(Originally Published on South Florida Insider)

The Sludge-Rock Masters Deliver a Rare, Incredible Treat to the Masses of South Florida – Review of the Baroness Concert featuring War on Women at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Photos and Article by Gleb Barabanov

It’s been a long time since John Baizley, the mastermind behind the celebrated Savannah-based sludge outfit Baroness decided to make the long trek down to South Florida, but boy was the wait worth it. I’ve been a fan of the group since the First EP, and having driven up to Jacksonville last year to see them play a shortened festival set I was incredibly excited to hear that they would not only be coming down to Ft. Lauderdale and playing a full-length headlining show, but also playing at the celebrated local institution The Culture Room, which is (in my humble opinion) the best venue in South Florida.

Joining them on this run were a band I had not heard of until the show, a group named War on Women. A co-ed punk rock band in the style of (a way more hardcore) Bikini Kill, the group was mostly showcasing songs from their latest album, Improvised Weapons. Singer Shawna Potter addressed quite a few topics that affected modern women not only in the punk rock scene, but all over America as well (and even more so in this day and age), such as politicians trying to limit access to birth control and the toxic scene present in some portions of the punk rock subculture.

After War on Women finished their set, the techs began to assemble the gear for the main event, and after a short wait the lights dimmed and a color changing, psychedelic background adorned the LED screens that flanked the stage. As fog poured out onto the stage, John and the rest of the band appeared and the opening notes to A Horse Called Golgotha began to ring out as the crowd went wild. It was incredible to see John and the band play these songs in such an intimate environment, and every new song they played felt like a special treat. March to the Sea, Kerosene, and Green Theme from their previous color themed albums all made an appearance, and the group played six songs from their latest chromatic epic Gold and Grey, which is an absolutely amazing album if you have not heard it yet.

Their new guitarist Gina Gleason did an amazing job learning all the older songs, expertly playing the lead guitar riffs and perfectly complementing John’s singing and playing. After some new material such as Seasons, Tourniquet and Borderlines, the group played a few more crowd-pleasers in the form of some older material for fans that have been around since the very beginning. EULA, Shock Me, and The Gnashing preluded a spectacular three song encore featuring Isak from their breakout record Red Album and finally finishing off the night with their most famous song, Take My Bones Away. It was an absolutely incredible night full of amazing tunes from a band that I have been a fan of for a long time, and here’s hoping they visit the sun-filled beaches of South Florida again sometime soon!