The first time I heard “Albatross” I jumped and crashed through the third story window of Club Obi-Wan, landed in a 1934 Duesenberg Auburn convertible and instructed the underage Asian boy in the front seat to drive me to JR Records and Tapes to purchase COC‘s Deliverance album. The boy introduced himself as Short Round, turned around his Yankees baseball cap and screamed “Hold onto your potatoes! We go for a ride! *”
I did the same thing when Wiseblood came out two years later.
I haven’t seen COC in 21 years. The last time I saw them was in 1996 opening on Metallica‘s Load tour in Chicago. I was extremely excited to see them open as Deliverance and Wiseblood rarely left my CD player – Deliverance is a masterpiece, a true “album” with three interludes. Then I heard them live. Maybe it was the mix, maybe they were sloppy but all I know is they were awful that night. Here they were opening for one of the biggest bands on the planet and if they played that way the rest of the tour it didn’t do them any favors.
I remained a fan and liked the majority of America’s Volume Dealer and In The Arms of God, two albums that are largely dismissed, especially the former. Then Pepper Keenan left the band. For over a decade. They continued as a trio but I just wasn’t interested.
When it was announced that Pepper was back in the band and COC was coming to the Ogden Theatre I had mixed feelings about going and doing a review. I had a photo pass but would I be taking pictures of a shitshow with sloppy versions of some of the greatest slabs of rock?
I’m not a fanboy. I’m a picky little bitch when I see bands live. First, the mix was perfect. The entire band sounded fantastic, energetic and were on top of their game. It did not seem like opening night: zero hiccups, only gold. They attacked their setlist which touched on each album from Blind forward. My only complaint is I wish they played more from Deliverance and Wiseblood. And they opened with a new song off an album nobody has heard yet – never a good idea for any band. But they also played some big surprises like “13 Angels”, the closing jam from America’s Volume Dealer.
Black Label Society headlined. I saw Zakk Sabbath last year with Clutch and it was spectacular. I own three BLS albums. I like Blessed Hellride the best but even the most devoted BLS fans have to admit that there is a ton of filler on their albums. I prefer Zakk‘s original side project Pride & Glory. I stayed for six songs and only recognized one – “Funeral Bell”. Plus I am old and it was a work night so I can’t give them a proper review. The Ogden was packed with Black Label t-shirts and jackets, they have a solid following and I’m glad they chose COC as support for their tour.
If COC comes to your town on this tour SEE THEM. And if they do their own headlining club tour I will be back. 45 minutes is not enough. Their new album No Cross No Crown comes out on January 12th, 2018. Buy it.
* Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is an American classic. Eat it, Bakko.
The Luddite (new song)
Vote With a Bullet
Who’s Got the Fire
Clean My Wounds