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High on Fire 

When: Thu., June 27, 8 p.m. 2013
Price: $20
Despite its popularity and success, High on Fire has not had it easy: The Oakland metal band has survived injuries (drummer Des Kensel’s spinal cord damage), rotating bass players, two major natural disasters (the 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake and Japanese earthquake and tsunami), and, most recently, rehab (for vocalist/axeman Matt Pike’s alcoholism). And yet, at the band’s last Bay Area performance at Slim’s in December, it sounded as raw and as pummeling as ever. Now, High on Fire has a new two-volume live album, Spitting Fire Live (vols. 1 & 2), and it’s a blatant reminder of this band’s strength on the stage. Recorded over two nights in New York during the band’s last tour, Spitting features the best tracks of High on Fire’s entire catalog: The psychedelic, head-spinning, sludgey “10,000 Years,” off the band’s 2000 debut, as well as the mosh-churning “Rumors of War,” the “Thunderstruck”-influenced “Snakes for the Divine,” and the fast-churning “Devilution.” Finally, the raw adrenaline of a High on Fire show has been captured — but don’t take my word for it. See them at The Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland).
— Kathleen Richards

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