Hatebreed destroys everything in their wake with a special performance at the State Theatre on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. The tour is billed as “20 Years of Desire & 15 Years of Perseverance” which pays homage to their first and second studio albums, so it is with great anticipation in the days and weeks leading up to the show knowing the set list will favor heavily from those two kick ass releases.
Sadly, my fellow SIGT photographer friend Richie and I do not arrive at the venue in time to see the first two opening bands, Twitching Tongues and Code Orange, but I know we are in for a treat with death metal heavyweights Dying Fetus about to hit the stage to stir up the crowd for Hatebreed. Dying Fetus lands more on the technical death metal branch of the musical tree, and myself being a people watcher at shows it is interesting to see people’s reaction to a death metal band if they are not really that familiar with the gruffness of the vocals in the genre. Just as Dying Fetus is about to start, I hear someone mention to their show companion how “I’ll give them one song…” presumably before retiring to the bar or even outside to await the headliner in case the opener is not to his musical liking. I notice he stayed for their entire neck breaking set! Death metal is not for everyone, but I sure love how heavy this band is live.
Dying Fetus is supporting their new release “Wrong One to Fuck With” and while I have not heard anything off of their new album, I can say for sure the new stuff they’re playing live sounds killer. Brutal, technical and heavy. They are well represented by the many shirts I saw fans wearing, and they slay through a ten-song set list that mixes in songs across six of their eight studio albums. It is my second time seeing them and I eagerly await my third show of theirs, hopefully as headliner so they have a longer set.
As it is nearing time for Hatebreed, the house music suddenly switches from the staple random song to holiday classic Christmas music. The holiday tunes blast through the venue’s speakers preceding the house lights diming and Hatebreed taking the stage. I think to myself what better way to get into the holiday spirit than with one of my favorite bands about to unleash a knockout brute force mix of heavy metal and hardcore punk, while lyrically delivering a message of positivity to us all about believing in yourself, taking control of your own actions, destiny and forwarding one’s life path.
This show is a reaffirmation of my review of their show last year about this band being my own form of personal empowerment therapy, and from the size and ferocity of the mosh pit as well as the crowd’s reaction every song I can see I am not alone in that line of thinking. Their tried and true crossover heavy sound is one that their fans cannot seem to get enough of as evident when lead singer Jamie Jasta announces between songs that their first single off of their latest release “The Concrete Confessional” has been the highest charting song of their career. Then we are treated to my personal favorite off of the new album, “Looking down the Barrel of Today.” As expected, songs off of “Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire” and “Perseverance” made up the majority of the set list and we were treated to my personal favorite song of theirs “Destroy Everything.”
While it may be hard for some people unfamiliar with them to hear the positive and empowering messages behind and within their music, their songs speak to me and I was hooked as a fan as soon as I discovered them. Not having any idea of who they were or what they sounded like when I saw them open for Slayer in 2002, it was another instance of me not being familiar with an opening band and being blown away by what I heard and an instant fan.
As with many bands that have been around twenty plus years, Hatebreed has gone through some lineup changes over the years, and of note for this show and probably the whole tour, Sean Martin (Hatebreed’s guitarist on the “Perseverance” release and now guitarist for opener Twisting Tongues) comes out on stage to a big reaction from the crowd and guest performs along with the band for the last two songs.
Check out these two videos from the show thanks to YouTuber hvymtlmom (nice name!).
With this being my seventh time seeing Hatebreed, I can say from this experience as well as the past six, this band gives their all on stage while connecting and interacting with the fans. The brutality and positivity of Hatebreed’s music is its own art form and you can see on their faces as the band performs, their own passion for their music and their love for each and every one of us being there to see the show.
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