THE GATEWAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014
It’s been five epic years since the band Chron Goblin first came into fruition and, on their anniversary, the night was all about that celebration. Inside the front doors of SAIT’s Gateway sat the guests of honour – behind a promising merch table – luring patrons into their sights with free commemorative beer cozies. Other goodies included some sharp anniversary apparel and one badass, limited edition, screen-printed poster, courtesy of Jason Abraham Smith.
Vancouver’s We Hunt Buffalo hit the stage promptly with a sludgy clamour and cavernous vocals. The three-piece played a tremendous set, amped with the energy all openers should display. They preached a sermon of both old and new, closing with eagle cries. The audience was now wet.
Adorned with black mastiffs, there was really no introduction necessary for the next band of brothers. Edmonton’s Black Mastiff helped the Gateway to a much-anticipated serving of soulful stoner rock. Bassist Clay Shea was quick to address “all the beautiful people in Calgary and the regular dudes” with oozing admiration, only to quickly add a plea, offering someone 60 bucks to “drive the band around, but they must be sober.”
By this point, the room had finally fully gravitated towards the front of the stage with impatience. Welcomed to the stage by cheers and the stank of green, the headliner ruptured into action. Chron Goblin, like no other, can light the stage on fire. With their aggressive antics, they really know how to make you forget where you are. (Well, that and the endless sea of hair circulating in a psychedelic synchronicity.)
Singer Josh Sandulak is always madness worth watching as he comes to a boil, only to quickly simmer back down into each dynamic configuration, song after song. Standing beside guitarist Devin Purdy, it was hard to tell if the smoke was emanating from the stage’s fog machine or his nimble, shredding fingers. After each song, the crowd raised their beer cozies in agreement that this was, in fact, a spectacular anniversary show, solidifying that Chron Goblin are not only a talented fucking band, but also a bunch of guys with whom Calgary can always get down.
By Robyn Condon
Photos by Paige Woodbury