Live Review: DevilDriver – House of Blues, West Hollywood
Wed, 21 May 2014 10:15:52
Some bands just always slaughter live. Like clockwork, they take the stage and engage an aural onslaught of epic proportions no matter rain or shine. When you think of those consistently crushing beasts, Slayer, Pantera, and Meshuggah all come to mind. However, DevilDriver should also be on the top of that list as well. It doesn't matter who they're on tour with or where the show is, they undeniably destroy the venue and leave the crowd begging for more. Case in point was last night's show at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. A hometown gig for the band still supporting Winter Kills, they opened up the gates of Hell and engulfed the audience for over an hour.
"End of the Line" from The Fury of Our Maker's Hand kicked everything off with a polyrhythmic groove 'n' roll courtesy of the genre's most underrated guitar duo Jeff Kendrick and Mike Spreitzer. They initiated the beat down, while John Boecklin sealed the nail in the coffin with his awe-inspiring foot work and pounding behind the kit. Chris Towning bolted down an airtight bass groove, while Dez Fafara enchanted amidst the mayhem. With infinite charisma and an instantly recognizable and punishingly potent voice, he carried hooks flawlessly, especially during "Head On To Heartache (Let Them Rot)" and the immortal opener of The Last Kind Words "Not All Who Wander Are Lost".
DevilDriver still groove better than all of their contemporaries. "Before the Hangman's Noose" opened up a record-worthy pit, splitting the venue down the middle, while "Gutted" once again showcased Kendrick and Spreitzer's immense chops. During "I Could Care Less", Boecklin bashed the drums like his life depended on it, while never missing a beat. It's that delicate combination of practiced precision and "feel" that make him such a powerhouse. "The Appetite" saw Fafara cruise into legendary territory, while a ballsy and bombastic cover of AWOLNATION's "Sail" got everyone singing along. "Hold Back The Day" and "Dead to Rights" both belong in the metal pantheon as do "Clouds Over California" and the searing "Meet the Wretched".
As heavy metal changes and evolves, so many bands come and go. There's a reason why DevilDriver still stands strong over a decade down the line. It's because they're untouchably tight both live and in the studio, and that's never changed. If anything, DevilDriver remain tighter and tougher than ever. When you see them live, you're witnessing one of the most pummeling bands in metal, hands down.
The DevilDriver and Whitechapel co-headline tour continues:
5/21 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
5/22 - San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
5/23 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
5/24 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
5/25 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
5/26 - Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
5/27 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
5/29 - Calgary, AB @ Marquee Beer & Market Stage
5/30 - Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
5/31 - Regina, SK @ Riddell Centre
6/1 - Fargo, ND @ The Venue
6/2 - Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
6/3 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
6/4 - Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
6/5 - Kokomo, IN @ CenterStage Bar and Grill
6/8 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
6/10 - Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
6/11 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
6/12 - New York, NY @ Stage 48
6/13 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts
6/14 - Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
6/15 - Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
6/16 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
6/17 - Orlando, FL @ Firestone Live
6/18 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
6/20 - Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
6/21 - Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock
6/22 - Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar ‘N Grill (Outside)
6/23 - Austin, TX @ Mohwak
Were you there?