Corrosion Of Conformity On St. Patrick's Day In New Orleans, LA
Band Photo: Corrosion of Conformity (?)
You could spot someone that was going to the Corrosion of Conformity show a mile away in the French Quarter as they walked, sometimes stumbled, around in the hot afternoon sun of St. Patrick’s Day; black, worn band shirt, a few drinks under the belt, and a happy smile. Even in their stupor, they hovered around One Eyed Jacks just waiting for those doors to open so they could finally see their friends. Although many people coming go to numerous concerts a month, a good bit came just to see COC, the band that they used to go see in the small, dank clubs of New Orleans when they were much younger. It was a reunion for them.
Zoroaster was incredibly impressive. The show started fairly early for our city so not everyone was in the door yet. However, within the first song this band played, they had become curious of what was happening inside and meandered in, eventually filling the room. The sound was ambient with very spacey guitars and a stoner jam-feel, long instrumental sections then soft layers of echo-y distorted vocals by both guitarist Will Fiore and bassist Mike Morris that would transform into harsh sputtering, still distorted and far away sounding.
A Storm of Light came on fast and commanded the crowd with a wall of thick sound that caked the walls in heavy metal. Visuals of war bombings, and stuff that hit close to our home like images of the Katrina floods and dead animals covered in thick crude oil that still washes ashore, shone on them and past them; directing us to feel the devastation, fear, and anger that they violence images portrayed. Singer/guitarist Josh Graham belted out guttural screams of anguish and pain, guitarist Andrea Black added the forceful riffs below him, and Billy Graves beat out an even-tempered, yet powerful beat. The music was classic doom distortion and drone dementia much like a melding of the strange seriousness of the Melvins, Carnivore, and the visual component of Neurosis.
Tonight we would witness the original “Animosity” line-up not seen by COC fans in many years. Backed with the iconic horned-skull logo behind their wall of amps, Corrosion of Conformity provided a well-sounding climatic volume, borne of the early ‘80s power chord stomp of Woody Weatherman and driving drum beats by Reed Mullin. The crowd was completely into the music, but was slow to get a pit going, showing their age. But a few brave, however younger, souls began bouncing off of those next to them. Not too long after the music was rolling, COC was joined by former bandmate and current Down guitarist Pepper Keenan who performed on “Vote with a Bullet” and “Albatross.” Many of the band’s old friends were in attendance from when the North Carolina band almost had a second home in New Orleans. Local legends Jimmy Bower (Down, The Mystic Krewe of Clearlight, eyehategod), Paul Webb (Spickle, Mountain of Wizard), Dave Chandler ( Saint Vitus), Pat Bruders ( Crowbar, Down) and more could all be seen with beers in hand and singing along. And not just Pepper was allowed to play with them. Kyle Thomas of Exhorder, Pitts vs. Preps, and Trouble performed with the band on “Hungry Child.” And although Black Sabbath was not there to play with them, COC performed “Suicide Solution.” It was really an all-star show making it a all-star event.
Not only was this show great for a St. Patty’s party, it was a gathering of friends and old metalheads and punks. Corrosion of Conformity was more than a great band, they were a bridge between the hardcore scene with a whole lot of energy and bald heads and the rock/metal scene with guitar solos and long hair during a time when there were often clashes between the two. There were no such fights tonight, just a fun time.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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