Live: Corrosion of Conformity's Show Stolen By Royal Thunder
Mlny Parsonz of Royal Thunder
Better Than: Witch Mountain.
One of the greatest delights of concert-going is being blown away by a band who's not the headliner. This is exactly what happened to us at Saint Vitus on Friday when Royal Thunder, from Atlanta, played second in a lineup of four bands and made all who performed afterwards seem anti-climactic by comparison.
Top billing for the evening went to Corrosion of Conformity. In the mid-90s, this punk/metal trio (originally a four-piece) from Raleigh, NC, earned Top 20 hits with singles "Albatross" and "Clean My Wounds"; they're now touring in support of their new self-titled album.
In the context of Friday night, it would be easy to write off CoC as post-peak-career -- or maybe as guys who, in their 40s, fall into a nebulous place between no-longer-new and not-quite-veteran. In truth their latest songs are some of the best they've ever written. Fresh tunes like "Psychic Vampire," which opened the set, and "No Tomorrow," which inspired a bit of moshing amongst the crowd, hold up live as well as if not better than CoC's older material.
Guitarist Woody Weatherman and bass player Mike Dean were all smiles as they performed; CoC seem like three fellas who are just happy to be onstage again after seven years separating their last studio album from the most recent one. At any other show, they would have owned the night. But something really special had happened two sets before theirs.
The extraordinary happening was Royal Thunder, whose brand of metal is a gentler one, more in the vein of classic rock and psychedelic blues, and whose allure shines through vocalist and bassist Mlny Parsonz.