Tuesday, January 29, 2002 @ 12:48 AM
Trouble Reunion Gig Live At Ni
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It had been six years or so since anyone had heard from the legends of Doom rock, Trouble. These Chicago metal pioneers were long overdue for a return to the stage and almost completely original line-up was here tonight. The venue, Night Caps, was located in suburban Chicago and was not much more than a neighborhood pub. The flyers for the show were filled with local bands and a last minute caption stating “Just added…Trouble” like it was no big thing. The capacity crowd (only 150 or so) arrived early as space was definitely limited. The gig apparently came together when a local metal DJ asked the band if they’d play at his birthday party (what a present).
Opening the night were local agro/jazz/metal act Yakuza. Saxophones, clarinets, distorted guitars, aggro-screaming vocals and thrashing drums were the order of the night for these guys. Local old school boys, Stonehenge, performed an interesting power metal set. The band had a reunion of their own, bringing up members of a previous line-up to play songs from an early 1990s recording that is to finally see the light of day in Europe. A few classic covers, “Black Sabbath” and “Ace of Spades,” were thrown in and devoured by the metal starved crowd.
There were a lot of travellers from around the surrounding states who drove hours to see the return of the kings of Doom Rock (stoner rock, “lurch rock” (loved that one)) or whatever the hell you wanna call it. Not even a nine-hour drive from Toronto in the middle of the night and a US boarder crossing could stop us from getting to this gig. The anticipation was pretty high, so much so that the DJ couldn’t wait and busted out “The Wolf” while the band were setting up gear on stage. A good percentage of the crowd were old friends of the band as there were lots of old stories of the band being passed around (“Rick’s had an amp sitting in my basement for years” etc., etc.). Several razzings and friendly name calling flowing both directions between the stage and the audience as the band continued to gear up. Two full Marshall stacks took up a good portion of the stage, but hey, how could get by without amps that are taller than the guitar players? The flying Vs, of course, and an SG came out and the band were ready to rip!!
They started off with the heavy intro bit from “R.I.P.” but then went straight into “Come Touch The Sky.” The band was definitely enjoying playing together again and especially for a bunch of people that were completely thrilled to hear them once again. The quick set consisted of mainly material from the Def American era (as expected) a couple of the headbanging numbers (damned glorious harmony leads in “End of My Daze”) and a couple of ballads (“Memory’s Garden” and “Misery Shows (Act II)”). Of course they didn’t forget about the diehards either and crushed everyone with “The Tempter.” After 18 yrs, this is still easily one the best doom rock tunes ever recorded. Much headbanging ensued during the tunes rock out sections (YEAH!!!!!) I’ll admit to getting a little carried away on this one (apologies again to Pete Abraham Lincolnwood, dude, I owe you another drink and then you can elbow ME in the head… haha).
The Tempter was the last song but no one was ready to leave Trouble heaven yet. The crowd brought them back for another tune. They invited the birthday boy up to play “Children of The Grave” with them. “It’s his fault we’re here…..so he’d better get up and play this one with us” Ron (bass) said. They launched into and incredibly heavy and increasingly louder version of the Sabbath favourite. But, it was not to be, as before they made it through the first verse, the crushing guitars blew the fuse on the PA and stage power. From crushing power chords to complete silence in nothing flat! Everyone, band included, very completely dumbfounded for a few seconds in an almost Twilight Zone-esque moment. Then the band disappeared from the stage without a word (hell there was no PA). Very strange end to a great night, this only left the crowd with more anticipation for the next gig (hopefully some U.S./Canada gigs before the European Summer Festival circuit).
If you never heard ‘em check out the 1990 self-titled album on Def American, a rock masterpiece for sure. The band is apparently working on their seventh record and first in seven years simply entitled, what else, Seven. Welcome back Trouble, we’ve missed ya!
Intro from R.I.P.
Touch The Sky
At The End of My Daze
Misery Shows (Pt2)