AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: COC/Brant Bjork/Saviours/Mothership @ Opera House, December 1, 2015

Not too long ago, I tipped my hat to Matt Pike for consistently putting together some solid touring packages. After their last couple trips to Toronto, I’d hafta extend the same courtesy to Corrosion of Conformity–there was not a dud to be found in last night’s lineup, with all four bands complementing each other nicely while not sounding exactly the same. And suffice to say, a PJK-era COC revival was met with much enthusiasm; it’s been a while since I’ve seen so many crowdsurfers at a concert!

And while I was definitely among the masses spinning Deliverance and Wiseblood back to back for the past couple weeks, there was one other band I was looking forward to see almost as much as COC…and they took the stage promptly at 8 pm. Mothership has really taken off since I first praised them for their raw power, their punctuality and their impressive self-titled debut. With a second record now under their belts, these guys have graduated from bar-band opener to concert-hall opener, and they owned every inch of that stage not covered by the headliner’s backline last night.

IMG_5296

IMG_5297

IMG_5302

IMG_5303

IMG_5306

IMG_5308

IMG_5310

IMG_5311

IMG_5312

IMG_5314

IMG_5317

By my estimation, it had been over four years since the last time Saviours were here, touring at the time with Weedeater and Bison back in 2011. For those who haven’t heard their new album, these guys hail from Oakland and bear a noticeable resemblance to High on Fire, both musically and in the looks department. Dunno if this dude’s actually related to Matt Pike, but I’m pretty sure they’ve got the same tattoo artist:

IMG_5321

IMG_5320

IMG_5322

IMG_5324

IMG_5325

IMG_5326

IMG_5327

IMG_5331

IMG_5333

IMG_5336

IMG_5341

IMG_5342

IMG_5343

Brant Bjork obviously needs no introduction; the man is a stoner-rock living legend. But between stints with Kyuss Lives and Vista Chino, it had been a little while since I’ve seen him front his own band–the Low Desert Punk Band, in this instance. Brant and his Bros were a longtime NXNE staple, and man, tunes like “Automatic Fantastic” and “Freaks of Nature” still sound pretty friggin’ fantastic. And even though his was by far the mellowest act of the evening, that didn’t stop the kids from moshing on at least one occasion…

IMG_5348

IMG_5349

IMG_5351

IMG_5352

IMG_5354

IMG_5355

IMG_5357

IMG_5359

IMG_5361

IMG_5362

IMG_5365

IMG_5366

IMG_5370

Corrosion of Conformity has sure come a long way since starting off as a teenage punk band back in the day. But even though these guys are all pushing 50 now, they still put on a high-energy show, bounding around on stage like a buncha 16-year-olds. And in pure punk-rock fashion, there was no less than a dozen crowdsurfers/stagedivers thoughout their set, which spanned a nice cross-section of the four albums with Pepper singing (five if you include the encore of “Vote with a Bullet”). Funny, I don’t think I’ve seen so many crowdsurfers since the last time Down came to town…

IMG_5373

IMG_5375

IMG_5378

IMG_5380

IMG_5383

IMG_5387

IMG_5388

IMG_5392

IMG_5395

IMG_5399

IMG_5400

IMG_5403

IMG_5406

IMG_5409

IMG_5413

IMG_5419

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.