DevilDriver deliver a set that is all killer and no filler. They grab you by the throat, choke the life out of you and throw you back into the swirling masses known as the pit. It’s one hour of blistering, brutal, pounding, does ‘what-it-says-on-the-tin’ outlaw metal. It’s been five years and it’s been worth the wait.
Tonight show also brings the extraordinary return of All That Remains and Newcastle’s own Lycanthrope, who open in a understated manner with a lone vocalist before bludgeoning us with their mix of brutal metal-core. There are breakdowns, riffs, melodies galore as well as the quite impressive visual of six guys head-banging in sync. That’s hard to do, you know!
All That Remains have quite the back story coming into this show and it’s one that won’t be discussed here. We will instead focus on the ear splitting sonic assault of a band with a point to prove. Opening with The Calling, the floor pounds with the vibrations of a crowd starting to get revved up. Fuck Love, a metal anti-Valentines Day gift is there ever was one, is the scene of the nights first mosh pit
The huge chorus in Wasteland is belted out to the sky before that heavy drop makes the venue shudder. Philip Labonte implores for ‘horns in the air’ before the masses breakdown into circle pits and more. The exhilarating Two Weeks finishes their set with the unique sight of a couple of young lovers kissing while surrounded by a circle pit.
The epic brooding intro to Ruthless plays as a statement of intent that DevilDriver are not here to fuck around. The venue erupts in a hail of beer, hats and head banging. Before you can breath, Grinfucked is unloaded and the mosh pit is in full swing.
Dez Fafara is a like a man possessed, a Tasmania Devil of whirling energy as he covers the stage, making eye contact and exchanging energy with every member of the crowd. I Could Care Less and Not All Who Wander Are Lost have the crowd surfers involved to the point it becomes clear there is a shortage of security.
The set drops pace, just a tad, for Sail which just makes the beginning of Before The Hangman’s Noose sound even more brutally epic before the moment we’ve all been promised. The opening guitar melody is instantly recognised and cheered like a long lost family member as the anticipation becomes volcanic for Coal Chambers Loco.
There is no encore, that’s ‘just for hair bands’ as Dez educates us. They get straight into Clouds Over California and End Of The Line before leaving the stage promptly. It was one hour of mental, crazy, yes even loco, metal. DevilDriver came, they saw, they fucked shit up.
Live Review By Iain McCallum