Chicago always takes a while to heat back up again, but a sparse January leads into one can’t miss show in February and then a packed March. So for those of us who avoid the logical decision and don’t kill ourselves this winter, here’s what we have to look forward to:
Corrosion of Conformity/Crowbar–February 9–Bottom Lounge
Play Down songs. Play Down songs. Play Down songs.
Or just All I Had I Gave and Albatross.
Decibel Tour–Cannibal Corpse/Morbid Angel–March 4 Concord
I wasn’t a death metal fan yet when these two bands were coming up, but I have to imagine the debate between who was the best death metal band often came down to these two, particularly in discussing the Florida scene (fuck off Deicide; Death, fair play). Looks like Corpse is going forward despite their guitar player apparently being a bath-salted doomsday hoarder crazy person, replacing him with Erik Rutan. So…Rutan, get involved with Morbid Angel too? Crossovers!
For real, as long as the rumors are true that MA will go back to playing pre-Formulas stuff on this tour, the lineup at this years Decibel Tour is stacked with good death metal and well worth it.
I didn’t care for Book of Bad Decisions. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna miss a fucking Clutch show, c’mon now. The sets last year started to get a little weirder in a great way–Open up the Border? Big News I and II? 50,000 Unstoppable Watts? I’m in.
Hopefully on this trek they are passed the “9 new songs” stage and ready to go full 2003 Live in Flint with it.
Johanna Sadonis is supposed to be a captivating figure in the live setting, and I wouldn’t doubt it based on the performances on the first 2 Lucifer records and the sadly one-album The Oath project. Did you know the guitar player from The Oath, Linnea Olsen, has her own band as well now, Maggot Heart? Lucifer and Maggot Heart are both worth your time. I’d liken Maggot Heart to In Solitude playing garage rock. But listening to both bands is a little heartbreaking, because you can see that the dynamism between Sadonis and Olsen is that little thing missing from the two solo projects.
Uncle Acid/Graveyard–March 26–Metro
Two bands on different trajectories. I thought Graveyard was ready to crossover into what Greta Van Fleet is now (I guess?), but the last two records saw an unfortunate decline in memorable songs. The opposite is going on in the Uncle Acid camp–The Night Creeper had Melody Lane, maybe their most immediate song, and Wasteland is excellent front to back. Let’s hope Graveyard re-finds their form. Maybe a more metal-tinged tour will be just the thing.
Baroness/Deafheaven/Zeal and Ardor–March 31–Riviera
I’m very interested to see Zeal and Ardor in a larger setting. If the crowd is unfamiliar, it could be very weird at first, though I suspect (a) there will be enough hipsters in this crowd that a lot of people will know the band, and (b) the uninitiated will be won over quickly because Zeal and Ardor are amazing.
The Deafheaven hype turned me off enough that I haven’t listened to the last 2. I did see them live recently. And….they were still pretty ok; and non-descript; and would not be a thing if non-metal people didn’t jizz on Sunbather as if they knew anything about metal.
Baroness may never be that band we heard on Red again–the band of extended, insane guitar solos loosely wrapped up in song structures, the band that was immediate and intricate and harsh and accessible all at the same time. But the current, classic rock version of the band is plenty worthy. There was some edge back on Purple as well–The Iron Bell, anyone? I think this is the first tour in full with the new line-up, so I’m interested to see what past eras of the band play to this line-up’s strengths. So long as Baizley is at the helm, you can expect a good show and some great album/shirt designs to stare at while stoned.
Then we’re in April, and free!…after two more snow storms.