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Baroness Kick Off Summer Tour at Portland’s State Theatre [Photos]

Baroness kicked off their summer tour at Portland’s State Theatre on their “Summer Oblivion Tour” with Portrayal of Guilt and Gozu.



Baroness on May 31, 2024, photo by Nathan Katsiaficas
Baroness on May 31, 2024, photo by Nathan Katsiaficas

Sludge/stoner metal legends Baroness are out on the “Summer Oblivion Tour.” This is the band’s biggest run in more than five years in support of their latest album Stone. Along for the ride are Austin, Texas’ Portrayal of Guilt, and Boston’s Gozu. We caught the tour on its very first stop, at the historic State Theatre in Portland, Maine on May 31st.

Fans continued to file in as local stoner metal act Gozu took to the stage to get the crowd warmed up, kicking things off with “Tom Cruise Control” from their 2023 album Remedy. Their tightly executed set was really fun to watch, especially bassist Joe Grotto’s stage moves!

Up next, for a complete change of pace, was black metal/blackened screamo act Portrayal of Guilt. I’ve been trying to catch these guys for a while now. In 2023, they released an EP called Devil Music (check out the age-restricted video for the release on YouTube), that featured five tracks, with an additional alternate version for each done entirely with orchestral instruments and harsh vocals.

Alas, there was no orchestra tonight, but the band absolutely crushed their set. It featured some material off of Devil Music as well as tracks from their recent album Christf**ker. Highlights of the set were “The Sixth Circle” and “One Last Taste of Heaven.” Vocalist Matt King is just unbelievable live. The guy can make some inhuman-sounding screams and guttural noises! The band is definitely worth catching on this tour if you can!

At last, it was time for Baroness! The band emerged and kicked right into the opening guitar chugs of “Last Word” from their latest release. This was my first time seeing them live, and my immediate thought was, “Fuck! I wish I’d seen them sooner!” What an energetic and massive-sounding live band!

While they might fall on the more melodic end of the spectrum, the band is quite intense live and sounds massive! The band members themselves each have quite intense stage presence, especially backing vocalist/lead guitarist Gina Gleason. Baroness continued with “Under the Wheel,” “A Horse Called Golgotha,” and fan-favourite “March to the Sea.” The crowd, which was comprised of mostly mid-30-somethings and up and had been mostly hostile to moshing during the previous band, finally got moving a bit more. The band continued, blasting through the remainder of a 14-song set, including another new track, “Beneath the Rose.” Frontman John Baizley’s vocals, along with Gleason’s sounded so powerful live and were spot-on with the recordings.

They closed their set with an encore of “Take My Bones Away” from 2012’s Yellow & Green album and “Isak” from 2007’s Red Album. As their biggest tour in half a decade, it’s definitely worth catching Baroness on this run, which goes until the end of June in the U.S. before the band heads overseas.

Tour Dates:

06/12 – Lawrence, KS The Bottleneck
06/14 – Memphis, TN Growlers
06/15 – Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
06/17 – Little Rock, AR The Hall
06/18 – Nashville, TN The Basement East
06/19 – Birmingham, AL Saturn
06/21 – Richmond, VA The Broadberry
06/22 – Charlottesville, VA The Jefferson Theater
06/23 – Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
06/24 – Millvale, PA Mr. Small’s Theater
06/26 – Patchogue, NY 89 North
06/27 – Bensalem, PA Broken Goblet
06/30 – Stroudsburg, PA Sherman Theater

International Tour Dates:

07/24 – Vienna, AT Simm City
07/26 – Plovdiv, BG Hills of Rock *
07/28 – Zagreb, HR Vintage Industrial Bar
07/30 – Budapest, HU A38 Ship
08/01 – Transylvania, RO Rockstadt Extreme *
08/02 – Wacken, DE Wacken Open Air *
08/03 – Karlsruhe, DE Substage
08/05 – Saarbrucken, DE Garage
08/06 – Aschaffenburg, DE Colos-Saal
08/08 – Hradec Kralové, CZ Brutal Assault *
08/09 – Leipzig, DE Werk 2
08/11 – Kortrijk, BE Alcatraz Open Air  *
08/13 – Nijmegen, NL Doornroosje
08/15 – Bristol, UK ArcTanGent *
08/16 – Southampton, UK The 1865
08/18 – Carhaix, FR Motocultor Festival *
* Festival appearance

When he's not out in the woods, clomping around in streams, or looking at shiny rocks, you can find our U.S. Managing Editor and contributing photographer Nathan Katsiaficas in the photo pit, covering everything from heavy metal to punk, alternative, indie, and hip-hop.