Written by Spencer Fleming
Hatebreed rolled through Sokol Auditorium with one objective: Destroy Everything. Continuing on the second leg of their anniversary tour celebrating 20 years of the album “Satisfaction is the Death of Desire” and 15 years of “Perseverance”, Omaha was lucky enough to get a stop on the route.
Billed as the Heartland Throwdown, the show featured nine bands on two stages, with Hatebreed, Crowbar, and Knocked Loose headlining the main stage upstairs, and the Acacia Strain and Terror headlining the side stage downstairs.
Originally, Knocked Loose and Terror were set to headline the small room downstairs as part of a separate tour, but when Hatebreed announced their show on the same night, the promoters were able to work together to combine the shows into one bill. It was like a mini hardcore and metal festival on a week night!
As I mentioned above, Hatebreed is celebrating the anniversiaries of their first two full length albums. The titles alone give you a glimpse into how hard Hatebreed works. These guys are absolute road dogs, typically playing 150 to 200 shows a year. If James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, lead singer Jamey Jasta is the hardest working guy in metal. He’s not only the front man of Hatebreed, he has a solo band “Jasta”, plays in Kingdom of Sorrow with Kirk Windstein of Crowbar, and is producing a new metal album featuring Dee Snider from Twisted Sister on vocals. Oh yea, he also runs a successful podcast “The Jasta Show”, which produces two episodes per week.
I was able to briefly chat with Jamey before the show. He was really nice and down to earth.
Stories from the Crowd: So Jamey, now that Slayer is retiring, who do you think should take their place as part of “The Big Four”?
Jasta: Definitely Lamb of God. They’ve toured with Slayer many times, and they’ve built a really loyal following. Then again, Five Finger Death Punch is also climbing up the ranks, so we’ll see.
Stories: I’ve been listening to the music show of your podcast on the treadmill every morning for the past few weeks. The track you did with Gideon “Freedom”, gets me so pumped up. I love the line “Freedom! Over all your weakness!”.
Jasta: Ha! Yea it was really fun working with those guys. We’re actually taking them out on tour in a few weeks.
Stories: Nice! I’ll have to check them out if they ever come through town. I know you’re really busy, so I just have one more question for you. What’s your go to song that gets you pumped up and helps you start your day?
Jasta: Cannibal Corpse, “Death Walking Terror”, that song is harrrrrrrd!
Stories: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat Jamey, I really appreciate it.
After my chat with Jamey I was able to catch the first of the three main stage headliners Knocked Loose. Hailing from Oldham County, Kentucky, Knocked Loose has really been making some moves within the hardcore scene over the last few years. They had a vibrant youthful energy and really got the crowd moving. There were several songs in the set where a circle pit broke out, sending elbows flying.
When lead singer Bryan Garris asked the crowd if they had seen Knocked Loose before, I saw several hands go up. I have a feeling the next time they come to town they will have an even bigger following.
While waiting between sets I saw two fans who were particularly excited to see the next band up, Crowbar. I introduced myself and started talking with Matt from Sioux City. I asked if he had seen Crowbar before. “I’ve been following Crowbar for over 25 years”, Matt said. He explained that Crowbar are one of the pioneers of melodic hardcore. “Helmet plays in Drop D, but these guys play in Drop B” (meaning they have a deep heavy sound). Matt also mentioned that Crowbar plays very emotional songs. “It’s not just in your face screaming”. “Pay attention, you’ll cry yourself to sleep”.
As Crowbar pummeled the crowd with their slow grinding riffs, I looked over and saw Matt, a man in his mid-40s moshing in the pit, mixing it up with kids half his age. As Jasta would say, “He came out of mosh retirement for this one”.
After Crowbar’s set I got to say Hi to lead singer Kirk and his wife Robin, who runs Crowbar’s social media and merch booth. They too were very kind and genuine. I let them know that I liked Crowbar’s set, and would try to see them again if they came through town.
Almost immediately after speaking with Kirk and Robin, the song “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle came over the speakers indicating that the throwdown was about to commence. I made my way to the front of the crowd just as Hatebreed was coming to the stage. The crowd was already going wild, chanting “Hatebreed!” with fists in the air.
Hatebreed whipped the crowd into a frenzy from the start, playing loud and fast thrash beats that made the floor and walls shake. After a song from their earlier works, the band broke into “Looking Down the Barrel of Today”, the single from their latest album “The Concrete Confessional”. There was a noticeable uptick in crowd participation as Jasta sang the opening line, “Once had a shotgun to my head they said I wasn’t worth the bullets!”. The song is the band’s highest streamed track to date and it showed.
Trying to keep the crowd interaction going, the band continued the set with another huge hit “Destroy Everything”. The whole room bounced along to the thumping bass line and hard hitting guitar riffs.
One thing that really stood out to me was the crazy amount of energy Hatebreed put out and that they never slowed down! Typically a band has a few ballads thrown into the set to give the band a break, but with Hatebreed, it was full steam ahead from the first note. There were no songs less than 100 BPM (Beats per Minute), yet the band never lost a step!
Jasta mentioned several times throughout the show how thankful he was for the fans and all the support they’ve given Hatebreed over the years. He also gave several shout outs to Sophia John and local station 89.7 The River for supporting Hatebreed from the beginning.
As they closed the set with their biggest hit “I Will Be Heard”, the whole crowd was jumping from front to back. Even the balcony bounced and shouted along. It was definitely my favorite part of the show.
As I was leaving I caught up with a fan outside trying to catch his breath.
Stories: What did you think of the show?
Fan: “It was amazing!, one of the best shows of my life. There’s nothing like living in the center of a circle pit. When the bass hits your chest, you can feel it all the way up into your throat. There’s nothing that makes you feel more alive!
Stories: I couldn’t have said it better myself.
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