Devildriver made their first stop in ten years in Fargo on June 1st, accompanied by Whitechapel, Carnifex, Revocation, Rivers of Nihil and Fit For An Autopsy. This is probably one of the most brutal tours to grace a secondary market like Fargo in a long time, and I was like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve awaiting this day! I have never had the pleasure of seeing any of these bands live in the past, so you can understand my anticipation.

Fit For An Autopsy started off in a flurry of technical difficulties, leading them to only play one song, sans vocals of any sort. I feel bad for a young band like these guys, on a tour like this, not getting to showcase their talents, but – live and learn then move on.

Rivers of Nihil struggled with technical difficulties in the beginning also, but by the time “Mechanical Trees” kicked in they were at full force. Their brand of death metal was just what the crowd needed to get the pit rolling! Their set was short, but they killed it in the 6 songs the played. Although the stage was cramped a bit, they made the best of it and just plain kicked ass.

Revocation was one of the bands I truly NEEDED to see live and they didn’t disappoint. Again, they only had 6 songs to get their point across, but they did it in spades. Dave’s voice sounded great and the energy he puts out is unmistakable! They opened with “The Hive,” an appropriate start to their show. Midway through the set they debuted a new song entitled “Magnus Opus.” It sounded awesome and I can’t wait to hear this on a new release!

Carnifex is a band that needs to be seen live to truly appreciate their brutality! Scott Lewis is a BEAST on vocals and an incredible front man to boot. They played a variety of songs from their entire catalog in their short, six song set, and the newer songs, like “Dark Days” and “Die Without Hope,” really impressed me. They closed with “Hell Chose Me,” and the crowd absolutely ate it up. They bring such raw energy that you can’t help but get in the pit!

Whitechapel entered the stage with an ominous green light tone, amidst the intro song, “Rise,” then broke into “Our Endless War.” Phil Bozeman is a front man that commands respect from the audience, and has the ability to create a chaos unequaled by most other bands. He reminds me of the Phil Anselmo of the early Pantera days. They rolled through “Section 8” and “Faces,” then broke into “I, Dementia.” They let the music do the talking and Phil hardly spoke between songs. The trio of Alex Wade, Ben Savage and Zach Householder on guitar was like being hit by a crashing freight train of riffs and breakdowns all night. They literally blew me away with their talent and showmanship. Whitechapel played quite the variety of songs, both new and old. “Vicer Exciser” and “Prosthetic Fluid Asphyxiation” sounded just as fresh as “The Saw is The Law” and “Worship the Digital Age.” Whitechapel are a force to be reckoned with live and they proved just that.

Devildriver hit the stage blistering, opening with “End of the Line.” The energy brought forth by the entire band is just plain crazy! Dez is a master front man, and his years of experience lead to an unforgettable experience! They brought the show to life as the headliner, with their own light show and a volume to rival a Motorhead show. Devildriver glided from song to song, without much crowd banter at all. They played their classics with a vengeance, and “Clouds over California,”  “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” and “I Could Care Less” whipped the crowd into a frenzy. They surprised me by playing “Before The Hangman’s Noose,” but it was killer to hear live! The songs from the new album, Winterkill, sounded as awesome as any of the old classics, and the crowd sang along to all of them, especially their cover of AWOL Nation’s “Sail.” The entire band moved from side to side and all over the stage, truly enjoying the crowd and their career choice. It’s always fun to see a band interact with the audience and show that they are getting as much out of the show as the crowd is. Their classic closer, “Meet The Wretched,” brought the house down! It was just what the crowd was waiting for.

This tour is brutally crazy and fun and I highly recommend you go and see it as they hit your town!

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