Hed PE -- Springfield, VA -- May 19th, 2011
Haven't been to Jaxx in over a year but I wasn't missing Hed PE headline for the 1st time in years. I came in during the local Jager band Saint Diablo who I've seen a few times and they were pretty good. Next up was Better Left Unsaid who are part of the touring group. Not bad. They had their moments but the sound mix could have been better.
Then I grabbed a few drinks and was ready for Mushroomhead. Immediately I noticed something was up. Where were the front of the stage drums? Where were the keyboards? I said to my friends there must be another opener because this isn't Mushroomhead's stage and it hit me. NOOOOOOOO!
Hed PE was opening for Mushroomhead. I wasn't pleased at all but once they broke into Truth Rising I got over it. The only thing that sucked is we got way too many half songs that could/would have been whole songs as a headliner. 90% of the half songs I didn't have a problem with and was happy to hear except then you only play the 1st half of Killing Time. Not getting to hear the fight night, pay-per-view suicide, the bee sting butterfly verse had me on the verge of throwing forearm shivers to anyone in a 3 foot radius of me. Less than half of the songs are actual full songs but they did a great job covering their entire catalog for the 1st time in a decade. This is pretty close to my recollection:
Live or Die Free
Not Ded Yet
No Rest For The Wicked
Is This Love? (Bob Marley Cover)
The rants were less than previous tours but still had he cut 1 rant out he could have done all of Killing Time. Blackout was just 1 verse but the 1st time I've heard anything off that cd since the Blackout Tour. The Bob Marley cover was INCREDIBLE. I've heard a million Marley covers and Hed also does Stir it Up and No Woman No Cry but this was by far my favorite and had the crowd totally into it. I was surprised they only played 1 song off Broke. They always seem to do Bartender or Waiting to Die. I was hoping for Swan Dive, Boom! or I Got You to mix it up but no dice. Would have liked a few more new tracks too but they were opening so...
As pissed as I was that Hed opened it took about 3 minutes to remember why Hed is opening for Mushroomhead. It would be really hard to go on after those guys. My god they bring it live. At this point it was literally 105 degrees in that shithole. I mean WTF? They finally got rid of the inside smoking which is cool but one room is 60 degrees and the other is literally 40 degrees hotter. Going from the hot to cold felt great but going back into the hot was like nothing I've ever experienced. How those guys played that long in those masks in that heat is a true testament to their professionalism. I could barely breathe and I wasn't on stage with masks and lights. Sorry for the diatribe, here's Mushroomhead's setlist to my best recollection:
Sun Doesn't Rise
Embrace the Ending
Harvest The Garden
Erase the Doubt
Burn The Bridge
Born of Desire
I'm pretty sure they played those songs at the end. After Simple Survival I was ready to go. I was a sweaty mess and we had over an hour drive back. Mushroomhead are great live and even though I lose interest at times like during Save Us I really respect those guys. Overall a great show but I won't be happy until I see Hed PE headline 1 more time.
1/28 - Machine Head
3/3 - Hell Yeah
3/31 - Coal Chamber & Filter