Review: CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, Don Fernando & El Colosso – Live @ Max Watts, Melbourne 7th Feb. 2020

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Australia had waited for the time to lapse that would feature the (near) original lineup of Corrosion Of Conformity to once again grace our shores. Pepper, Woody Mike and John have nearly completed an absolutely decimating run of dates around Oz and NZ that ensures that they are a band that delivers nothing short of an uncompromising all out balls to the wall killer rock show.

El Colosso opened the evening’s proceedings that was half an hour of textbook stoner rock who were greatly received and appreciated by the small gathering of punters that came out early to support the local talent.

Where El Colosso surely imprinted their heavy-duty tyre tracks upon the stage to guide the rest of the night’s performers, Don Fernando parked their beast of a machine on top of the Max Watts stage to properly warm up their hometown Melbourne crowd. Both El Colosso and Don Fernando were crushing supports chosen worthily for their ability to suitably warm up a high energy and higher expectation Melbourne heavy music audience.

Warm us up they both did but if Max Watts in Melbourne was gauged in sheer temperate conditions alone, unfortunately, El Colosso and Don Fernando got Melbourne to tepid but… the second Corrosion Of Conformity graced us with their presence the thermostat exploded — it was beyond blistering.

For a full hour and a half, CoC boiled us with every single dirty southern classic rock n’ roll track featured in their back catalogue.

I discovered Corrosion the day after the release of their incredible third album, Blind, at the old Metal For Melbourne in Banana Alley in 1991. I still stand by my opinion being that that album is CoC’s best. I am eternally grateful that I got to hear at least one song from that album is “Vote With A Bullet” live, but regardless of the reason, it is absolutely evident that they are an absolutely different band now.

Ongoing from Blind are undisputed classic and killer albums such as Deliverance, Wiseblood and America’s Volume Dealer to name a few. The latter featuring one of my favourite COC tracks “Diablo Blvd.” and was an unexpected highlight of my Friday night. The other being the touching tribute Pepper briefly and poignantly dedicated to Corrosion Of Conformity’s recently departed original drummer Reed Mullin being the song also off America’s Volume Dealer“13 Angels”. Clearly watching Pepper, Woody, Mike and John shred and pound through every single note and beat these four were intended to ensure every single member of the crowd was soaked in honest rock n’ roll fuelled by booze and sweat. “Albatross”, “Wiseblood”, “Broken Man”, “Heaven’s Not Overflowing” and many other crushing others, here it would be remiss of me to not mention the evenings encore closer “Clean My Wounds”, overall witnessing Corrosion Of Conformity live for the first time was a gig I will not forget anytime soon. This was courtesy of the bands intent to make sure they will be recognised and appreciated for many years to come.

Photos by Darren Chan

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