Metaldays - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Crowbar, one of the pioneers of sludge metal, is not a band I’ve ever been terribly familiar with. I remember seeing a video or maybe two, back in the good days of Headbanger’s Ball on MTV, and thinking it was all right.
Mostly though, I’ve known main man Kirk Windstein through his work with Down, and this was what made me curious enough to come out and see Crowbar here at Metaldays.

“It’s so good to be here! Give yourselves a round of applause!”
- Kirk Windstein (vocals/guitar)

Clouds were gathering in the sky, and the warmth that had been felt up till now was slowly disappearing.
On the stage, only a few scattered amps and speakers could be seen – no form of backdrop or anything to announce the band that was coming. Oh well, such things are only superficial, and irrelevant as long as the performance is good, isn’t it so?
The problem is, the bare stage bore a silent witness as to how bare the show would be as well. The music was heavy, sure, heavy as hell even, but the musicians did next to nothing to get the show across. Mostly they were just standing around, nodding their heads at best, and this was when they weren’t turning their backs towards the crowd, something they had a tendency to a lot of the time…

Down in front of the stage, a midsized crowd had gathered, and to be honest, there wasn’t much more life to be found here, than there was on stage.
The most interesting thing that happened was that some girl carried a large sign with here. It stated “Today I’m…”, and then the letters got too small for me to read. Anyway, she carried the sign up to the font, and yes, that’s how little action there was, you could walk straight up to the front at any given moment without anything standing in your way. But I digress.
The girl reached the front, and one of the guards took the sign, and held it up for Windstein to see, after which he smiled and said that someone should give the girl a hug, and a large group hug ensued. And that was it. The most interesting point of the show, it was.

Needless to say, I had hoped for a bit more than that. I’m sure Crowbar was merely sticking to genre conventions in performing the way they did, but I’m highly doubtful that we will find it written down anywhere that just you play sludge, you must perform like shit.
On the other hand, this is the only time I’ve ever seen Crowbar, and I guess they should have the benefit of a doubt that they may have had an off day. Possibly the worst off day in the entirety of their career.
On yet another hand, I did hear shouts for more from the crowd when the show was done, so there must have been someone who got what was going on, and then maybe this is as good as it gets?

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