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07/31/2009 Hatebreed, Chimaira, Winds Of Plague, Dying Fetus, Toxic Holocaust, Caustic, Phantoms, Beyond This Day, A Thousand Shades Of Cold (Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall)

By Eric | August 3, 2009 3:33 pm

The Decimation of the Nation tour kicked off in Rochester, with two stages, nine bands, and one hell of a good time. Water Street had both sides open, both stages being used, and a ton of metalheads ready to get down. The doors opened at 5:30, I got there at 6, arriving just after Adam, and during the first set of the night. Toxic Holocaust started things off on the main stage, with their old-school punk/thrash/death sound. Apparently they’ve been around since 1999, so they’re not exactly rookies. It sounded pretty cool to my unfamiliar ear, but unfortunately I only really got to see two songs. Once they were done, Adam and I followed some of the herd over to the smaller stage, where we got to see the local boys in A Thousand Shades Of Cold rip through a handful of tunes. Mostly their new stuff from the forthcoming album, but they did close with Undisputed. These guys sound better every time I see them, and it was cool to see them get this gig.

Back over to the main stage, and Rich joined us at this point to catch Dying Fetus. These guys have been around forever, through various lineup changes, and they’re mainstays of the death metal scene. Apparently death metal isn’t my thing, because while some of the riffs were cool, and the drummer was very talented, I personally get tired of nothing but double-bass drumming and mostly cookie-monster vocals. Nothing against these guys at all, the half-hour was rather entertaining, its just not my cup of tea. Up next on the “local” stage was Beyond This Day, a 5-piece from Rochester that included a female keyboard player. They were decent, the songs had a ton of breakdowns, and brought out a couple of the spin-kick kiddies. Their keyboardist added a bit of flair to the tunes, but the singer didn’t really do anything for me. Rich also remarked that their best song was the one in which there wasn’t much singing.

To the main stage yet again, this time for Winds Of Plague. Labeled as “deathcore”, they immediately seemed to be what Beyond This Day was going for, only these guys (and gal, keyboard player again) had the chops to pull it off. There were a sizeable amount of people into them, and the show was definitely energetic. Some pretty decent riffs, decent songs, and a bit of the keyboardist screaming her lungs out made this set worth watching too. After their set, it was back to the other side again, for a band we knew nothing about, Phantoms. A check of their MySpace page says they hail from New Haven, CT, so I’m guessing there’s a Hatebreed connection somewhere that landed them the gig. They were alright, straight up metal, with an interesting cover of Elenor Rigby, but admittedly we didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to them. We were too busy getting prepared for Round 1 of the main event, that being Chimaira.

We filtered over to the main stage, and I wandered up pretty much into the middle. As soon as Chimaira came out, that middle became two behind the barrier. The album intro gave way to the band slamming into The Venom Inside (with the cool slow down/speed up guitar riff!), and the place went nuts. As far as I could tell, a pretty decent pit erupted behind me, and it got even bigger with Resurrection. As if that wasn’t crowd pleasing enough, Power Trip was next, and the show was _on_. Everyone in the front of the venue at least, was jumping, moshing, screaming along, having a great time. The band continued with Empire, and The Disappearing Sun, before getting everyone bouncing with Severed. Lead singer Mark Hunter commented a couple of times on how surprised and elated the band was at the crowd response, and he was right, the crowd was definitely alive. The band was too, with all of the guys looking seriously into their parts and into the crowd as well. Chugging ahead with Everything You Love, Secrets of the Dead, and The Flame, neither the band nor the crowd showed any signs of slowing down. Alas, there was only one more song, and it ended the already high set on an even higher note. Pure Hatred always does the trick, and tonight was no exception. The crowd went bonkers. Although this was the first night of this particular tour, the band has been on the road for a bit behind The Infection, and one could tell. They sounded great, seemed to really be in the groove, and put on an awesome performance. Chimaira is always a treat to see live, and this night was no exception. The new songs sounded great, the old ones were just as good as I remembered, and the set only served to whet our appetite for what was to come.

