Gig Review: High on Fire / Silverburn – Islington Assembly Hall, London (14th June 2024)

Silverburn (c) Bracken Hake

Ah, a half-day at work on Friday followed by a gig in the evening—there’s nothing better! I thought it would be a quiet day, but it turned out to be a busy one. An evening with great music and good vibes really puts a smile on your face.

I arrived at the Islington Assembly Hall just after the doors opened and found an empty queue (no complaints from me), which I thought was strange. However, it was quite busy inside the venue. As usual, before the first band, I grabbed a drink. I was disappointed to pay £3.50 for an off-brand cola, but that was the only letdown of the evening!

After a short wait, it was finally time for the music! First up was Silverburn, a band with music that knows no bounds. Their sound includes everything from sludgy riffs to thrashy elements, offering something for everyone! My only issue with the set was the lighting, which was very dark and made photography quite challenging. However, it’s not the end of the world.

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High On Fire (c) Bracken Hake

After a short break, it was time for tonight’s headliners all the way from Oakland, California: High on Fire! Let me tell you, I was extremely excited for this. The set kicked off in complete darkness and the crowd erupted. You could tell they were excited too.

The band opened with “Burning Down,” an intense, sludgy track that instantly captivated the crowd. Bonus points for Matt Pike’s performance on a double-neck bass! The band played on a minimalistic stage, keeping all the attention on the music, showing they were there for the music alone, which isn’t something you see much of in 2024. Their set was a mix of dark, sludgy stoner doom along with a few faster-paced tracks. The crowd was absolutely vibing with the music. There wasn’t a person in sight that didn’t look like they were enjoying the music. The lighting was very dark and atmospheric, making photography fairly difficult. However, by the third song, there was lots of white light, which made me happy!

Overall, this was an absolutely wicked gig, but it was a shame that I had to leave earlier than I would have liked (bloody public transport!).

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Photos by Bracken Hake

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