Devildriver - House of Blues, West Hollywood
Mon, 03 Mar 2008 07:23:51
Three songs into Devildriver's set at the Sunset Strip House of Blues, vocalist Dez Fafara addressed the sold out crowd, with a gigantic smile. "LA, the hardest fucking place to do it—thank you so much for graciously receiving us!" Fafara, a Southern California native, knows the Hollywood heavy metal scene's fickle nature better than anyone. His original band, Coal Chamber, rose to the top with the likes of System of a Down, Korn and Static-X. However, Fafara is the only one from that scene to come back fresh. Devildriver proves not only a rebirth for him, but for heavy metal. Three albums into their career, the band has only become even more vicious. Like wolves charging a lamb, they ripped the House of Blues to shreds.
It was a show that would've made Satan himself proud. Kicking off the mayhem with "Not All Who Wander Are Lost," from their latest album The Last Kind Words, Devildriver immediately set the House of Blues ablaze with furious double bass and razor sharp riffs. Drummer John Boecklin decimated his kit, pummeling his kick drums at a deadly speed, while holding down an infectious groove on "I Dreamed I Died." Forget about Lamb of God, Devildriver are heavy metal's true saviors. On "Horn of Betrayal" and "Burning Sermon," guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Jeff Kendrick traded destructive riffs back and forth. Headbanging intensely the shredding didn't stop on "Sin and Sacrifice." Meanwhile, bassist Jon Miller held down a heavy low-end on "Grinfucked" and kept the violent rhythm bolted down.
However, Fafara remains the consummate ringleader of this satanic, metallic circus. He's one of the most charismatic and vibrant frontmen to ever grace a rock and roll stage. He commands the crowd, while giving his all on each and every scream. Songs like "Nothing's Wrong" and "Head On To Heartache" push his vocal ability and allow him to keep the crowd intensity at an all-time high. He smiles and pushes the audience to give it their all as well. The guy knows how to put on a show and give the crowd a good, cathartic release.
The highlight of the show was when Fafara's 17-year-old son Tyler picked up an axe and jammed out a phenomenal b-side with the band called "Guilty as Sin." Introducing his boy, Fafara commented, "Remember my old band Coal Chamber? In that band, I wrote a song for my son called 'Tyler's Song.' He's going to play a song with us. I told him not to get nervous—just to picture you all fucking naked!" Fafara's smile got even wider as Tyler shredded out the song flawlessly alongside his dad. As the cut ended, Fafara yelled, "That's a dream right there, motherfuckers! Thanks for being a part of it. Take care of me when dad gets old."
Devildriver's headline run is called "Bound By the Road" for a good reason. Each band on the diverse bill, from Napalm Death and Invitro to Straight Line Stitch, gave their all, providing a show to remember. In some ways, things have come full circle with Dez. At this show, he returned to the top of the Sunset Strip, alongside his son. How could the devil not smile at that?