AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: COC/Crowbar/The Obsessed/Mothership @ Opera House, February 20, 2019

One band that’s no stranger to touring Toronto is Corrosion of Conformity. By my count, I’ve seen em at The Opera House four times in the last six years–and I didn’t even bother going to the make-up date with Zakk Wylde. Another thing that can be said for COC is that they usually bring some solid supporting acts on the road with em. I know it’s only February, but this might be the best bill, from top to bottom, I’ll see all year (festivals not included).

Just like COC’s 2015 tour, this outing saw Texas trio Mothership kick things off with a brisk, rockin’ 25-minutes. Their self-titled album from 2013 remains a personal fav, and they bookended this four-song set with two tracks from said record — “Lunar Master” and “Angel of Death.” (No, not the Slayer number!) Not gonna lie, one of the main reasons I bought tickets for Maryland Doom Fest was to catch a full headlining set from these guys. I’ve seen ’em bring it live for 30 minutes on a few occasions, so I’m definitely looking forward to watching ’em for 60+!

Before the gig, all the talk was around whether Wino would be deemed admissible to Canada, a fact he alluded to when introducing “To Protect and Serve.” Their 40-minute set was heavy on The Church Within, just like when I saw ’em in Pittsburgh last year. Hey, it’s not like the other guys in the band played on any of the old records, but a good solid dose of Wino–especially on this side of the line–is always well worth watching.

We were joking before their set that the first rule of Crowbar is No Long Pants in Crowbar. And sure enough, despite the (slightly) sub-zero temperatures outside, the NOLA sludge veterans took the stage–all in shorts–to the strains of “All I Had I Gave.” They didn’t seem to have a proper setlist, but busted out a buncha tunes from across their back catalogue, with “Walk With Knowledge Wisely” from 2014’s Symmetry in Black being an unexpected highlight. Come to think of it, the last time I saw Crowbar live mighta been in 2014…

Corrosion of Conformity put out a new album since the last time I saw em…but you wouldn’t know it from this setlist, which featured only one new song (“Wolf Named Crow”). Instead, they stuck with a lot of the usual suspects from Deliverance, Wiseblood, “Vote with a Bullet” and a few tunes from America’s Volume Dealer, which still doesn’t sound too bad. No “Drowning in a Daydream,” but they did an extended version of “Clean My Wounds” as an encore that even had a bass solo!!!

(Ceci n’est pas un Reed Mullin…)

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.