For the first time in five years, London’s Orange Goblin has trekked across the Atlantic for a mini, six-date tour of North America. Markets that were fortunate enough to experience the limited run of dates included New York City, Chicago, the Muddy Roots Festival in Cookeville (Tennessee), Dallas, Austin, and Los Angles.
For the Dallas date at the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill, The Skull teamed up with Orange Goblin as well as Dallas based bands Mothership and Wo Fat who both possess international touring credits on their resumes.
The show lineup as a whole could not have been more of an ideal fitting for the four bands, all who complemented each other as the night progressed. It was a night with doses of stoner, doom metal, hard and heavy rock.
Wo Fat and Mothership both brought to the stage heavy, fat, thick sounds for three pieces that solidified the tone for the evening. The bands were not unknowns to attendees who arrived early which is normally not the case. This was evident from the reception that both Mothership and Wo Fat received throughout and after their respective sets.
Wo Fat churned out their swampadelic doom tunes to a vastly favorable crowd earning new recruits to their fan base. The band was tight which only solidified the fat and balanced sound the trio laid down.
As for Mothership, it was guitarist Kelly Juett who utilized the stage to burn a trail with his snakeskin boots as his riffs and leads blistered his cosmic Sparkling Boult Signature V guitar. Part of Juett’s high energy stage persona has him playing up to those firmly planted against the barricade as heads of hair banged and thrashed around. The hometown show was no different.
The Skull slowed the pace down as they presented their version of hefty doom metal from Chicago with vocalist Eric Wagner, bassist Ron Holzner, and guitarist Lothar Keller but there was a Dallas connection as well. Sitting behind the kit was Henry Vasquez who tours with The Skull on North American dates and guitarist Alex Johnson who’s a bandmate of Vasquez in Blood of the Sun.
The Skull took to the stage to a healthy and warm reception from the Dallas crowd where shouts of approval were consistent through their heavy set. The band utilized their two albums, For Those Who Are Asleep and The Endless Road Turns Dark for their set. Several times Wagner spoke to the crowd and even poked fun at fans of the Dallas Cowboys but it was all in good humor.
Texas hospitality was present as a small dime-sized bag of weed was presented to Wagner from a fan followed by a rolled joint later in the set. The extracurricular smokes didn’t all make their way to the stage as the aroma of marijuana wafted through the air during The Skull’s entire set.
Orange Goblin who’s had a steady personnel roster since the band’s inception had to tour without original drummer Chris Turner. Visa issues prevented Turner from participating in the mini North American even though all requested additional information was provided to accompany his trouble-free international touring history. Stepping in for Turner was Chad Walls who took care of the drumming duties like a veteran with only a few days of rehearsals.
With a lengthy discography dating back to 1997, Orange Goblin was touring in support of their 2018 The Wolf Bites Back release.
Fronted by the vertically imposing Ben Ward, Orange Goblin utilized three songs, “Sons of Salem,” “Renegade,” and the title track from the most recent release for the set. The band also reached back to the debut with “Blue Snow” as well as other releases such as Back from the Abyss and Thieving from the House of God and a cover of Motorhead’s “No Class” to round out their 17 song night on stage.
It may have been more than just a handful of years since Orange Goblin has visited the Dallas Fort Worth area but that didn’t seem to bother the densely packed crowd at all. Endorsements and appreciation for their set were rampant and the band was grateful as it should be.
How much time will pass before Orange Goblin reappears in Dallas again is unknown, but the night as a whole should pacify all in attendance until their return.