Sunday, March 02, 2008


Yes, dear reader, the wait is over! After wimping out on Iron Maiden on February 19 and the Lucifer Over America Tour on February 24 (my excuse is the fact that the Oscars were going on a few miles away from the HOB WH and I didn't want to deal with that gridlock), I finally managed to drag my ass to a show!

Bound By The Road

Bands: DevilDriver, Napalm Death, In Vitro, Walls Of Jericho, and 36 Crazy Fists

Venue: House Of Blues, West Hollywood, California

Date: February 29, 2008

Finally! After many false starts over the last few months, I finally managed to get to a show! The Bound By The Road tour made its way into West Hollywood on February 29th, and I fought my way through absolutely horrendous traffic only to arrive too late to see 36 Crazy Fists. Oh, well. I walked in to the HOB WH just as Walls Of Jericho, I believe (actually, I wasn’t too sure, do they have a different vocalist?), took the stage. A young, female-fronted melodic metalcore band with some musical talent, they weren’t too bad but, as you know, this is not my genre of choice, so I spent most of their set propped up against the bar.

I dutifully waited for In Vitro, another young band with which I have no familiarity, and I wasn’t expecting a whole Hell of a lot. However, I was pleasantly surprised, and highly amused, to hear the theme of the old ‘70s version of “Battlestar Galactica” just as the curtain parted to reveal In Vitro dressed up in lab coats and tinfoil hoods! They proceeded to rip through a couple of songs of thrashcore dressed up in their outfits before shedding the costumes (they were all still wearing goofy t-shirts) and continuing the remainder of their 30 minute set. A weird blend of some old style hardcore with decided Municipal Waste and System Of A Down influences, In Vitro, frankly, kicked ass with a high energy set that had the crowd really moving.

Prior to my attendance at this show, I felt that the whole notion of Napalm Death playing underneath DevilDriver was an insult and a travesty. Judging from the conversations going on around me, I wasn’t alone in this assessment. With that in mind, Napalm Death takes the stage and plows through a 45 minute set covering their career. Highlights included “Breed To Breathe”, “Suffer The Children”, “Mass Appeal Madness”, and the set closer, their patented cover of “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”. Now a four-piece, Napalm Death haven’t missed a step in a career now spanning over twenty years.

At this point, I actually contemplated leaving the show. I had seen DevilDriver open for Dimmu Borgir awhile back and I had thought that their set was enjoyable, but nothing spectacular. In addition, “The Last Kind Words” hadn’t quite been released at that point and I wasn’t overly impressed by their first couple of full-lengths. Dez Fafara’s nu-metal Coal Chamber days had lowered the band’s credibility in some peoples’ minds from the start, and the band had some ground to make up. Well, I may not be a full believer just yet, but DevilDriver was firing on all cylinders for this show. The groove oriented blend of post-thrash/ death metal shown on “The Last Kind Words” was on full display with an enormous sound, great musicianship, and energy with full crowd participation in the packed HOB. Storming out of the gates with “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”, DevilDriver were obviously at their best with tracks from “The Last Kind Words”. They did seem to slip a bit when hitting tracks from their prior releases, but this show will certainly give me great cause to further investigate “The Last Kind Words” as well as future releases, provided that they maintain their momentum with this direction. Should Napalm Death have played under DevilDriver? No, but DevilDriver does deserve to headline.

At any rate, a good show with plenty of good stuff on the horizon here in L.A. this Spring!

Here are the usual pictures and videos...

In Vitro

Napalm Death


In Vitro

Napalm Death


In closing, I have a pretty good seat (Section 4) for the upcoming Iron Maiden show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on May 31!


DPTH International said...

Walls of Jericho are one of a few Hardcore bands I listen to. The female vocalist is just as good as any other bands out there. They've always seemed pretty heavy and riff oriented to me and I liked that.

I'll have to check out In Vitro, they sound interesting.

dschalek said...

They weren't too bad, just wasn't really my thing.

-cja said...

i saw Walls of Jericho play a small coffee house on the outskirts of DC somewhere in VA and i thought they were boring as all hell. not my cup of tea either.

Pope JTE said...

Thanks for this . . . I too am now curious about In Vitro. I've seen Devildriver a couple times now (both times opening for Opeth) and I was impressed with their performances. They seem to bring a different quality of energy to the stage than that which is captured in the studio. Dez has that frontman charisma that seems to fit the band very well.

Little jealous about the Maiden gig, though. Up the Irons!