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LIVE: RAVEN – October 27, 2014 (San Francisco, CA)

| 3 November 2014 | Reply


Venue: The Elbo Room

City: San Francisco, CA

Date: October 27, 2014

Review and Photographs by: Robert Kitay

After a couple decades away from the San Francisco Bay Area, Raven has been a regular visitor over the last several years and once again they brought their raw, high energy show back to San Francisco.

Opening the show was Night Demon.  This was my first experience with Night Demon, who took the stage around 9:45 pm.  But, before I talk about Night Demon, please excuse me while I rant about promoters that start shows this late on weeknights.  This later start (with an advertised start of 9:00 pm, where the doors didn’t even open until 9:00 pm) is one of the reasons many shows these days have disappointing attendance.  I personally know several people who were planning on attending this show until they saw the late start time.  People come from hours away to see these shows, and most people who have to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning for work aren’t willing to go to a show if it means that they don’t get home at 3 am.  As much as I appreciate promoters booking these shows, I just hate these late weeknight starts.


Ok, rant over.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, Night Demon.  This was my first experience with Night Demon, and I have to say, they kicked all kinds of ass.  This three piece band had an old school early ‘80s feel to it.  One of the songs they played was a cover of Riot’s “Road Racing,” and that song gives you a good idea of the type of music they play.  Fast, aggressive, and melodic.  About mid-set, the sound system blew out, causing a 10 minute intermission.  After, the fix, they were right back to it.  I was very impressed with this band live.  I picked up their CD at the merchandise table, and unfortunately the CD just didn’t relay how great this band is in a live setting.  I can’t wait to hear their next CD, and I hope that it showcases this band’s strengths more, because their live set is awesome.


The second band on the bill, was San Francisco’s HellFire.  Overall, this was a pretty standard heavy metal band that didn’t stand out too much in my mind.  Nothing particularly wrong with their set, but nothing stood out.  I did notice that one of the guitarists was wearing a Riot shirt, so along with Night Demon covering a Riot song, and the club playing a Riot song between sets, was the most love for Riot that I’ve seen in a public setting for years.


Just a few minutes before midnight, Raven took the stage, and for the next 75 minutes play proceeded to blow us away with some of the most raw, aggressive and energetic metal out there today.  If you’ve never seen Raven, all three of the band members display more energy than most bands half their age.  In particular, guitarist Mark Gallagher is in constant motion and within 10 minutes was sweating like he just ran several miles.   All the classic songs were played including “Live at the Inferno,” “All for One,” “Rock Until You Drop,”  “Mind Over Metal,” “Faster Than the Speed of Light,” and “On and On,” along with a few songs that will be on their upcoming album “ExtermiNation.”  The set finished with a very cool medley of  “Break the Chain” with covers of “War Pigs,” “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” “Symptom of the Universe,” “Genocide,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” blended in.  John Gallagher’s voice sounds as great as it always has, and apparently nobody has told them that bands that have been around for 40 years are suppose to slow down a little bit.  They obviously have fun and love what they do, and that is completely infectious.  They put on a really fun show to watch, and they still play great.  They remain on my list of bands to catch each and every time they come around.  Catch them when they come to a town near you.



Setlist: Hard Ride – Live At The inferno – All For One – Destroy All  Monsters – Rock Until You Drop / Stay Hard – Speed Of The Reflex / Run Silent Run Deep / Mind Over Metal – It’s  Not What You Got – Faster Than The Speed Of Light – Gimme A Break – On And On – Break The Chain / War Pigs / I Don’t Need No Doctor / Symptom Of The Universe / Genocide / Won’t Get Fooled Again / Break The Chain


Category: Live Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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