Seeing Sleep at The Phoenix wasn’t just another gig–it was a religious experience. Let’s just say there might have been more than one bearded dude bowing down to the almighty riff last night. And when the whole band came in at the beginning of “Dopesmoker,” everybody up front started headbanging in unison, like a buncha drugged-out monks.
There were some really high-quality gigs in the Big Smoke this year, with the long-awaited returns of Neurosis, Electric Wizard and AC/DC, Ufomammut’s first-ever appearance, and a couple outstanding lineups curated by High on Fire and Corrosion of Conformity. Turns out I didn’t hafta travel too far to get my heavy-rock fix.
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!
I can’t even remember the last time I celebrated Halloween or Samhain or whatever, but stick two stoner/doom luminaries on stage on a Sunday night in November, and that’ll get me up off my ass faster than you can say “Too much bass, Batman!”
Pentagram was scheduled to come up here for NXNE in June, but got denied at the border. So when I heard they’d be playing within driving distance–on Canadian Thanksgiving, no less–I just had to scratch that itch, eh?
Hard to tell from watching these guys that AC/DC is in their sixties. Seeing em live in 2015 wasn’t all that different from watching em 7, 15 or 19 years ago. But you sorta get the feeling it’s their last tour, and they saved their best for the occasion. Not just the obvious cuts like Back in Black and Thunderstruck…but the mid-set sequence of Sin City, Shot Down in Flames and Have a Drink on Me.
A couple years back, I did a list of reasons why I like Matt Pike on my blog. While it didn’t top the list, one thing that always impressed me was the type of talent he always brings on tour. This latest trip was no exception!
Though it had been 15 years since Neurosis last played Toronto, I must confess that I hadn’t waited nearly that long; I caught ’em in Brooklyn in 2012. Nevertheless, it was a rare East Coast performance for the post-sludge godfathers, and one that came with some welcome opening acts–in sharp contrast to that NYC show.
I must admit, I’m not as big into NXNE as I used to be. I just don’t have the stamina anymore to stay up till 3 am 3-4 nights in a row, running from venue to venue in search of heavy music. These days, I only do NXNE when there’s someone I really wanna see…and this year, that band got denied at the border.
Still scratching my head over London landing a stop on the Mastodon/Clutch/Graveyard tour while Toronto has to settle for a Graveyard side date. That said, the latter would be the band I most wanted to see of those three, so I saved me some cash and a trip westward by catching ’em at The Garrison instead.