Hatebreed brought their 20 Years Of Perseverance Tour to Hartford, Connecticut, over the weekend and packed the Webster Theater to capacity.
Connecticut metal band Hatebreed has a lot to celebrate. Not only is it the twenty-year anniversary of their seminal album Perseverance, their most recent album, Weight Of The False Self, sent shockwaves through the metalcore ultraverse. It is therefore fitting that the current tour has a monster lineup with Gatecreeper, Dying Wish, and Bodysnatcher on the ticket.
The Webster Theater is a landmark for heavy music fans in Connecticut. I have seen more bands than I can count at this venue, starting way back when with Morbid Angel. Its large, open club space accommodates wallflowers and circle pit demons alike, creating one of the most welcoming metal scenes in the northeast. On the Friday night of the Hatebreed show, the Webster was as full as I have ever seen it, testifying not only to the draw of the bands performing but also to the appeal and status of the venue.
Dying Wish went up first. This Portland, Oregon metal band pushed the crowd to its aerobic limit with high-energy antics that turned heads all the way around. The unavoidable comparison of lead singer Emma Boster to Harley Quinn from the movies hits you right between the eyes when the band stepped out on the stage, but when she starts singing it is her voice you most notice. It is the hardcore energy and punk sensibilities of the band that make for a sure-fire winning combination.
Florida’s Bodysnatcher prowled the deck next. This deathcore band is touring for their latest album, Bleed-Abide, which is one of my top picks for 2022. I am a fan of all the bands on the card, but it was Bodysnatcher I wanted to see most because they are the one I hadn’t seen live before. Their performance was a mesmerizing combination of muscular metal and laid-back confidence, and it resonated with the growing crowd in Hartford. They could have played for an hour and a half and still we would have wanted more.
Gatecreeper is a death metal band from Arizona that is creating some of the most interesting music in heavy metal today. Their 2021 album An Unexpected Reality is a monumental achievement with a very unlikely structure – seven songs that run about one minute each and an eleven-minute epic as the anchor. The hooks and crushing riffs were in all their full-throttle glory, and they devastated and primed the crowd for what was to come next. This is third time I have seen Gatecreeper this year and every time is better than the last.
In the past few years I have seen Hatebreed many times, but always at large outdoor festivals. In that environment they positively crush it. With plenty of room to run around on those gigantic stages, they get up to all sorts. I wondered how that kind of show would translate to the more intimate confines of a smaller indoor place. It turns out, the show is just as exciting in a theater as it is in the wide outdoors.
Over the course of two dozen songs (twenty five, in fact, if I counted correctly), Hatebreed hit all the spots fans were looking for. The setlist did include songs from Perseverance, naturally, but also from early albums The Rise of Brutality and Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire, and more. I will never get tired of watching this band live because they leave it all on the stage and they always play like their lives depend on it.
The 20 Years Of Perseverance Tour continues trough most of November. Bleeding Through joins for the last few dates and Gatecreeper steps off then – see the tour poster for the facts and get your tickets while they are still available.
Photos by Wayne Edwards.
Dying Wish, https://dyingwishofficial.com/
Webster Theater, https://webstertheater.com/
Nuclear Blast Records, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd/hatebreed-weight-of-the-false-self.html
MNRK Heavy, https://mnrkheavy.com/collections/bodysnatcher
Closed Casket Activities, https://closedcasketactivities.com/collections/gatecreeper
SharpTone Records, https://sharptonerecords.co/collections/dying-wish
Dying Wish, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/11/08/photo-gallery-dying-wish-the-webster-theater-2022/
© Wayne Edwards