GIG REVIEW: Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore & More Live at St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit, Michigan
It’s February 28th, 2017. What’s a person to do on a Fat Tuesday after they’ve devoured some paczki’s? Catch a metal show, that’s what. Metal fans had no shortage of intense rockage as a tour consisting of Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore, Allegaeon and Necromancing The Stone rolled into Detroit, Michigan to perform at St. Andrew’s Hall as part Metal Blade Records 35th anniversary tour.
Necromancing The Stone took the stage first. I’d never heard of this band prior to this show. After some research for my review, Necromancing The Stone’s mission is to save mankind from Lord Breakdownicus Gratuitous. Apparently the five members have been living on earth for centuries, they are John Williams on vocals, Justin Wood on guitar, James Malone on guitar, Ryan Williams on bass and Jeramie Kling on drums. And they all are here to protect the five fragments of The Earthen Stone. We can see this group is fans of high fantasy. With melodic heavy riffs and hair spinning on the lower gear of heavy metal. The vocals are theatrical if not operatic, which lends to the theme of what this band is out to accomplish.
Allegaeon who hails out Colorado hit the stage with a vengeance. Led by the energetic lead singer Riley McShane and backed up musically with Greg Burgess and Michael Stancel on guitars, Corey Archuleta on bass and Brandon Park on drums. Their sound is heavy with pulsating beats and ethereal tones. The crowd got into the music and the intensity picked up as Allegaeon rocked on.
Not to be outdone, Goatwhore hit the stage with a hostile fury that had the crowd amped up. Several members were clad with spike armband gauntlets, just looking ready to pummel whatever got in their path. With a beat fit for an army ready to charge and destroy, the music was masterfully delivered by Sammy Duet on guitar, Robert Coleman on bass and Zack Simmons on drums. Lead singer Ben Falgoust was playing air guitar often as the riffs rang out. Out of New Orleans, Louisiana, Goatwhore has a wealth of material to derive their music and lyrics consisting of witchcraft, Satanism and the occult.
The evening hit a fever pitch when Cattle Decapitation hit the stage. Out of San Diego, California, this group brings the in your face style of death metal with a force of violence. The crowd followed along with the intensity the band put out, moshing, circle pits and even a wall of death was done by the fans. It was a sight to see. One moment I missed, but saw in a picture posted by a fellow photographer there, was a gentleman in a wheelchair crowd surfing. If that isn’t badass, then I don’t know what is. It goes to show how metal fans, although rough and brash can still be generous and helpful in making everyone feel welcome and enjoy the concert experience. Cattle Decapitation touches on subject matter from pollution, animal mistreatment and genocide. It’s amazing how Travis Ryan can sing night after night in that guttural style and keep hitting the notes. Cattle Decapitation scorched through their set with brutality and the crowd scorched right along with them.
Headlining the tour was Whitechapel, out of Knoxville, Tennessee. First off, the lighting was some of the trickiest I’ve encountered as a concert photographer. I’m used to low or next to no lighting for death metal bands, it creates that brooding atmosphere. But the lighting for Whitechapel was different as the backlights were there but the front lights were seldom used. And to make things a tad more difficult, add in the fog that constantly hung in the air for that hazy look. With that said, Whitechapel gave a performance full of intense vocals and heavy riffs. Unlike the other bands on the bill, Whitechapel treads the line between death metal and heavy metal as their sound isn’t entirely entrenched into one thing. Attributed to the growth of the bands musical style, Whitechapel has grown in popularity by appealing to a broader range of the fan base. Lead singer Phil Bozeman led the crowd from start to finish like a polished maestro. Bozeman with original bandmates Ben Savage on lead guitar, Alex Wade on rhythm guitar, Gabe Crisp on bass, who appears like a mountain on stage, along with long time bandmates Zach Householder on guitar and Ben Harclerode on drums, Whitechapel is a well-oiled machine and a force to be reckoned with.
You would have never thought it was a Tuesday night being inside the venue. Seeing the crowd mosh, jump and chant along to the music goes to show, no matter what day of the week it is, it’s always a good time to enjoy a live concert. Especially when you have bands giving their all so that every fan from the front to the back feels the beat and feels the groove.
Also check out our Photo Gallery of the gig here!