Author: Nick Thurn
Ancient Futures 2 was an absolute blast, providing hours and hours of weird/eclectic country and folk, heavy metal, hard blues, gothic prog rock, thrash metal, and more, all at the High Noon Saloon on 10/13.
Finishing out an epic night, Madison’s very own two-piece gothic/doom country legends Those Poor Bastards played crowd favorites from their extensive catalog, mashing hard distorted acoustic guitar strumming with nasty synth lines and a percussive cacophony of snare hits, cymbal crashes, and vocal yells and whimpers. All while still providing some great sing-a-longs. How is this band a two-piece again?
Heavy metal titan, pioneer, and icon THOR had the whole crowd headbanging, dancing, and giggling at his band’s dungeons-and-dragons-esque aesthetic, poured out through their absurdly goofy glam/heavy metal sound. The whole set was a riot. Although it was a bit of a departure from what can be seen of the vintage video of the band available on the internet (this time, there was no human teeth-mediated sheet metal bending), it was a powerfully heavy and raucous metal set.
Iowa’s psych/blues outfit Truth and Janey gave an incredible and impassioned rock performance, their guitar player (another 1970’s rocker!) Janey utilizing a captivating largely ‘fingerstyle’ (albeit strangely so) blues-rock guitar riffing and soloing technique. The communication between himself and his rhythm section (composed of his very two sons!) was no less amazing, demonstrating their incredible focus and improvisation capabilities, and featuring most prominently his incredibly tasty guitar solo.
An honorable mention for the night should be made for another Madison-ish-based band, Vanishing Kids, who, with their eclectic blend of goth, progressive rock, glam, and power pop, were the most disparate band of the night stylistically, but refreshingly so. Another honorable mention should go to Ruin Dweller, a Madison-based thrash/black metal band, who were certainly the fastest on the bill. I very much recommend attending any future Ancient Futures fests (…say that ten times fast!), as I’m sure they will only grow in attendance, quality of the performance acts, and the likelihood that attendees have an excellent time.