Normally, it wouldn’t be all that unusual to see a band announce a new tour in support of a live album, but for Saint Vitus, this one comes with a twist. On this particularly shindig, they’re touring with founding frontman Scott Reagers, whereas the record in question was recorded—in Luxembourg, of all places—with Wino at the helm in 2013. Suffice to say, we probably won’t get the same setlist…
While I’d expect next month’s U.S. tour to be heavy on the band’s first two albums, Live Vol 2 draws largely from Born Too Late, the recently reissued Thirsty and Miserable EP, and Lillie: F-65, their most recent record. There are still a couple old-school set staples on here, namely “War is Our Destiny” and “White Stallions,” the former of which opens this record in a spirited, up-tempo fashion. The buzzsaw guitars come in really loud on the left channel, and while the vocals are clearly and perfectly audible, the rhythm section sounds pretty thin by comparison.
From there, the set segues perfectly into a curious choice, 1987 B-Side “Look Behind You,” before we get two of the choice cuts from their latest effort, slowing things down with “Let Them Fall” and “The Bleeding Ground,” as Dave Chandler dials up some vintage Vitus tones on each. As the chief songwriter, it’s Chandler who does the talking between songs, not Wino, though the latter has the lyrics down pat.
“Patra (Petra)” is the only inclusion from the underrated V album, which featured much more prominently on their first live record; likewise, “The Troll” is the only cut on here from Mournful Cries, but they both sound incredibly doomy and heavy. After another new number (“The Waste of Time”), we get into the meat of the order, with “White Stallions” and “Thirsty and Miserable” picking up the pace after those long, slow dirges…although their version of the latter is notably slower than Black Flag’s. Naturally, they save the best for last—“Dying Inside” and “Born Too Late” are the encore.
Y’know, I’m gonna be seeing these guys south of the border in a couple weeks, and even though I’m hoping to hear most of their self-titled debut—which was completely absent from this album—it would still feel weird if they didn’t play “Born Too Late” and “Dying Inside,” y’know?