There is nothing more gratifying for a metal head than a first class metal tour with all the bands on the lineup being at the top of their game and on Wednesday night February 22 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, one such tour meeting that criteria kicked off with its first show, The 2017 World Gone Mad Tour with Suicidal Tendencies, Crowbar and Havok. Not only does this tour feature three killer bands but each is a master in their own sub-genre, Suicidal Tendencies with the punk infused thrash, Crowbar with their slower but heavy sludge metal and Havok being one of the modern day old-school thrash masters. This show was SOLD OUT and every inch of The Observatory was packed with fans. The obvious attraction on this night was Suicidal Tendencies as they were the headliner but there was LOTS of Crowbar fans in attendance and Havok fans were representing as well.
Havok hit the stage at 8:00pm and got the night started with a high-octane set of thrash that had a large and active mosh pit going early in the night. David Sanchez (battling a cold) and band blasted through 30 minutes of stage time and ended the night with the politically charged “Give Me Liberty…Or Give Me Death”. Havok releases their fourth full length album Conformicide on March 10 so we have certainly not seen the last of Havok in 2017.
Sludge metal kings Crowbar were up next and remain one of the most humble groups of musicians despite their legendary status. ‘Riff Lord’ Kirk Windstein still takes the stage before Crowbars set and sets up his own rig and tunes his own guitar, a true working class metal warrior! At 8:45pm Windstein and band took the stage and played almost 60 minutes of wicked doom infused sludge metal as only they can deliver. Windstein’s gravelly voice along with his trademark extremely slow, low-keyed guitar riffs had the packed house banging their heads for the duration of the set.
Touring in support of their October 2016 release The Serpent Only Lies, another Crowbar instant classic that has produced another epic Crowbar song “Falling While Rising” was certainly a fan favorite when played. Guitarist Matt Brunson held his own, playing alongside Windstein while the thick rhythm section of long time drummer Tommy Buckley along with original Crowbar bass player Todd Strange (who re-joined the band in 2016) were the anchor for this musical voyage as it plowed through each song. Another high point was the song “Walk With Knowledge Wisely” which also had some fierce crowd movement and brutal headbanging.
Crowbar remains at the top of their game some 25+ years into their career and Kirk Windstein remains one of, if not THE God-Father of heavy music and has successfully maintained the bands sense of originality while continuing to create music that Crowbar fans expect.
Headliner Suicidal Tendencies took the stage at 10:00pm and delivered one of the most intense and bludgeoning sets ever experienced at The Observatory. From the opening notes of “You Can’t Bring Me Down” to the last note of the encore “Living for Life” the venue security had their hands full as the entire building seemed to be a giant mosh pit of flying bodies. The talent in this band is beyond describable with Mike Muir on vocals, Dean Pleasants on lead guitar, Jeff Pogan on rhythm guitar, Ra Díaz on bass and legendary former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo on drums – the individual talent is impressive but as a whole this band is better than ever! Out supporting their September 2016 release World Gone Mad (which is an amazing album), The 2017 World Gone Mad Tour runs through March 11 ending in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This tour is not to be missed as Havok, Crowbar and Suicidal Tendencies will without a doubt give you one of the best metal shows of 2017.
Crowbar Photo Gallery