THE OBSESSED - Gilded Sorrow Tour Kick-off In Philly

March 15, 2024, a month ago

By Mark Gromen

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First night, for the newly augmented, two-guitar foursome, fronted by the legendary Scott "Wino" Weinrich. In the crowd, fellow DC area luminary, Pentagram frontman, Bobby Liebling. Members of Philly bands Heavy Temple, Morgul Blade and Traitor were also in attendance. Onstage, Wino looked like a silver haired, sun bleached, beachcomber, in faded denim jeans and tank top that flashed his well-traveled tattoos. Despite the history, he still had to hump his own equipment onstage, during the changeover. The Obsessed performed six of the new Gilded Sorrow tracks, in an 18 song set!

Much like on Gilded Sorrow, "Daughter Of An Echo" kicks things off, with an unnerving metallic screech of guitar. Doesn't matter the tune's only been out for a couple of weeks (although been in the live set on earlier tours), it's treated like an old friend. It's three across the stage, for the entire performance: Wino in the center, guitarist Jason Taylor to his right and bassist Chris Angleberger, on the left. The band is silhouetted against an omnipresent red light. The sound is crisp and clean, thumping off your chest. People think The Obsessed is only slow and heavy, but it's really all about dynamics, with the occasional injection of upbeat tempos. Case in point, "To Protect And To Serve". 

There's minimal banter, Wino prefers to let the music do the talking, but when he feels the need, he doesn't mince words. "Brother Blue Steel" and "Tombstone Highway" give way to energetic newbie "Jailine". Plenty of drum action, courtesy of Brian Costantino, during the grind and stomp of "Streetside", which also features some twin leads. (Always loved the lyric, "Does the Pope shit in the wood?"). The gritty thump of "Realize A Dream" presents a genuine moment to headbang, as the two guitarists stand face to face, for the first time tonight.

A hazy "Punk Crusher" keeps things pumping. By contrast, old-timer, "The Way She Fly" is a quirky jam. "Skybone" gives Angleberger a chance to really pluck away at the bass strings. Weinrich switches guitars for "It's Not OK", a vehement tale of betrayal, by a musical journalist. As the show progresses, the band lock into a more subdued vibe, with the likes of "Hiding Mask" and Sabbathy "Climate Of Despair".

Night winding down, but still time for classic "Sodden Jackal". Another axe exchange, prior to "Stoned Back To The Bomb Age", the video track from the new album. Wino thanks his wife (who was working the merch table: loads of swag!) for directing the clip, then dedicated it to "All the hate and fucking bullshit with these fucking politicians. Left or right, it's all fucking theater." The slow, meandering number begins with a megaton wall of feedback. The final cut is actually by Spirit Caravan (one of Wino's many incarnations): "Lost Sun Dance", a melancholic send-off. Gloriously depressive and full of emotion.

The Obsessed, and especially Wino, is a national treasure. Invest your time and reap the rewards. Money well spent, cha-ching!

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