I stay in Arlington, Texas so there is no surprise in the fact that I am a Phil Anselmo fan. When I heard that Superjoint were heading to Dallas, I knew I had to see the man and the band in action. With an album released in thirteen years, this was in a way, rejuvenating to see the band back in action. I collected my ticket and got to the venue (Gas Monkey Live) a bit late courtesy the odd train timings but I was glad I made it in time to see the bands on the top bill. The night also included Tombs, Wolvhammer, Protest and Driven Below apart from Warbeast and Superjoint.
I was treated to the music video for Superjoint’s lead single “Caught Up in the Gears of Application” which led into a massive set by Warbeast. The set contained endless moshing, and it did not look like it was going to stop or die down anytime soon. Its shows like these that showcase the passion of a fan base that is so dedicated, the performers are delighted to be on stage and do what they do best. “Nightmares in the Sky” was a standout track for me, and if you care to pay attention, I might just pop up on the music video for “The Hitchhiker” which they shot on that evening. With stomach-churning riffs by guitarist Scott Shelby and a strong vocal performance by singer Bruce Corbitt, it was a good experience indeed.
After Warbeast, Tombs took the stage. The crowd was not as large as you’d see at other shows but passion was not diminished. Tombs was somewhat of a new band to me, and gauging by the reaction of the crowd, it was a bit new to us all. I can’t say a lot about Tombs just because I have not heard their material enough to have an opinion but I will say that they put on a good set and further touring would see them sit well with the fans.
Now, the people were getting closer to the stage, and it was going to be an insane night. Guitarists Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond were aided by Joey Gonzalez and Stephan Taylor on the rhythm section to show what Superjoint meant. Phil Anselmo graced the stage with arms wide open and a welcoming smile, much to the crowd’s pleasure and thundering applause. Superjoint has been one of the most essential hardcore/punk metal band to champion the genre and the fact that they’re so good live, reaffirms the claim.
They played a healthy mix of stuff from their new album and some stuff from their older albums. The new tracks had the same animal instincts as the first two releases did and in that aspect, I am so happy to find out that they maintained a cohesion of sound in writing and expression. Songs like “Ruin You”, “Caught Up in the Gears of Application” and “Today and tomorrow” were absolutely killer.
I think what made this gig so special was the fact that it was an easy gig. Nothing was to ‘official’ or orthodox. The crowd was having as much fun as the band was and it is very important to keep that in mind. The songs were lively, strong and full of power. They made mistakes, they laughed it off, and they carried on. It was not perfect and it did not need to be. It was organic and human and tribal. I look forward to the next time they come back to town.