Crowbar, Sydney NSW
March 28th, 2019
Supports: Sister’s Doll and Ablaze
This gig has been a long time coming, and I can’t overstate this. John Corabi is a part of “hard rock” royalty. He is a musician who sincerely, and quite ridiculously, has never received the accolades he deserves. As we all know, he was the lead singer of Motley Crue, performing and writing their self-titled album in 1994, and dare I say, the most musical album the band released in its history. Why didn’t this album get the respect it deserved? Well, it was due to the advent of grunge, and the demise of traditional hair metal, and because John Corabi wasn’t Vince Neil, but it outplayed every Motley Crue release around him. However, John was also the lead vocalist of Scream, Union and recently, The Dead Daisies; just to name a few.
So tonight we are fortunate to see a set from Corabi, involving the complete tracklisting from the (in)famous Crue release, and immerse ourselves in the album “that should have been”. The Crowbar tonight is fairly packed, which is great to see, and it is a cross section of the metal/hard rock fraternity. This is a good turn-out for a Thursday night in Sydney.
The supports tonight were Ablaze and Sister’s Doll. Ablaze unfortunately had their set compromised tonight as the doors were extremely late in opening due to an extra-long Corabi soundcheck. Ablaze were great to watch, strong material, catchy choruses and melodies, but they were hampered by a very poor mix. I would love to see these guys again with a better sound and a longer set.
Next up were Sister’s Doll from Melbourne, and as always, they were brilliant. These guys always impress. Tonight they were tight, engaging and the set flowed really well. Again, however, the sound wasn’t right, no lead vocal in the mix and the lead guitar was nowhere near the right level. Despite all this, they are a great band and I sincerely hope they gain some traction internationally, because they sincerely deserve it. I must also add, the new song ‘Black Black Mirror’ was extremely strong.
Corabi and his band hit the stage at around 10:20pm tonight. Straight away, the band meant business, and Corabi was very happy to be here. The band’s presence and energy was apparent from the get-go, and the audience reciprocated with their enthusiasm. The band opened with ‘Power to the Music’ as to be expected, and from this point, the audience knew they were going to get what they came for. The band played the whole album, in the original track order, no encore, no fuss, just great music. The album has really stood the test of time and tonight was the proof of this. I sincerely believe this is the only complete, timeless offering that the band ever released. Motley Crue have released a number of timeless tracks, but only one timeless, complete album, and Corabi’s was it.
What struck me tonight was the band’s synergy, they were very tight and definitely carried the material with the skill and tenacity that it deserves. The members that really stood out were the two guitar attack, and also the drummer, who incidentally was Corabi’s son. The band knew the material, and knew each other, and this is what made the set. John Corabi was very impressive and what struck me tonight was his sincerity, and his vocal ability. He really is a seasoned frontman, and his expertise kept the crowd engaged and in the zone for the whole set. His vocal range, anecdotal conversation, musicianship and natural stage presence is a breath of fresh air within a scene of heavy ego and contrived packaging.
I know the setlist was predictable for tonight, but the songs that resonated for me were ‘Smoke the Sky’, ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ and ‘Droppin’ like Flies’.
When the album was completely played, the set came to close. There was no encore, no pretentious ending/encore, just homage to an amazingly underrated album from the nineties. The gig was amazing, the band’s performance was engaging, and faith in good music was restored!! This was a flawless set of material, and a privilege to witness such an amazing collection of songs. I sincerely hope that John Corabi, as time goes on, receives the respect and accolades that he so dearly deserves.
Gig Review by Mark Snedden
Photo Gallery courtesy of Mick Goddard (MickG Photography)
Please credit Wall of Sound and Mick Goddard if you repost.
John Corabi – Australian Tour
Fri 29 March – Melbourne – The Prince
Sat 30 March – Brisbane – Crowbar Black
Sun 31 March – Adelaide – Enigma Bar