A sold-out crowd of heavy music fans bask in the almighty roar of Corrosion of Conformity with guests Weedeater, Crowbar, and Mothership at the Machine Shop in Flint.
A Sunday night in the dead of a Michigan winter and Corrosion of Conformity has the heat cranked up from all the bodies packing into the Machine Shop in Flint for this sold-out show. C.O.C has been running the roads in support of their fantastic No Cross, No Crown album released just last year. This time around there are headlining with Louisiana sludge lords Crowbar, ganja metallers Weedeater, and Texas supersonic rockers Mothership.
After waiting outside in the cold, eager fans head straight for the barrier to get their faces melted by Mothership. This is a power trio in every sense of the word. While the drums and bass threaten to crush you, the searing guitars tear a hole into your soul. Closing your eyes as the blissfully heavy music soars, you feel the music fill you with the spirit of raging hard rock. Just like the last time Mothership was in town, they set the bar high for every other band to follow. Mothership are the cream of a new breed of rock disciples that I will gladly see again and again.
When Weedeater kick into “God Luck and Good Speed”, an image of a shaggy bison galloping out of the haze of a thousand bongs at the singular moment that the acid kicks swarms into my mind. The super fuzzed distortion is thick and dripping as they punch in “$20 Peanut”. Travis Owen’s arms seem to float and then crash upon his drums as Dixie Collin’s rasps into the microphone. Dixie conjures the behemoths of the depths with his bass while Shep Shepard’s guitar groans and roars. Meanwhile, the mosh pit churns with the sludge riddled riffs. The pace in the pit amps up with the cover of “Gimme Back My Bullets” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Weedeater gives a performance that is felt as much as heard.
Sludge metal pioneers Crowbar meet a hail of cheers and shouts of “Crow-bar” as they take the stage. Led by guitarist/vocalist/founder Kirk Windstein, the band comes out with grimacing rage. The guitar tone of Windstein and fellow guitarist Matt Brunson is crunchy and punishing. The entire stage at the Machine Shop appears to shack under the massive tones delivered by bassist Shane Wesley and drummer Tommy Buckley. Kirk and the rest of the guys in Crowbar make contact with the crowd moving with the savage riffs. There is a synergy between the invigorating hardcore edge of Kirk’s rasping vocals and the gut-punching ferocity of the music. A chant of “Crow-bar! Crow-bar!” fills the air as Crowbar delivers a pleasingly pleasant dose of metal for the fans to savor.
Under blood red lights, the mighty Corrosion of Conformity make their way on to the stage and unfurl the magnificent riffage of “Stonebreaker”. Fans bang the chain barrier up front with the vigorous rhythmic punch of “Wiseblood” before jamming the hard-hitting “Wolf Named Crow”. Corrosion of Conformity sound lean and mean with Woody and Pepper making their guitars scream. The master of low-end, Mike Dean seems in his own world as the grooves blow through him. His bellowing bass combined with John Green’s snapping drums makes the music hum like a hammering heart. John is superb in his role filling in for drummer Reed Mullin. His playing is technically sharp, yet full of the heavy swing you expect from C.O.C.
Pepper asks us if we want to listen to shit we’ve heard a thousand times or some obscure shit. The crowd is down with getting off the typical setlist and C.O.C dives into some deep cuts. They jam a back-breaking version of “Born Again for the Last Time” and keep up the attack with “The Door”. The real hidden gem is when they break out the burly menace of “It Is The Way” from the In the Arms of God.
As the band tear it up with “Vote With a Bullet”, you can see the band lock eyes with fans. You can almost see how the music sets fire to our blood. The shared admiration we feel is echoed by Pepper as he tells us how much the band appreciates the fans for their undying support. It means so much when a legendary band like Corrosion of Conformity praises their fans and go out of their way to show their appreciation. Our night continues with the sweetly screaming “Albatross” to end the set.
After a short stint off stage as fans cheer and yell for more, C.O.C comes back with “Clean My Wounds” to close out a fantastic night of heavy music. Many thanks to the Machine Shop for keeping all of us supplied with monstrous rock shows like this one from Corrosion of Conformity in an unbeatable setting.
Event Date: 10-FEB-2019