Hatebreed, Whitechapel, All Shall Perish @ In the Venue 09.22

Posted September 27, 2012 in

Saturday night, In The Venue hosted the “10 Years of Perseverance” tour, celebrating a decade in the big business by hardcore kings Hatebreed. Support came in the form of the newer generation of death metal: Oakland-born All Shall Perish, and Tennessee boys Whitechapel, who are still riding the wave of good will and new fans from this year’s well received self-titled release.

Opening first was an Australian hardcore band I’ve never heard of, Deez Nuts, who were about halfway through their set by the time I meandered through the full but far-from-packed venue. Right away, the band name just turns me off. Heavier acts take themselves too seriously sometimes, sure, but this band’s attempt to prove the opposite is equally—if not more—ridiculous. But it also seems to at least ensure a healthy following of fans in the 10-13 age demographic, so maybe the joke’s on me. Whatever. Point is, their music did nothing to redeem them for me—pretty straightforward punk/hardcore with lyrics about partying, drinking, and sticking it to the man. I prefer my rebellion a little darker, which brings us to the next set, one of my personal favorites.

All Shall Perish joined us for the second time in about six months, which is wonderful for a big ol’ fan like me. Their last visit in April, on the smaller side of this same venue, saw them as headliners delivering a set so career-spanning and orgasmic that anything less would always register as a disappointment. Keeping that in mind, and the fact that lead guitarist Ben Orum hired a tour fill-in to allow him time at home with his young family, the band still delivered a violent and high-energy set that got the place ready for the exponentially growing heaviness to come. Every time I’ve seen them, I’ve heard a new song or two live that wasn’t in past shows, which is something I love about them: they know how to keep their fanbase refreshed and coming back for more. It was a painfully short but great set, which  I was glad to have seen. Plus, mosh therapy is the best therapy.

Following ASP was the wonderful Whitechapel, who have had an extraordinary year, including the release of their self-titled album to great reviews and a second stint on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival (Read my interview with them here!). More fans surged the floor for them than I expected, and, indeed, more seemed to be wearing their (or Hatebreed’s) shirts than any other one band. They had a longer setlist by far, and it was so awesome to hear their grating, thick and relentless sound in a closed venue, as opposed to the open-air, daytime sunshine of Mayhem Fest. It added immensity to their power and a claustrophobia to the darkness of their music. They covered several albums, including the new singles “I, Dementia” and “Section 8,” and set standard “Possession” from their 2008 effort. There was little to no stage banter, just straight heaviness from beginning to end—it was a hell of a good time.

Hatebreed took a bit longer to set up, creating a nice building tension, so that before the lights even dropped, their fans were chanting the band’s name. The bar all but cleared out and the floor was as packed as it would get all night. Of course they opened with tracks from Perserverence, including the title track and “Proven”. This is the first time I’ve seen their act, though I have seen Jasta with his other acts, whose stage presence left a lot to be desired. This isn’t the case with Hatebreed. Aside from being physically imposing, the band’s chemistry is much better than Jasta’s other acts. A decade in the biz will do that to you, I suppose. Regardless, I had more fun watching them than I genuinely expected, and the age of neither the band members nor the songs affected the energy in the venue. Fans went fucking crazy.

As if to drive home the point of their continued reign, about four or five songs into their set, Jamey Jasta stopped the show and raised the house lights. The pit had claimed a victim, and the band paused to let security and medical personnel do their thing. I was too damn short to see anything from the bar except the huddled heads of all the floor spectators, so I shrugged, finished my beer and waited. Whatever happened took place quickly, and soon Hatebreed was back on and thrashing away. Minutes later, my buddy Corey comes to inform me and the rest of my party that the poor soul in the pit was none other than our friend Tyson, and our night had sadly been cut short; someone clocked him in the head with a ‘bow so hard, he fell out of his shoes (now missing) and passed out cold. Loss of consciousness meant he was now a medical risk to the venue, and he had to leave. So, unfortunately, my time with Hatebreed was cut short, but what I did see left me with a little more of the respect I’d seemingly lost for the group over the years.

On an unrelated side note:Thanks to the cock gobblers who broke into a whole string of vehicles parked south of the venue, including my friend’s, making this a weirdly shitty night’s end. May the gods of metal take no quarter on your pathetic face.