Canton Hall…the lights, the sound, the staff…it will always be an atmosphere to get you ready for anything and everything. The musicians on Tuesday, October 1st definitely brought their A-game to this iconic Dallas institution (formerly known as Deep Ellum Live, before that Tommy’s). Arriving early, we found the vendors had merchandise for new and old fans alike. Artists mingled and stopped for photos and members of Witch Mountain were happy to interact as young fans lingered at the stage during sound check asking questions in anticipation and excitement.
When the lights went down, the fans cheered as Witch Mountain stood ready to rock. Robb, Justin, and Nate filled the room with doom as front woman Kayla joined them for sonic destruction. Her powerful voice resonated as she belted out “Burn it Down,” followed by new release, “Priceless Pain.” Guitar leads took off and were matched by heavy bass and drums as Kayla drew the crowd closer with her over the top stage presence. The transitions between what can only be described as a misdirected angel and her demonic power guttural vocals were flawless. Her eyes, that could be called crazy, captivated the audience as she flung her jacket aside, almost as if possessed by something unearthly. These five powerful songs were just a teaser of what the Portland, Oregon based band is capable of.
Up next, a homecoming for Dallas born band, Mothership. Guitar guru Kells Juett showed off his skills on a custom flying V guitar of his own creation. His intergalactic metal leads alongside his brother Kyle bringing the bass and Judge Smith on drums were clearly influenced by 70’s classic rock, such as ZZ Top, a touch of Lemmy, and the heavy sounds of Black Sabbath. Psychedelic projections behind the band added to the experience during the songs “Priestess of the Moon,” “Centauromachy,” “Win or Lose,” and crowd pleaser, “Hot Smoke and Heavy Blues.” After a quick shout out to their former drummer and father for his 62nd birthday, Mothership thanked the staff, crew, and a room riddled with obvious family, friends, and fans for their first Canton Hall appearance. They then closed with head banger, “Serpents Throne.”
Heavy metal band, The Skull, formed from original members of Trouble, is an unstoppable five piece powerhouse. Heavy Black Sabbath influences with both spoken and Ozzy style melodic vocals, The Skull is certainly “Trapped Inside My Mind.” With the back and forth between guitars, backed by ominous brimstone flame effects, a hint of Rob Halford/Robert Plant/Peter Steele vocals and Type O Negative undertones, fans chanted along to “Till the Sun Turns Black,” “The Endless Road Turns Dark,” and “Send Judas Down.” The psychedelic doom rock of “Ravenswood,” “The Longing,” and “A New Generation,” excited fans, including members of Witch Mountain and Mothership and showed where The Skull is going.
Even with this “driven by doom” lineup, nothing could prepare a newcomer for Corrosion of Conformity. Psychedelic sludge riffs with a touch of blues and punk, these guys have a sound all their own. Diabolical beats, high gain driven guitar, nasty tight rhythms, and the self-proclaimed “kaleidoscopic vortex of psychedelia,” is just some of what Corrosion of Conformity is today. For the longtime fans, what can be said about them that hasn’t been already? They are still just as raw and powerful as they were when they formed in 1982. CoC added front man Pepper Keenan in 1989, and over the years have come on and off the scene, but this night they commanded the stage doing what they do best, like they have for the past three decades. This Dallas appearance included the songs “Seven Days,” “Paranoid Opioid,” heavy hitter “Shake Like You,” “Forgive Me,” “Heaven’s Not Overflowing,” “Albatross,” “My Grain,” “13 Angels,” “Diablo Blvd.,” “The Door,” “Vote With a Bullet,” “Who’s Got the Fire,” “Shelter,” “Stare Too Long,” “Clean My Wounds.” An amazing lineup for fans new and old, Canton Hall once again did not disappoint.
– Nichole Taylor (words); Robb Miller (photos)