Date: 18th March 2017
Review By: Pete Mutant
Photography By: Gavin Lowrey
It has been slightly (very slightly) over three years since Crowbar last bulldozed Glasgow. Just like this evening, the venue of choice would be King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. Not the biggest venue, or one commonly associated with hosting metal acts but I have been there before for ‘Lords Of The Riff’ and to see Soulfy which were two solid gigs so there was plenty of potential for another quality night. Crowbar have been touring extensively since they released 2016’s ‘The Serpent Only Lies’ covering the United States and mainland Europe. The ‘World Gone Mad’ tour has been a whirlwind tour without much time allocated to rest on their laurels and the machine must roll on. This time they have come for a 10-consecutive date tour to the UK and Ireland and Glasgow would be the third stop of the tour.
I arrived an hour early thinking the doors were at half seven, this provided ample time (maybe too much time) to get the beers in as it would be a crime against the human condition to not greet a Southern band such as Crowbar without a belly full of booze and a resulting sense of inebriated enthusiasm. This was my first experience of Crowbar after all, but I have seen Kirk Windstein before, several times, when he was playing for Down in 2008 and twice in 2009 at The Queen Margaret’s Union in Glasgow and Graspop respectively. This however, is Kirk’s band and Kirk’s tour so it was going to be a whole mad world of difference.
Time seemed to vanish as I completely missed the only supporting act of the night. Local band Warpath, who I saw supporting Noctem and Hate at the Audio back in December, were the band with the honours of opening the show. I remember how unimpressed I was with that last showing but I never made it to see if they had improved at all. My apologies to Warpath.
When it was time for Crowbar this mistake would not be repeated, and it was not as I took a sideward position awaiting their triumphant return.
The crowd began to thicken and roars of ecstasy rang loud. The momentum of the crowd surged forward as the band members came together to thunder out the opening track of the night, ‘High Rate Extinction’ from their self-titled album. So straight into the old stuff and the crowd was all ears. It wouldn’t be the only song from that album played on the night leaving the diehards right in their element.
Crowbar are a band that inspire headbanging at a whim. With thunderous downward strikes on that beautiful Ibanez Destroyer, the resonant force generated by the solid clunking riffs, spawned from Kirk’s deranged mind, assault the ears most violently. By the third track ‘All I Have (I Gave)’ (another sample from the Crowbar album) pits began to burst and kinetic energy was flying all over the microbial space afforded. I could blame the beers but it is with Crowbar that the blame lies as it became excruciating to watch the pit fiends go at it, spurned on the infectious groove from the band, and not get involved. So I involved myself.
It wasn’t long before I was smashed to the ground but I wasn’t the first victim. As the sonic barrage continued more attendees got involved and more fell victim to the brute force of others. All in the name of fun of course. That track injected some high-octane inspiration but the next track ‘To Build A Mountain’ brought it all down with a crushing weight of almighty heaviness. Crowbar were right on form, each member providing a sterling example of brutish fervour. Todd Strange was bouncing about like a demented Santa figure, his white beard getting a purple hue off the lights. Brunson was cutting a dominant figure, hair down casting a formidable shadow on the crowd and Tommy Buckley was raining down the pulverising rhythms mercilessly.
Thinking that we were still on the tour cycle for ‘The Serpent Only Lies’, I expected to get a decent dosage of that album but the only track that we were given off it was ‘Plasmic And Pure’. Its rolling rhythm kept the heads nodding whilst some of those in the crowd were catching their breath. We were getting a good mix from the band’s extensive discography. The next two tracks were off-of ‘Odd Fellows Rest’ before we got one of those songs that is just synonymous with the band’s repertoire. ‘Existence Is Punishment’ brought more meaty grooves in as the set was winding down. Exhausted (nothing to do with the booze honest), I searched for solace and found it on a convenient step situated just outside the main body of the crowd. The last I remember was ‘Like Broken Glass’ being shoved down our very fortunate and slightly damaged earholes as I tried in vain to stabilise myself within this onslaught on our senses.
Crowbar brought the thunder and unleashed it upon the crowd with a blatant disregard to our health and well-being. Well, it was a total smashfest which is exactly what we wanted. King Tut’s may not be my favourite venue but Crowbar could have played in a pigeon shit covered alley and it still would have been as barbaric and delightfully overwhelming as it was. Come back I say, haste ye back Crowbar… haste ye back.
1. High Rate Extinction
3. All I Had (I Gave)
4. To Build a Mountain
5. The Cemetery Angels
6. Walk With Knowledge Wisely
7. Plasmic and Pure
8. Scattered Pieces Lay
9. Planets Collide
10. Existence Is Punishment
11. Like Broken Glass