impact on what I loved so much about the band when I first heard the albums ‘Second Life Syndrome’, ‘Rapid Eye Movement’, and ‘Out of Myself’. I feel quite fortunate to be able to see Piotr with Riverside on their ‘Shrine of a New Generation’ Tour in Chicago at the Double Door. That was an evening I will never forget.
With that aside, I was pleasantly impressed with Maciej Meller’s guitar playing on the few older songs that they played and the more recent stuff.
Highlights of the evening were, ‘Lament’, ‘Saturate Me’, ‘Out of Myself’, ‘Loose Heart’, ’02 Panic Room’ and a very emotional version of the song ‘Wasteland’. Overall, it was everything I could have asked for and more.
……………….I just hope they don’t wait another 21 years to come back to town.
- Wasteland Soundscape
- Acid Rain
- Vale of Tears
- Reality Dream I
- Saturate Me
- Out of Myself
- Second Life Syndrome
- Left Out
- Guardian Angel
- Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By a Hat?)
- The Struggle for Survival
- Egoist Hedonist
- Loose Heart
- 02 Panic Room
- River Down Below
All photos by Scott Martin