Superjoint @ The Observatory – 10/01/2017Phil Anselmo certainly keeps himself busy . . . the former Pantera frontman currently fronts the NOLA based heavy metal supergroup DOWN as well as his solo band The Illegals and he has a new underground metal band SCOUR and he is currently out on the road with his hardcore metal project Superjoint (formerly Superjoint Ritual). Superjoint released their first album in 13 years, Caught Up In The Gears of Application, in November 2016 and it picks up right where the early albums left off. Currently out on “The Broken Bones Tour” with direct support from Devildriver along with King Parrot, Cane Hill and Child Bite, the tour made a stop in Santa Ana on Sunday night October 1 at The Observatory.

With five bands on the tour the music started early at 6:00pm as Child Bite, Cane Hill and King Parrot set the stage for Devildriver and Superjoint by playing some aggressive, heavy music that the sparse early crowd certainly enjoyed. This tour is a reunion of sorts with Devildriver as they played their first tour with Superjoint back in 2003 and even though the lineup has changed a bit the band remains as ferocious today as when they first started.

Devildriver hit the stage and frontman Dez Fafara led the brutality and delivered a 50 minute set that highlighted songs throughout their 14 year, 7 album history. Fafara delivers an energetic full on metal assault every night and he was spot on in Santa Ana. The highlight of the night was their killer rendition of AWOLNATION’s “Sail” and they closed their set with the usual killer track “Meet the Wretched”. Devildriver always delivers the heaviness and they primed the crowd perfectly for Superjoint.

At 10:15pm the members of Superjoint took the stage and as Phil Anselmo emerged the crowd certainly got loud and rowdy as the energy in The  Observatory went up a tenfold. Anselmo in his usual calm, gravely voice addressed the crowd before blasting into the set. The remainder of the band consisting of guitarists Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond along with the rhythm section of Stephen Taylor on bass and Jose Gonzalez on drums is a loose bunch but are all business once the music starts. The band would pause in between each song as Anselmo entertained the crowd with some odd humor but also some inspiring words which included stating that “the struggle is real and everyone should be kind to each other and help each other out” before kicking into “Everyone Hates Everyone”. Anselmo was obviously VERY high which he apologized for as he stated the band smoked a ton of weed before the show but that did not impact his performance at all as his voice actually sounded stronger and more powerful than in recent years as he hit all the screams and vocals spot on throughout the show.

The band slowed things down as Anselmo sang a lovely and funny little tune titled “Jimmy’s Weed Song” as Bower strummed a catchy guitar riff. The band covered songs from all three albums that seemed to fulfill all of the crowd requests that were shouted throughout the night. It is quite an amazing experience to witness such a legend as Anselmo in a small intimate venue. It’s difficult if not impossible aside from Pantera to pick a favorite project that Anselmo is in but Superjoint may just be that one.

A wise move would be to catch Phil Anselmo and Superjoint up close and personal on this tour. Superjoint continues this run through October 20.

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