I found out on Monday night that the show I had been wanting to attend for months was postponed. Zakk Wylde fell ill, and the headliner show that Black Label Society was supposed to put on the next night would get postponed to the summer. A lot of scrambling was done, and here is a shoutout to the promoter, Inertia Entertainment for getting this show arranged on super short notice. The original venue (where I proposed to my wife years earlier) was too large, and so the iconic Opera House was booked. The new concert was headlined by COC and could almost be considered a co-headline with Eyehategod. In under 2 days, the new venue was arranged. Tickets were only available at the door, and it looked pretty well sold out to me. The bands acknowledged this fact during their sets, and thanked us numerous times. I was a little bummed in missing Zakk and the boys, but I’ll see them eventually.
I have to first apologize to Ol’ Time Moonshine. I have wanted to see these local Toronto dudes play, but I’m always busy when they are playing, or in this case, late getting to the venue. That happens when you hit Toronto traffic and it takes 1.5-2 hours to get to the east end. Sorry dudes. Next time. I’m sure you slayed it though. I already own their newest cd, and I bought their older one at the show. These guys are cool, and have the Southern rock meets bluesy stoner doom thing down pat. Check out their Bandcamp page below.
The lads from Toronto that go by the handle of Pale Mare came on next. These dudes are pretty kick ass. The band broke in a new drummer for the show but you wouldn’t have known it. The 3 piece did a great job of warming up the crowd. I saw a lot of headbanging and throwing of devil horns. I liked them, and even bought their new cassette(Yes, thankfully they still make those). I thought they have a little Motorhead in them (which is fitting this week), mixed with some heavy doom and a punk attitude. Check out their Bandcamp page below.
Eyehategod came on next. Brian Patton was not there as he was home helping out with his new baby. The band was great even without him though. They slayed their entire set. While warming up, Jimmy Bower came out on stage. the crowd was pumped, but none more than one guy yelling “Jimmy, Jimmy..” Jimmy told him to stop and when the dude wouldn’t he chucked something at him. I can only assume his goose egg will makea good story. Then there’s lead singer Mike IX Williams. He reminds me of Hugh Dillon. If you stand down front at a Headstones concert, Hugh would probably spit on you. If you are up front at a Eyehategod show, Mike will blow snot in your general direction(as was reported at the Detroit show, and I witnessed here). Either way, I stood one row back, left of stage and I came out clean. It’s good to see Mike back after stints in jail and almost dying from liver failure on stage earlier. He may have a new liver but still has the same old snarl. These boys know how to rock. They have the right mix of sludge and hardcore punk, along with just enough N’Orleans southern charm. The crowd was into it. Even the dude that did a face plant off the front barrier and landed a few feet away from me(Note to self: If crowd surfing, make sure there are enough willing people to hold you up). He got right back up, shook off his concussion symptoms, and got right back in the pit. Dude’s hardcore and so is the band.
The night was closed off by Corrosion of Conformity. They played a few songs off the new album (I saw the band 3 days before the album release, and sadly it was not at the merch table), but mostly the favourites. The crowd was into it too. I moved back a bit and was not up front for this set as I am just getting too old for the slam dancing. Good news is Pepper Keenan is back in the band. You probably knew that if you are a fan, but all I can say is this dude is Awesome with a capital A. The only thing I could have wished for would have been an impromptu Down mini-set. Pepper could have gotten Jimmy up on stage and done a Down song or 2. Oh well.
A great night. Great sound. The bands involved more than made up for the lack of Black Label Society, and I didn’t get snotted on or crushed by falling dudes, so there’s that.