Crowbar, Sydney NSW
December 6th, 2019
Supports: Arrowhead and Mental Cavity
What a long wait it’s been for fans, over 25 fucking years! Tonight, Sydney need wait no longer as Your Mate Bookings gave us the privilege of witnessing the Australian debut tour from the pioneers of Sludge Metal, Crowbar at Sydney’s Crowbar. Yep, you read that right, Crowbar live at Crowbar; it was meant to be, wasn’t it?
Mental Cavity, a four-piece band from Australia’s Capital kicked the show off. Channelling their skills, to smash out a huge sound that does not adhere to any one genre; these guys were unhinged and definitely worth checking out. Aaron and Alex shared vocal duties while shredding on guitar and bass. Rohan honed in on his guitar playing while Glynn (who is filling in, while Simon is O.S) pounded his skins, looking like a gigantic Viking. There was nothing boring or tedious about these guys, I thoroughly enjoyed their energetic set. Incidentally, Mental Cavity released their second Album Neuro Siege today. My recommendation to you all, GRAB A COPY!!
Next up was Arrowhead, from Sydney. I’ve been enjoying this “stoner rock” band since back in the day when they were a three-piece. The start of this year saw the completion of their third and latest album Coven of the Snake and the addition of second guitarist, Raff Lacurto. Raff adds a new dimension to the band; I didn’t know was missing, until hearing them together for the first time tonight. I admire the ability of this band to transcend me to another time and place, by simply closing my eyes and allowing the music to consume me. The combination of Brett’s raw vocal’s and guitar riffs, along with Aaron’s grooves on the bass and Matt’s drumming, with the added layer of Raff’s guitar tying it all together into a neat little bundle, made for a perfect set, once again exceeding all expectations.
With just enough time for a quick drink break and a chat with mates, the band room was full; awaiting NOLA’s finest to hit the stage. The curtains were closed to build up the already anticipation soaked room. I was placed just to the side of the barrier, with a sea of hundreds behind me. There was no getting out of here in a hurry; not that I’d want to.
Curtains opened to reveal Crowbar standing on stage at Sydney’s Crowbar. If that wasn’t a surreal moment, I don’t know what is. Kirk “Beard of Doom” Windstein announcing, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we are Crowbar from New Orleans and the bad news is, we’re gonna kick your arse”! The crowd gave an excited cheer as Tommy rolled into opening song ‘Conquering’ from their pivotal album Broken Glass. I was immediately drawn to Matt, standing in front of me (no pressure). His huge stature made his guitar look miniature, almost toy-like. Throughout the entire set, he remained focused and driven as he smashed out the riffs like an absolute pro. With that brooding look on his face, Kirk may be The Beard of Doom, but Matt definitely has the Face of Doom! Shane, on the opposite side of the stage, was highly animated on bass, throwing his head about with his hair flailing every which way; often holding a stance beside Kirk as they duelled it out on guitar and bass. These guys are fun to watch. Kirk worked relentlessly to coax the crowd to “make some noise” between each song; which the crowd eagerly obliged before, during and at the cessation of each song. It was crowd favourites that really got the room moving though. ‘To Build a Mountain’, ‘The Cemetery Angels’, ‘Walk With Knowledge Wisely’ all built up nicely to ‘All I Had (I Gave)’ when the crowd surfers started rolling in.
The front of the room was insanely packed and hot, as sweat dripped from each of us. There was no chance of making a quick exit to rehydrate, so I was forced to pinch a bottle of water from the barrier, tossing a bottle to security who was also feeling the heat. Kirk cracked a fresh beer with each song, deservedly so; his voice low and deep and holy shit after all these years that man can still hold a tune, and a fucking long one, I was out of breath just watching him. All the while pumping out tough as all hell chugging riffs. His solos were phenomenal and flawless; we’d never expect anything less from the Overlord himself. Tommy was a power machine behind his kit. Who would believe that just 6 years prior, this legend battled and beat the shit out of Prostate Cancer? Massive kudos to you, Tommy. ‘Planets Collide’ and ‘Like Broken Glass’, neared us to the end of the set, as ‘I Am the Storm’ closed the night. The band made their way off stage and house lights came on, making it clear the Gods of Sludge had kicked our arses sufficiently. Damn straight they did, what a night of epic proportions! Huge shout out to Your Mate Bookings for making tonight possible, it was definitely worth the wait, let’s not leave it so long for another Australian tour.
Gig Review by Trudy Johnson
High Rate Extinction
And Suffer As One
To Build a Mountain
The Cemetery Angels
Walk With Knowledge Wisely
To Carry the Load
All I Had (I Gave)
I Have Failed
Existence is Punishment
Like Broken Glass
I Am the Storm
Photo Gallery by Mark Kent. Facebook: MK Media
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