There’s a menagerie of words I could use to describe seeing Black Tusk live, some more eloquent then others. The first word that comes to mind is fun, plain and simple. This is a group that, despite all of the obstacles they have faced, still have a blast on stage together and with the crowd. It’s infectious and it’s impossible not to be smiling by the end of their set.
The second word that comes to mind is family. This energetic band of brothers bound across the stage smiling together, singing and joking around. Since the years I lived in Savannah, I have always had a very deep respect for Black Tusk and their “TCBT” (Taking Care of Black Tusk) motto. Nothing is more important than family and these guys never forget that.
This tour comes with the release of Pillars of Ash, which was the last album recorded with brother Athon. He was definitely with them in spirit. They toasted to him with a bottle of Jim Beam that had his picture on it; jokingly denying their newest member, bassist Corey Barhorst, before passing the bottle to the crowd to enjoy. Once you are a part of the Black Tusk family, you are always a part of the Black Tusk family.
Black Tusk shares this tour with California natives, Holy Grail. This powerhouse quintet has something for everyone from goosebump inducing guitar solos to catchy fist pumping lyrics. Their classic heavy metal sound, along with a seemingly endless tour schedule, has earned them increasing popularity and for good reason. Their latest album, Times of Pride and Peril, is 46 minutes of good, clean, arena-style metal. Most bands don’t really get into this type of metal since it can end up sounding a bit dated, but these guys have it down to a science and there is nothing tired about what they do on stage.
Brooklyn provided the opening bands for Black Tusk and Holy Grail. Blackest brought with them an energetic, emotionally charged set that pummeled the crowd into submission. Mammal warmed the crowd up with a mic stand-wielding frontman who lured everyone forward by whispering in their ear.
Black Tusk and Holy Grail continue their journey across the states and Canada. If you haven’t had a chance to see them on tour, I highly recommend you find a city near you to do so. Aside from making you jealous that you will never have hair as beautiful as theirs, nor be able to flip it with such style while shredding on guitar, you won’t find a band that provides such raucous, high-powered music anytime soon.
*Side Note* A HUGE thank you to Sam for helping a sister in need and keeping the creeps off my back so I could focus on shooting!
Mammal (Click on thumbnail to open gallery)
Blackest (Click on thumbnail to open gallery)
Holy Grail (Click on thumbnail to open gallery)