It had been about 18 months since I last went down to Cleveland for the Metalliance tour. That bill featured a ton o’ sludge bands, topped by Saint Vitus, Crowbar and, curiously, Helmet. But their status as co-headliners didn’t earn Vitus more than a 40-minute set, so when I heard they’d be embarking on a full US tour this fall–their first since ’93!–I took another trip down to The Mistake by the Lake over the weekend.
This bill also included a heavy helping of sludge, starting off with Sourvein. The lineup around T.Roy Medlin has certainly changed a few times over the years, but he’s assembled a pretty solid group for this outing, including, among others, ex TGOS can-basher Cool Clyde, who had a different design on his bass drum the last time I saw him. (Incidentally, T.Roy was there too–ditto Dixie Dave!)
Weedeater is always good times. The Three Stooges of Sludge Metal never disappoint in a live setting. As it stands, I was on the other side of the stage, so I didn’t get as many great shots of Dixie this time, but I’ve captured him on camera on at least a couple other occasions, so it’s all good.
Vitus came through with a solid 13-song set that included all the non-instrumental numbers off their new album, a fistful from Hallow’s Victim, and other classic tunes like “Dying Inside,” “I Bleed Black,” “The Troll” and of course, “Born Too Late.” Unbeknownst to me beforehand, the 29th was Wino’s birthday, and even though he’s now 51, old age didn’t stop him from stage diving on a couple occasions.
(I know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t this band have a bass player?” They do, of course, mind you Mark Adams isn’t terribly photogenic…)