Obsession returned to the local music scene for the first time in eight years with a show at The Jameson Pub in Watertown, Connecticut, and they did it with a Vengeance!
The Jameson Pub, Watertown, CT – 25 August 2023
Words and Photography: Jody Wilk
This time, the band’s lineup included three original members. Mike Vescera on vocals, Jay Mezias on drums, and Matt Karagus on Bass, along with John Bruno and Scott Boland on guitar, who have been with the band since 2005 and the release of Carnival Of Lies.
The Jameson Pub is a small bar/music venue that hosts lots of bands from the ’80s and also features local musicians. Although I don’t think the show was officially sold out, it certainly was a full house.
Getting to see Obsession was a huge throwback for me. I remember many nights cruising around town, listening to the albums Scarred For Life and Hard To The Core at maximum volume with my friends looking for trouble.
I had the honour of photographing Obsession multiple times back around the time when their hit song For The Love of Money was making the rounds on MTV. Some of my friends and I even got to hang out at the warehouse where they used to practice on Canal Street in Shelton, Connecticut.
Having seen them a dozen or so times in the ’80s and a few times in the 2000s, it was great to see them get back together for a few shows.
Rumour has it that there are no more shows on the schedule for them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mike Vescera, he also had a short run in the Japanese Heavy Metal band Loudness from 1989 to 1991. He has also sung for Yngwie Malmsteen, Animetal USA, and D-Metal Stars Metal Disney, as well as a long list of other projects.
Obsession kicked off the night with Marshall Law, from their first EP of the same name. Although this time, Mike didn’t have the zebra-striped spandex outfit and teased hair, he still had a great stage presence. With long jet-black hair, a black leather vest, and several silver cross necklaces, he still had the look of a rock star.
Mike was still able to hit most of the searing high notes like the original recordings. The fans were excited to see Matt Karagus on bass and Jay Mezias on drums as it was the first time in many years. The last few shows they played featured Dokken’s Chris McCarvill on bass and BJ Zampa on drums.
Jay didn’t lose a beat playing on a large kit with two bass drums. He can still throw sticks with the best of them. John Bruno and Scott Boland traded off leads just like the original recordings. I was a little disappointed that they used tracks for a few of the intro parts, which featured acoustic guitar.
Obsession played for about an hour and a half, featured all of the fan favourites and even included Carnival Of Lies. They played a full set of 11 songs and some medleys that included songs from Marshall Law, Scarred For Life, Methods Of Madness, and Carnival Of Lies.
The crowd was helping, singing along to most of the songs, and fists were pumping. If you were a Metalhead growing up in Connecticut in the ’80s and didn’t make it to this show, you should be ashamed of yourself.
At the end of the night, Obsession was selling 40 Years Of Marshall Law t-shirts, which I am sure can be bought through John Bruno online or at his store, Route 1 Guitars, in Milford, Connecticut.
A hot, sweaty, fist-pumping night of Heavy Metal was had by all, which brought back many memories from the ’80s local rock scene.
Although the days of hitting 4-5 shows at local clubs each week are gone, the music scene is still alive. Get out and support local music and share it with the next generation before it is no more.
Losing my Mind
Methods of Madness
Carnival of Lies
For the Love of Money
Only the strong will survive
In the End
Mai Lai – Take No Prisoners
Hard to the Core
Taking your Chances
(Winner Take All intro piece)
Taking your Chances
Scarred for Life
Bang ’em till they bleed
Encore – Shadows of steel
Michael Vescera – Lead vocals
Jay Mezias – Drums
Matt Karagus – Bass
John Bruno – Guitar
Scott Boland – Guitar