Quick question: When was the last time Wino played Toronto? I’m pretty sure it’s when his solo band toured with Clutch waaaaaaay back in 2009. While he’s been on some pretty extensive U.S. tours since then with the unholy trinity of Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan and The Obsessed–not to mention a string of solo acoustic dates–I think we can safely say he won’t be admissible to Canada anytime soon.
So, with that being said, hot on the heels of a solid RINO (reunion in name only) album and a classic reissue from The Obsessed, their latest slate of U.S. dates put me on a plane to Pittsburgh last weekend. Oh, and did I mention that Eyehategod was headlining?
Spirit Hall was a bit of a strange venue, a second-floor legion hall type place with a fenced off “drinking area” taking up nearly half of the floor space. Even weirder was their super-early curfew–this show started promptly at 7 pm and ended shortly after 10. And the local opener only got 15 minutes!
This did mean, fortunately, that we got a solid hour of Wino and co…which in this case consisted of bassist Reid Raley and drummer Brian Constantino. Interestingly enough, despite the new album and recent reissue, they served us up a good solid chunk of The Church Within — “Streetside,” “Streamlined,” “Neatz Brigade,” “Blind Lightning” and a couple more, making up about of their set. But man, even if Idda liked to hear a couple tunes from Lunar Womb, seeing Wino in the flesh is about as close to a religious experience you’ll get in doom. They definitely did not disappoint!
Compared to the cramped confines of The Bug Jar in Rochester, where I’ve seen Eyehategod at least a couple times, Spirit Hall was a much more spacious place. And, perhaps owing to the early hour, along with the fenced-off drinking section (in the words of Mike IX: “Alcoholics shouldn’t be separated from everybody else”) there wasn’t even much moshpit action. Alas, while this wasn’t the most spirited EHG set I’ve seen–that would hafta be their comeback at Housecore Horrorfest with Dale fuckin’ Crover on drums–it might have been the clearest vocal performance I’ve heard from Mr. Williams…when he wasn’t inadvertently unplugging his microphone with his onstage antics.
Oh, and it was Gary Mader’s birthday, so they bought him a cake.