Red Fang, The Shrine & Indian Handcrafts Rock Orange County’s Constellation Room

By Andrew Bansal

December 1st 2013, The Constellation Room (inside The Observatory), Santa Ana CA: Based out of Portland, Oregon, Red Fang have been enlightening masses around the world with the power of the riff, and in the process they have built up quite a cult following for themselves over the eight years of their existence. 2013 has been a stellar year for them, with the release of their third full-length album ‘Whales And Leeches’ via Relapse Records, followed by a headline tour. They began the second leg of their North American run with support bands The Shrine and Indian Handcrafts in San Francisco on November 30th and drove over to Orange County to play the Observatory’s smaller venue i.e. the Constellation Room last night.

With the Observatory’s main concert hall hosting The Devil Wears Prada last night, the line of people waiting outside before the doors opened made for an amusing sight, as the two sets of fans were clearly distinguishable and you could easily tell who was here for which show, The venue started letting people in at 8 PM, and the first band to take the stage at the Constellation Room was Indian Handcrafts, an eclectic two-piece hard rock band from Canada who began their set at 8:30. The place wasn’t packed at this time by any means but one thing is for certain, Indian Handcrafts managed to impress each and every person in attendance with their stunningly amazing 30-minute set. I saw them do a headline show at the Satellite not so long ago and they really didn’t get the response they deserved on that occasion, but last night was completely different and this was more of a true representation of an Indian Handcrafts live show. Playing a style of music that consists of a large variety of elements and is hard to describe in a broader sense, this band absolutely blew away the crowd, those who arrived early enough to see them. They’ve transcended into becoming one of my new favorite bands after this show and I really feel they’ve set the standard when it comes to two-piece bands. The duo of Brandyn James Aikins on drums/vocals and Daniel Brandon Allen on guitar/vocals combined to create a sound more powerful than bands with more members are able to. This is a band everyone needs to familiarize themselves with,

Visit Indian Handcrafts on the web: 

Next up, starting off at 9:20 and playing a hefty 50-minute set were The Shrine. The boys from Venice have been steadily on the rock n’ roll climb in recent years, sharing the stage with some well-respected names in the genre like Kyuss Lives, Graveyard, Fu Manchu and Fear, and doing plenty of touring of their own, including regular appearances in and around Los Angeles. Unlike the other rotating support bands on this run with Red Fang, The Shrine are slated for all dates on the tour. It makes perfect sense because I can’t think of a better match for The Shrine than Red Fang, and it was about time the two of them went on a full tour together. ‘Welcome to the Shrine!’ shouted guitarist/vocalist Josh Landau as the trio began their punk-infused rock n’ roll onslaught with ‘Whistlings Of Death’ and played a killer set of tunes from the Primitive Blast full length along with a couple of new ones which really added something different to their show and made it stand out from their recent past gigs in Southern California. These dudes were totally in their zone, rocking out like there was no tomorrow and playing an extended version of ‘Deep River’ wherein all three members expressed their individual and collective musicality to the fullest. Most of this crowd seemed to dig what The Shrine here, and their Black Sabbath-meets-Black Flag brand of rock is poised to skate along its way to further success in the near and long term future.

Visit The Shrine on the web: 

Set List:
1.Whistlings Of Death
2. Run The Night
3. Nothing Forever
4. Drinking Man
5. Worship
6. Tripping Corpse
7. Zipper Tripper
8. Bless Off
9. Primitive Blast
10.*New Song*
11.Deep River

With such incredible openers and quick turnaround times between sets, this show was moving along very swiftly and not long after The Shrine were done, Red Fang appeared on stage at 10:35 in their typically low-key manner. The Portland stoner rock juggernaut rolled down at full fury and took everyone in its path. In comparison to the show on the first leg at the Troubadour which I also attended, I felt the show last night had a lot more punch to it, in every aspect. The room perhaps provided a better setting for their show as well, as the sound quality here was fantastic and the mix was perfectly balanced, at least from where I was standing, near the back of the room by the mixing board. Besides, the crowd seemed to be more attentive to what the band was actually doing on stage rather than engaging in their own conversations, as was the case at the Troubadour. In terms of the set list, they changed it up a little bit from the first leg, and in all honesty, came up with a better, stronger selection of tunes. The new songs sounded excellent, and the older material off of the Murder The Mountains and self-titled albums were as great as ever. This is a band that’s pulling off a strikingly massive clean heavy rock sound better than most of their peers at the moment, and last night they perhaps did it to a greater extent than any of the several times I’ve seen them in the past. The hipster beard bearers, PBR consumers and headbangers in this crowd had a blast during the entirety of Red Fang’s 65-minute set.

Visit Red Fang on the web: 

Set List:
1. Malverde
2. Crows in Swine
3. Blood Like Cream
4. 1516
5. Into the Eye
6. Wires
8. Voices of the Dead
9. Hank Is Dead
10.Throw Up
11.No Hope
12.Number Thirteen
14.Dirt Wizard
16.Prehistoric Dog

Red Fang & The Shrine’s remaining tour dates:
12/2 Tempe, AZ @ Club Red *
12/4 Austin, TX @ Red 7 *
12/5 Houston, TX @ Fitgerald’s Downtairs *
12/6 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia *
12/7 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn *
12/8 Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade *
12/9 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts +
12/10 Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East +
12/11 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom +
12/13 Montreal, QC @ Cabaret Mile End +
12/14 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace *
12/15 Detroit, MI @ The Shelter **
12/16 Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Auditorium **
12/17 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock ***
12/19 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep ***
* = w/ Indian Handcrafts
+ = w/ Cancer Bats & Indian Handcrafts
** = w/ Cancer Bats & Radkey
*** = w/ Radkey