Though I grew up on classic rock, I don’t tend to attend too many gigs on the classic rock circuit (Deep Purple at Massey Hall being a rare exception). I mean, who really wants to shell out three bills to see a bunch of worn-out, past-their-prime rockers run through watered-down versions of their greatest hits? Not to mention that you’re lucky if you get half of the original lineup of the band on the marquee nowadays, old age and/or death having taken the rest of ’em outta the picture.
Well, now that we’re a full twelve years into the new millennium, the 80’s metal circuit is started to look a lot like their forefathers from the 70’s (many of whom are still touring, mind you). Nowadays, Vince Neil can barely sing, David Coverdale and Blackie Lawless allegedly lip-synch, while the likes of Mick Mars and Jack Russell (he of Jack Russell’s Great White–not to be confused with the other Great White out there) are hardly able to stand up. Not exactly worth a 50-150 dollar ticket, if you ask me.
Alas, while they’re neither classic rockers nor 80’s hair band royalty, Corrosion of Conformity has been going strong now since 1981. And I gotta say, the three founding members, they’ve still got it–and then some! I caught ’em at the Opera House a couple nites back on their solid touring package with Torche, Black Cobra and Gaza, and, well, you could say the proof is in the pictures.
Of course, being punkers off the bat, these guys started the band when they were 16-17 years old. However, they still had tons of energy for a trio of guys pushing 50, and their chemistry was undeniable. After all, they’d been making music together for about as long, if not longer, than many of the musicians setting the stage for them have been alive. And that’s one thing when you’re the 60-year-old farts in Deep Purple, and quite another when you’re one of the first bands to take part in this whole metal/punk crossover dealie.
That said, while it was cool to hear tunes like “Mad World” and “Consumed” off of 1985’s Animosity, the songs that stood out the most for me were culled from their just-released self-titled album, on which they blend the blisteringly-fast tempos of their youth with the slow, heavy riffs of later years. Seeing a good chunk of the record in the flesh a few feet from my face only reaffirms its status as a top contender for Album of the Year 2012 in my books. And it’s safe to say that Mike Dean isn’t lip-synching on stage, either. His voice is just as raw, his delivery as garbled as it was in ’85. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, this one sums it up quite nicely:
(More pics posted here, in case you missed the memo.)