Torche Concert Review

Torche has restored my faith in rock music.

I have been very vocal about how much I like Torche. They raised the bar again when they recently played the New World Brewery in Tampa. Torche is hands down one of the best live shows around, and they prove time and time again why they should be closer to the top of the pantheon of the current metal scene.


They just fuckin’ rock…. that’s it… that’s my logic…

Let me set the stage…. I live in Tampa, but hail from the rust filled beauty that is Cleveland, Ohio. It gets cold in Cleveland, and I was a champ at holding my own in the frostbite chill of that town. 3 degrees was nothing as long as you had a hot toddy and a hat.

In Tampa, in January, 34 degrees might as well be as cold as Neptune.  Me and 100 others braved the pins and needles that is winter in Florida, outside in front of the stage while the band thawed us out with their dangerous mix of swampy, Everglade riffs and their best impression of Hall and Oates.

The band, musically, was tight, moving easily through cuts from their better known records including Meanderthal, Harnonicraft, and Restarter. Lead singer Steve Brooks, ever the showman, stalked around the stage reeling out earthen sounds from his axe. Guitarist Andrew Elstner, and bassist Juan Montoya, heads bobbing in unison, worked their fret boards with cracking fingers. I was most impressed by the way the band transitioned from song to song without missing  a beat, and how drummer Rick Smith, kicking the shit out of the skins, never stopped playing…. In two hours, I bet they played 20 songs of seismic metal, without stopping.

The last treat of the night is when they pulled out their guitars with the  “bomb note” open top string, downtuned to hell, and played a medley from their self-titled record Torche including the forever-heavy “Charge of the Brown Recluse”, and “Vampyro”.

Torche live in Jacksonville
Torche live in Jacksonville. Photo by Brian Furman.

I must be honest, I drank a whole hell of a lot to stay warm, but goddammit it if us 100 people weren’t having the best time. We might as well been in the band. The venue was perfect, the stage intimate and wonderfully lit. They could have been playing on the back porch of their house while a bunch of old friends looked on. It was spectacular.

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Rock On!
Brian Furman

Related: Torche Restarter Album Review


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