Howling Giant searched for the Haunted Hot Sauce Helmsman and performed in Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 11.
Howling Giant (from left: Tom Polzine, Zach Wheeler, Sebastian "Seabass" Baltes). Photograph by Mollie Crowe.
At first glance, Squirrel Hill Sports Bar on Forward Avenue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill Neighborhood (obviously) seems too narrow and filled with casino games and pool tables to house live music, let alone a line-up of 4 bands. But at the end of the long narrow bar, open the first door on your right and you'll find something you wouldn't have expected: a theater. The event space, equipped with house sound and stage, holds approximately 225 and felt pretty cozy when Howling Giant came through on Saturday, with support from Horseburner, Sunshine Spazz of New Jersey, and Pittsburgh's own, Limousine Beach.
Hailing from Nashville, Howling Giant embarked on the "Search for the Haunted Hot Sauce Helmsman Tour" at the beginning of March, with stops in Detroit and Louisville before performing to Steel City. Their heavy riffs and mystical melodies accompanied with stories inspired by Japanese folklore and outer space. What captivated me most about the HG guys was beyond their stage presence and music catalog; it's the sincerity and charisma they emit while connecting and catching up with old friends and fans. Hold a conversation with Tom Polzine (guitar/vocals), Zach Wheeler (drums/vocals) or Sebastian "Seabass" Baltes (bass/vocals) and you'll find them to be equally hilarious and relatable as they are talented. Don't believe me? You'll be able to see for yourself when they release the highly-anticipated video promoting the aforementioned quest for the "Haunted Hot Sauce Helmsman," which wasn't just a clever name. The band has been working with a close friend who resides in Pittsburgh to create their own brand of hot sauce. After roughly $800 worth of hot sauce bottles shattering at the hands of failed delivery attempts, the guys decided to make the trek in person and made lemons out of lemonade by making it a month-long tour.
While you'll have to wait and see the behind the scenes stills from the video shoot, check out images from their set as well as Horseburner, Sunshine Spazz, and Limousine Beach, all captured on by Mollie Crowe.