Corrosion Of Conformity Live at The Opera House Toronto, ON February 20th, 2019

Right from the start, you see this isn't the same COC show from last year. 'Stonebreaker' kicks off the set, a song we haven't heard them play live before....

Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff

Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff

We saw Corrosion Of Conformity last year with Black Label Society and had been waiting for them to hit the road for a headlining tour since. So when this show was announced, we didn’t think too hard about taking the two hour trip to Toronto to catch them for this one. And the bill was stacked with talented bands, making it one of the top shows to start off the new year! You can’t get a better lineup than Mothership, The Obsessed, Crowbar & COC.


It’s been since 2015 since we were able to trip on the ship, and that is just way too long. If you’re looking to get the party started, make sure you get there early to check out this band! These guys are fantastic. Mothership throws out an energetic performance that few can rival these days. Swapping vocals through the set, Kelly (guitar, vocals) and Kyle Juett (bass, vocals) and Judge Smith (drums), set the bar high for anyone that follows them. Giving the fans a little something from each of their three stellar studio albums. Songs like ‘Hot Smoke and Heavy Blues’ is always a favorite, and ‘Crown Of Lies’ off their latest album ‘High Strangeness’ tops the performance. Kelly shreds on guitar with the best of them, and the only downer (if there was one) was that the 20-minute set wasn’t long enough. But anytime you have a chance to see this band, make sure you don’t pass it up. This band has been gaining a steady well deserved following. If you haven’t heard anything from them we highly suggest you check them out. Take your turn to TRIP ON THE SHIP!

Lunar Master
Hot Smoke and Heavy Blues
Crown Of Lies
Angel Of Death

The Obsessed

Who could ever get enough of The Obsessed, we doubt anyone can. We have seen this band numerous times over the last few years and they just continue to sound better each time and kick ass on stage with killer performances. Wino (guitar, vocals) has surrounded himself with some top musicians in Brian Costantino (drums, vocals) and Reid Raley (bass) and they are performing at a top level every night. Wino is a legend. He’s been a huge part of the scene for many years. With Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan, Place Of Skulls, The Hidden Hand, Probot and so many more. But The Obsessed seemed to be his baby so to speak. When he announced he was getting The Obsessed backup and running a few years ago it sparked great excitement and enthusiasm from fans all over the world. He has assembled a formidable band to see his vision through. Brian’s drumming compliments Wino’s playing and adds a great dimension to the sound. As they say, a band is only as good as the drummer and he certainly has the goods. Reid’s bass playing compliments Brians drums and creates an amazing rhythm section. Wino’s vocals and guitar style are so unique. Many people try to sound like him but don’t even come close. Whenever we get a chance to see him perform we still get goosebumps. When it comes to doom, not many can do it better. Wino dominates the stage when he plays live, he draws you in and it’s like your taking a journey together. His lyrics are real and you feel like you know him even if you have never met him. You never want to miss a chance to see a legend on stage, and Wino is just that. If they play near you, get out and see this band, you will not regret it!

Climate Of Despair
The Way She Fly
To Protect And Serve
A World Apart
Neatz Brigade


Next up was New Orleans sludge masters Crowbar. Low and grinding riffs is the setting for the next 40 minutes and they do it so well. Kirk Windstein (guitar, vocals), Tommy Buckley (drums), Matt Brunson (guitar) and Shane Wesley (bass) hammer out riffs and leave your neck sore as hell before they’re done. Crowbar has been laying down the heavy for the last 30 years, and they know how to play to the crowd. Hitting hard right out of the gate with ‘All I Had (I Gave)’, they didn’t give the fans a chance to catch their breath till the final riff was played and they walked off the stage. Kirk, like Wino, has been a part of the metal community for many years and one of it’s biggest supporters. It’s safe to say, if you cut Kirk open, he would bleed metal! Lots of killer tunes in the setlist that leaves fans satisfied and their ears ringing! Don’t ever skip your chance to see Crowbar, the sludge is heavy all night!

All I Had (I Gave)
….And Suffer As One
To Build A Mountain
The Cemetary Angels
Walk With Knowledge Wisely
To Carry The Load
Planets Collide
Like Broken Glass

Corrosion Of Conformity

So with three amazing performances so far, it was time for Corrosion Of Conformity to take the stage. And we would expect nothing less than the superior performance that we got from the guys. Pepper Keenan (guitar, vocals), Woody Weatherman (guitar, vocals), Mike Dean (bass, vocals) and Jon Green (drums). Jon, whether this is a permanent fill in or not, does a fantastic job in Reed’s absence again. Right from the start, you see this isn’t the same COC show from last year. ‘Stonebreaker’ kicks off the set, a song we haven’t heard them play live before. The only song off the new album ‘No Cross No Crown’ they played on the night was ‘Wolf Named Crow’ before they did a “Dealers Choice”, asking fans if they wanted to hear an old song or a new song. ‘Born Again For The Last Time’ took that choice and it was another killer tune to hear them play live that you may not hear normally. ‘Senior Limpio’ and “Diablo Blvd.’ follow before another “Dealers Choice” song which turned out to be ‘It Is That Way’ off 2005’s ‘In The Arms Of God’. Fans favorites ‘Vote With A Bullet’, ’13 Angels’, ‘Who’s Got The Fire’ and the heavy riff driven ‘Albatross’ are all in the set. They finish with the always great extended version of ‘Clean My Wounds’ before parting off stage to the cheers of “COC” “COC” “COC”. No one leaves disappointed from this show. Watching Pepper & Woody trade riffs is a guitar players dream. Mike is a musicians musician he is one of the best bassists around. When you watch him play you know he lives to play live. He sets the groove and locks in with the drums like nobody playing today. It’s magical watching these guys play. They are all amazing musicians and together they create something you can’t put into words. They sound great and the setlist was fantastic and filled with tunes you wanted to hear and some surprises you didn’t expect. I would’ve like to see a few more songs off their latest album because it was a fantastic record with some really great tunes. All in all, this was one hell of a show. And as always, they leave you wanting more and we can’t wait to see them live again!

Wolf Named Crow
Born Again For The Last Time
Senor Limpio
Diablo Blvd.
It Is That Way
Vote With A Bullet
Seven Days
Paranoid Opioid
13 Angels
Who’s Got The Fire
Clean My Wounds

Yeah, this was a show to remember for a long time. Top bands all night, and enough riffs for one’s ears to last a lifetime, or at least till the next COC tour anyways. You can never see any of these bands enough, all could be, and are at other times, headliners on their own. So there is no lack of talent on this stage. We look forward to seeing any or all of them the next time they come close by and recommend the same for anyone else to do the same.

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