Bands: Whitechapel, The Acacia Strain, Veil of Maya, Chelsea Grin, I Declare War
Venue: Chicago House of Blues
So anyone here who pays attention to my posts knows that I love all types of metal, particularly death metal. But I've also dug Whitechapel for a while, so I was looking forward to this show a lot. I was also pumped for our home town heroes, Veil of Maya, and I've loved Wormwood a ton, so I was pumped for Acacia. A win-win-win situation for me.
PhamD_metalhead got some flak a couple weeks back for posting "This was probably the most brutal concert I've been to", pertaining to the first date of this tour. I think people thought he was talking about the music, but he was definitely talking about the crowd. Bar none, tonight was one of the strongest, passionate, most intense display of human violence that I've ever witnessed.
Started out getting there when the doors opened and having to wait on the goddamn bridge of the Chicago river, which was cold as hell. Got in at 5:05, and I Declare War was already playing. Got my coat checked, and got in the floor and tested the pits out a bit. Everyone seemed to really like them, and honestly, they sounded great live. I'll have to give these guys another listen. There was a good amount of karate kids for them, but a surprising number of good push moshes that started.
I knew I was gonna hate Chelsea Grin, so I stood off by the bar and got some water. Observing the entire floor gave me a rude awakening to how brutal the 3 bands I was here for were gonna be: by this time, the floor was so packed that there wasn't a ton of room for ninjas, with everybody jumping up and down, and push moshes occurring which spanned wall to wall. Yeah, I wasn't a fan of the music, but standing back and observing the crowd was pretty cool. After they got off, I rushed the stage because I knew VoM was gonna be crazy.
And I wasn't wrong. I don't know if we had a great crowd, or because this is their home territory, but Veil absolutely destroyed. I'm pretty sure I didn't see one hardcore dancer during their whole set. The moshes were incredibly
violent and intense, and everybody was getting into the music. Personally, I crowdsurfed 6 times, and was one of many people going crazy for them. I think even the band was surprised at how intense of a reaction they were getting. I probably had the most fun personally with their performance.
After Veil my body was shot, so I took up a spot at the back center of the floor to observe the craziness of Acacia Strain. When they came on, I think the pits stepped up a notch. Some people were trying to hardcore dance- I think
- but when you put that many people on a floor so tight, it just turned into one giant push mosh where everyone was punching each other's guts, too. They put on a great performance, and I got up close for JFC, when Vincent did his rant against god, making the song go out for all the atheists, nihilists, and agnostics in the room. Lets just say there weren't a lot of religious people at that show
I decided to try and push up close for Whitechapel, and they ended up killing it in my opinion. For anyone who hates Whitechapel due to the breakdowns, I'd strongly suggest checking out their newest album. Those songs felt more like I was watching a death metal band play, since the breakdowns are few and far between. Personally, all the other songs were highlights for me (LOLZ HE LIKES BREAKDOWNS, FUCK HIM). Despite all the breakdowns and whatever shit you hate about deathcore, a good 85% of all the moshing I saw, and participated in, was good ol' moshing as we know it. Performance wise, Phil's voice sounded great and the guitars were pretty spot on for what I could tell. The crowd reaction took a little time to heat up; Devolver might be the worst opening song ever. When Posession came out, though, the place blew up and stayed that way the whole night. Wall of death for Exile was awesome, and quickly escalated into the most violent pit of the night. It really was a sight to see.
I don't know if its the crowds in Chicago, but that's the second concert I've seen in one week where I expected all karate kids, but got insane moshes instead (Parkway Drive was the other). I will say all the guys in the pit where about 6'5, 250 pounds, ex-marines who were out for extreme blood. If you have any interest in these bands, despite whatever opinions real metalheads have of them, this was an insane show. Definitely the most violent one I've ever been to (Although I haven't seen Hatebreed live, which I would assume nothing could top).
From the great crowd to crowdsurfing a grand total of 9 times, this concert got a 9/10 from me.
Setlists (The same as all the other nights, unfortunately. I would've liked to see some older ones from Whitechapel):
Veil of Maya:
We Bow in it's Aura
It's Not Safe to Swim Today
The Acacia Strain:
The Hills Have Eyes
Whoa! Shut It Down!
See You Next Tuesday
Bay of Pigs
The Darkest Day of Man
Reprogrammed to Hate
Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation
End of Flesh
Death Becomes Him
Single File to Dehumanization
Of Legions/This is Exile
And remember: Haters Gonna Hate