Secrets of the Dead

The Flame

It would have been enough to call it a night right there, but we were only getting started. Caustic was the last band on the local stage, and having seen them twice before, I knew what kind of nu-metal stuff we were in for, and they delivered. We were catching our breath after Chimaira, and actually got to sit at a table set up at the back of the small side. The bit of rest came in handy, because what came next required all the energy we had.

The band just about everyone there came to see, Hatebreed, were up next. I thought the place went crazy for Chimaira (and they did), but the pop for Jamey and the guys was incredible! After all the guys came out on stage, Jamey followed, and they wasted no time, opening with Doomsayer. The crowd literally erupted. During only the first song, the ebb and flow of the crowd was such that I covered pretty much the entire width of the stage! This continued through the next couple of songs, including Conceived…, Proven, Perseverance, and Defeatist.

[ASIDE]
Somewhere around this point, Rich lost his glasses. In the pit. Off to my right, a decent size hole formed in the crowd, and who’s in the center? Rich, down on all fours, searching for his specs. And everyone around him busted out the cell phone lights and HELPED LOOK. DURING A SONG. *AND SOMEONE FOUND HIS GLASSES, INTACT!* Rich popped back up, held up his glasses in a “I got ’em!” type move, and even Jamey acknowledged him! Needless to say, the glasses got tucked away in a pocket for the rest of the set. I swear, I’ve never seen that on that sort of scale at a show before, especially not at something like a Hatebreed show! Truly a testament to the crowd at this show, because there were no idiots whatsoever. Everyone jumped, everyone moshed, lotsa people in the pit, but everyone helped everyone else back up, no fights, no crap, just a great time.
[/ASIDE]

The band soldiered right on with Smash Your Enemies, Burn The Lies, To The Threshold, and Hollow Ground, never really letting up, pausing only briefly between songs so both the band and the crowd could catch their breath. A couple of my favorites came up in a row next, with Tear It Down, Last Breath, Never Let It Die and A Call For Blood. I actually found my way back to both Rich and Adam at this point, (or as close as I could reasonably get!), before Empty Promises kicked in and everyone went every which way again. Next was the only track off For The Lions (the covers album), Slayer’s Ghosts Of War. From here on out, it was a race to the finish, with a couple of the heaviest, hardest, and most fun tracks I think I’ve ever experienced at any show, let alone a metal show. Starting with Live For This, into This Is Now, and closing the main set with Destroy Everything, these guys know how to end a show. Jamey made the comment that no matter what’s going on, when you leave a show, you want to feel invincible. You want that post-concert high. Hatebreed delivered that in spades. They left the stage briefly, but came right back to send us off with one of the best concert closers in my recent memory, I Will Be Heard. Hatebreed was certainly heard.

Hatebreed Taking The Stage

To The Threshold

This Is Now

Ghosts Of War

It’s a rare show when at the end of it, just about *everyone* was congratulating each other down front and in the pit, and *everyone* had a smile on their face. Needless to say, the band was spot-on, heavy, loud, Jamey’s screaming was as throaty as ever, and I’ll say it again, the crowd was phenomenal. For all the pits, moshing, and everything else, I didn’t see one fight, no one got pissy, everyone was into the music, everyone screaming along with every word, and it was like everyone was into everyone else being into the music! It’s hard to describe, you truly “had to be there”. And I say this as someone that enjoys listening to Hatebreed, someone that can get pumped up by them, but not as someone who has dedicated years of my life to the band, as there’s no doubt some people have (and I have with other bands). I can see why they would though. None of that mattered at this show, as long as you were into it, and everyone in the front half of the venue certainly was.

As I told both Jamey and Mark on Twitter, I haven’t had that much fun at a show in a *long* time, and I always have fun at shows. That’s how great this show was. In recent memory, for pure energy (and release thereof!), only a Sevendust show even comes close.

Topics: Concerts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 07/31/2009 Hatebreed, Chimaira, Winds Of Plague, Dying Fetus, Toxic Holocaust, Caustic, Phantoms, Beyond This Day, A Thousand Shades Of Cold (Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall)

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