Live Review: Crowbar w/The Obsessed & I AM (Live Stream)

A pay per view live stream that sees a trio of bands in I AM, The Obsessed and Crowbar for a single price makes for more of a gig experience than the one band one hour long streams we’ve witnessed during lockdown and as good as those previous streams have been, they have seemed a little… short. Tonight each support band gets 25 minutes before the main event and fans from around the Globe have tuned in, the chat seeing greetings from Ukraine to Mexico and everywhere in between.

Dallas Texas quintet I AM [8/10] originally started out in 2011 but with various line up changes only rose to prominence with 2017’s debut “Life Through Torment” and then it’s follow up “Hard 2 Kill” in 2018. They claim a sub-genre of Metal they’re calling Texas Death; dive bomb fueled guitar driven Sludge Metal with elements of Groove and Thrash, it’s a witches caldron that makes for a satisfying listen. Vocalist Andrew Hileman is a beast of a frontman and stomps around in front of his band as they bring the riffs. We would have seen them with Kublai Khan in London if it wasn’t for their headlining tour being rescheduled for 2021; tonight tracks like “Texas Death” and “Paid In Sin” go down a storm even if some of their usual live energy is lost in the absence of an audience.

Switching stages or rather rehearsal spaces and Stoner Doom Metallers The Obsessed [7/10] perform as a trio, Scott “Wino” Weinrich leading the way and joined by a rhythm section of Brian Costantino and Brian “Wendy” White. Consummate Professionals, they perform their songs surrounded by candles on the floor with songs from “The Church Within” being particularly good. Their drum sound is a little tinny but otherwise they’re faultless. They stand in a line with the drum kit in the center with four camera angles switching at regular intervals. 23 years is a long time between albums but on this form, this current line up should record together.

In Louisiana, Sludge Metal legends Crowbar [9/10], open up with a barnstorming rendition of “All I Had (I Gave)” before Kirk Windstein talks to the viewers as he does at regular shows, surrounded by drummer Tommy Buckley, guitarist Matt Brunson and bassist Shane Wesley, who provide the perfect platform for him and their talents shouldn’t be forgotten. “New Dawn” is a Southern Groove fest with Windstein’s voice improving as the set plays out and a little more beer get’s consumed, a trio of cans of Coors Light sit upon a Randall head on a Marshall Amp. Not sure why Brunson is playing a seven string but the Solar guitars get a good work out and “Thru the Ashes (I’ve Watched You Burn)” is a jaw dropping rendition tonight. Celebrating 20 years of “Equilibrium” with the rarely performed “I Feel the Burning Sun” is a beautiful thing before Windstein dedicates “Will That Never Dies” to his wife. Making a mistake in the first third, he stops the band and they start over, tearing it up the second time in fine form loud and heavy. A fair amount of thought has gone into picking tonight’s set list, with a few choice cuts which haven’t been played in a while thrown into the furnace for our listening pleasure and “Walk With Knowledge Wisely” is absolute class, the presence of an overhead camera above the drum kit making for an unusual viewing angel for a gig and making for fantastic viewing for the cut. No Crowbar show is complete without “Planets Collide” and tonight is no different, a soulful rendition being a crushing moment. A return to live shows is something we can’t wait for, venues and musicians are struggling to make ends meet as the World has been turned upside down but thank heavens for small mercies like this one; even Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta was watching.

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