My first concert of 2020 didn’t come until halfway through February — at least I didn’t have to wear boots and a scarf to the show! But for many Canadian fans, the wait to see Church of Misery was much, much longer. Their last scheduled Canadian tour dates were cancelled by the U.S. government shutdown back in 2013, and no subsequent attempt had been made to return to our country…until now. OK, so I went down and saw em in Detroit last year, but you could bet I’d still be staking out a spot at the front of the stage for this set!
While the bill wasn’t quite as stacked as last year’s U.S. jaunt (featuring Toke and Mondo Generator), we still got some solid supporting acts, starting with Louisiana’s Forming the Void. After digging their last two records, I had the pleasure of seeing ’em last year at Maryland Doom Fest, and they didn’t disappoint. I think their set was shorter this time — 30 minutes and a cloud of smoke — but still equally satisfying.
Black Wizard brought a more uptempo style of metal to the stage — with an energetic stage presence to match. I’ve seen these Vancouver dudes several times over the years, and they can never be accused of phoning it in. I’m guessing they got higher billing over FTV since we’re in The Great White North…although I don’t think they played for much longer than the opening band.
Now, while I’m pretty sure I was standing on the same side of the stage as the last time I saw Church of Misery, it seems they’ve changed their setup, since I was right in front of guitarist Yasuto Muraki. So while the riffs cut through the mix even more this time, there was no denying the presence of Tatsu Mikami’s low-slung basslines — even if I didn’t get as many great pictures of him as I did last year.