AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: CHURCH OF MISERY/Mondo Generator/Toke @ The Sanctuary, Detroit, May 25, 2019

Man, The Sanctuary has gotta be the nicest bar I’ve ever seen a metal show in. There’s no way the place is more than two years old — it’s clean, pristine, with a nice bar area out front and a spacious, 150-200 capacity concert space in the back, complete with a decent-sized stage and a solid sound system. Oh, and here’s the kicker: three-dollar beers! OK, they might not be craft, but you can get cheap ‘n shitty brews like Hamms, Schlitz, PBR and Blue for no more than three bucks a can — Hamm’s was only two bucks, which practically makes it Doug Ford’s wet dream!!!

Duuuude, I would go to pretty much every gig at this place…if it wasn’t in Detroit. As it stands, I was in town to see Church of Misery, a band that would have played Canada a few years ago, were it not for a U.S. government shutdown preventing their paperwork from arriving in time. This particular tour was strictly in the States, connecting MDF, which they played two days prior, with Austin Terrorfest. And not only was I catching Tatsu Mikami and company for just the second time, but it was my first time seeing Nick Oliveri — in any capacity — as well.

After a blazing set from local Detroit openers Against the Grain (who’ve played Toronto more times than all the other bands combined), Toke mellowed the buzz considerably with their brand of low ‘n slow Carolina sludge. This trio sounds like if Sleep and Weedeater had a baby, and that baby was addicted to opioids. Man, this is some good shit!

To the surprise and delight of the audience, Mondo Generator busted out a couple classic Kyuss covers — “Green Machine” and “Allen’s Wrench” — with Oliveri effectively channelling John Garcia, especially on the former. They also played a brand new tune called “Kyuss Dies,” in case you’re wondering where his feelings lie…

Church of Misery grooved their way through a career-spanning eight-song set, going back into the vault for chestnuts like “El Padrino” and “Spahn’s Ranch.” While not quite the three-hour performance they put on in Tokyo, they still gave us a solid 60 minutes, plus an encore than included a cover of Saint Vitus’ “War is Our Destiny.” Pretty sure they played that one at the end of the night when I last saw ’em in Seattle seven years ago, too…


Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for