10PM - BLACK WIZARD: Of the three opening acts, Black Wizard were the one I was looking most forward to seeing. The curtain opened to a smoke filled stage and the crowd was beginning to fill up the floor. BW were definitely the most laid back of the four bands and one of the funniest moments of the night was watching the strange reactions of the hipsters on the floor to the two or three guys who were trying to mosh during the generally laid back stoner doom band's performance. To the delight of everyone they showcased their new material which absolutely crushed. I was lucky enough to hear some of the new songs while the album was being sequenced and trust me, they kill. They played hard and heavy and downtempo with a great deal of Sabbathian moments. There were two guys with me who felt that they had stolen the whole show and the band made at least two new fans last night.
11PM - SAVIOURS: Saviours were another band that I wasn't too familiar with only having heard short video clips of the band. The thing that really stuck out to me was the High on Fire imfluence. They are not a carbon copy of HoF but there were little things that had that vibe. Mostly they played proggy old school metal and I was impressed by the musicianship and the swagger that the band had. They definitely commanded the stage and they were having a good time. I can tell you they made at least one new fan last night. By now the floor was packed and the moshers were making friends and enemies in equal amounts. Woody Weatherman sat to the side of the stage and watched nearly the whole performances of Black Wizard and Saviours, nodding along and enjoying the performances.
12PM - CORROSION OF CONFORMITY: After weeks and endless weeks of anticipation, the big moment had finally arrived and CoC took the stage. You want to talk about swagger? All three of them just owned it. It was like seeing three animals in their natural element. The first bit of their act was devoted mostly to older thrash/punk material which I was expecting with the recent re-release of their first album 'Eye For an Eye' w/ '6 songs with Mike Singing'. They were definitely having fun with those and so was the crowd. The thing that stuck out was the jamming between songs. They actually opened with a jam. It kind of felt a bit like the curtain was opened up on them a little early and they were still checking levels and just turned it into a jam, it happened very naturally. At various points though they launched into bits of "Vote With a Bullet" and "Hand of Doom", neither of which I was expecting to hear and both of which put a smile on my face. They played a bunch of highlights from the self-titled album from earlier in the year and a couple from Megalodon, their new EP, which was free at the merch table for one and all, but probably the highlight of the whole night was hearing "Deliverance" and the reaction it got from the crowd. Everybody shouted and sang along for the chorus and it really felt like a stadium rock kind of moment but in the most intimate of settings. I felt lucky to be there. Right at quarter to one we had to leave so I don't know if there was an encore but it was either stick around and wait an hour and a half for the nightbus or leave right then and there, so it was time to go.
But aside from leaving early it was a complete night with an awesome lineup of bands who were all quite different from each other but all came under a single banner of metal and everybody got home safe. It was a good night. Now it's back to work, but that's a different story ...