Soulfly, Straight Line Stitch and more at House Of Blues (2010)

House Of Blues (Chicago, USA)

Soulfly, Straight Line Stitch, Incite, Desperate Union
It was another deadly cold evening in Chicago but, there was no way for METAL […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
December 2, 2010

It was another deadly cold evening in Chicago but, there was no way for METAL TEMPLEto miss a SOULFLY concert. Their headlining performance at this year's 'Graspop Metal Meeting' in Belgium was a sight for a sore eyes and a surprise to me, taking into consideration the band's usual setlist that lasts on average 70 minutes. It was also another show in House Of Blues in a working day and hence a ridiculous early starting time. And because of this, many metalheads had to lose the opening bands since attending a concert is not a solid excuse to get you off work; isn't it? Probably, this was the main reason that entering the venue we found not more than 20 people standing there…

DESPERATE UNION were struggling on-stage pretending that were performing in front of a -at least- decent number of people. We had to miss their entire performance since a planned interview with SOULFLY lead guitarist had already gone late but as you will find out in the near future, it went well.

Next, on the supporting bands list was INCITE. If you are into SOULFLY works then INCITE should be a familiar name. Indeed, this band in fronted by Max's stepson Richie Cavalera who is trying to carve his own way in the Metal scene. By the time INCITE got on-stage, House Of Blues was still looking cold empty underlying how wrong was having such an early gig start. Richie has been with Max on the road for a long time and knows that the best to do a live show is having the pedal to the Metal! So, without waiting to get warmed up INCITE hit us with "The Slaughter" after the short intro. Obviously, Richie was in the spotlight and I have to admit he did really well running up and down the stage spitting the lyrics on top of his lungs. His spontaneous energy managed to get through to most of the metalheads inside HOB and that's a definitely success for the band.Of course, there was no time to fool around and "Nothing To Fear" came with no pause. The first thing I noticed with INCITE was that Richie did all the work and the rest of the guys were just standing there. Ok, Dis did extremely good on the fast riffs but he was just standing rigid like he was in the studio and that did not help the band's on-stage looks. Luis Marrufo and Zak on the bass and drums respectively shed some sweat but nothing to talk about. In the end of the setlist I have to give credit to Richie who hold his grounds and gave 100% of his energy on-stage showing honest respect to everyone who showed up that evening.

INCITE setlist:

  1. "The Slaughter"
  2. "Nothing To Fear"
  3. "Down And Out"
  4. "Tyranny's End"
  5. "End Result"
  6. "Divided We Fail"
  7. "Army Of Darkness"

Next in line was the metalcore band STRAIGHT LINE STITCH. I have watched them two years ago and I cannot say there was something to impress me. Alexis Brown had done great in the front woman position but that did not fill the gap STRAIGHT LINE STITCH's music left me. Sadly, the Tennessee band did nothing to gain my interest that night. Their music sounded flat to my untrained ears and to top things off (in a negative way) there over-distorted vocals made things even worse. Alexis had a strange on-stage presence and had a limited connection to the audience and without doubt she failed to earn their interested. So, it is safe to say that I found myself feeling glad their set came to an end. I am sure there will be no third chance for them in the future…

I consider myself a great fan of Max's works and I had the luck of watching him live with SEPULTURA, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and -of course- SOULFLY.And every time I get stunned from his deadly honest performance that seems to come right from his heart. As I said, SOULFLY did great headlining 'Graspop Metal Meeting' but I am sure there was something wrong with Max. There was an abstract glance in Max's eyes giving the impression that his mind was not 100% focused. Sadly, that was not impression I just happened to get in 'Graspop' since Max gave me the same vibe during the HOB show. But, first things first…

There should not have been more than 700 people inside the venue when the lights went out marking the start of SOULFLY's set. Without a fancy entrance, the Brazilian band hit us right on the face with the massive "Blood Fire War Hate". To my surprise there was an energetic response from the gathered metalheads who lost no time and formed a mosh-pit right in the center of the venue.

I never managed to convince myself that Bobby Burns was the fitting bass player for this band, so the news that he left SOULFLY brought joy to my eyes. And to top my happiness off, the band recruited Johnny Chow who is such an excellent replacement sharing the same energy with the rest of the guys. If you don't know his name, check CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's lineup and then agree with me about a 100% fitting replacement. Johnny was the wingman of Rizzo sweating his arse off keeping solid Brazilian groove of SOULFLY. Listening to the band's music after the addition of Marc Rizzo in the lead guitar, it is easy for the average listener to understand this guy's contribution. SOULFLY have move towards the Thrash sound and in the last two albums Marc has put together some killer riffs. And that night he nailed every and each one of them! It is amazing watching him playing while throwing a roundhouse kick without missing a bit. Last but not least I left Joe Nunez who had another reason to add something more in his performance since Chicago is his hometown. This guy follows the lead of Marc and Johnny loosing some liters of sweat, pounding like an animal his drum set.

"L.O.T.M." was performed faster than in the studio and came to an end featuring the chorus lines of PANTERA's "Walk" that was immediately recognized by everyone who joined Max in the singing parts. Even though Max looked a little bit distant watching him singing that song you could see the fan in him that I believe has kept him going for all these years. I mean, he was totally enjoying that song giving the impression of a Metal fan enjoying some headbanging and air guitar action in his favorite bar. After "Porrada" it was time to do the drum 'ritual' that sadly I found it kind of uninspired and with less energy than usual. I believe they could have skipped that… Anyway, the short break lasted a couple of minutes and SOULFLY returned in full force hitting us with no pause with "Troops Of Doom". "Frontlines" and three more SEPULTURA tracks followed; "Arise", "Dead Embryonic Cells" and "Territory". I know that many fans who haven't the chance to watch the original SEPULTURA lineup, want songs from that era in the setlist; on the other hand, SOULFLY have enough albums and many good songs to comprise a really killer setlist.

This part of the gig SOULFLY gave the impression that were in a hurry playing the tracks almost in a non-stop sequence. Hell, I did no have the time to enjoy the groovy "Jumpdafuckup" like I did in 'Graspop" 'cause it was embedded in "Eye For An Eye" like it was one song.After this two in one song Max said "goodnight" and left the stage and the rest of the band playing BLACK SABBATH's "Children Of The Grave". After a couple of minutes, they also said "goodnight" and the curtain fell marking the end of the gig in such a sudden way that made me feel something between angry and disappointed. I mean SOULFLY's setlist lasted almost an hour! Usually they are doing 70 minutes and that's fine taking into account the intensity of their performance; but one hour?

With this sudden and disheartening way SOULFLY's visit in Chicago came to an end. I do not know the reasons and in fact I really do not care; it was a working day, everyone had to rush from work to get there on time and sure deserved more. In the end, the HOB promoters could have a low ticket price in order to compensate this annoyance. We still love Max though and hence we cannot hold a grunge…

SOULFLY setlist:

  1. "Blood Fire War Hate"
  2. "Prophecy"
  3. "Back To The Primitive"
  4. "Seek 'n' Strike"
  5. "Babylon"
  6. "Kingdom"
  7. "Refuse/Resist"
  8. "Bloodbath & Beyond"
  9. "L.O.T.M." / "Walk"
  10. "Porrada"
  11. Drums / "Bumba"
  12. "Troops Of Doom"
  13. "Frontlines"
  14. "Arise" / "Dead Embryonic Cells"
  15. "Territory"
  16. "Rise Of The Fallen"
  17. "Roots Bloody Roots"
  18. "Jumpdafuckup" / "Eye For An Eye"

(photos by the primitive)




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