Venue: Opera House
Written by: Kirsti Heitz
Max Cavalera - Vocals/Guitars
Zyon Cavalera - Drums
Marc Rizzo - Guitars
Tony Campos - Bass
Label: Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Origin: Phoenix, USA
David Sanchez -vocals / Guitars
Pete Webber - drums
Reece Scruggs - guitar / Vocals
Michael Leon - bass / Vocals
Label: Candlelight Records
Origin: Denver, USA
We must have been extra good this year to deserve a second serving of Soulfly in the same year. Lucky for Toronto, the metal legends played the Opera House a mere seven months after their show at the Mod Club. But this time they bring the thrash monsters Havok to get Canadian fans riled up even more. Though Toronto missed out on Soulfly’s other opening acts, Incite and Lody Kong which feature Soulfly vocalist’s metal spawn (his sons), Havok more than made up for any lacking openers.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I absolutely love synchronized headbanging. I don’t know whether it’s because it simply looks cool or because it gives the band a more pro presence, but this is an easy way to win me over. Havok killed it with their energetic presence and, yes of course, their coordinated head banging. They opened up with “Covering Fire” and a punky edge to their thrash metal. They pretty much said “fuck this” to the slowly filling Opera House and played as if hundreds of fans were screaming their names.
Apart from their coordinated movements on stage, Havok has a way of acting out their songs that makes fans new to the Havok experience smile. Whether guitarist Reece Scruggs is raising his claw hand for emphasis or basis Michael Leon is taking a long drag on a pretend doob to the mention of the track “Burn,” there was always something going on. The drums were ridiculously fast, lending the pace for each song and making me feel like drummer Pete Webber was going to drum himself right off the stage. Webber was sporting some nifty looking drumming gloves, the likes which I have never seen before. But seeing how fast he was playing, I’m sure he needed the extra grip.
These boys definitely know their shit. Young faced Scruggs played the crowd like a seasoned musician while bassist Leon popped and slapped to the thrashy songs like a pro. Vocalist David Sanchez topped off the songs with “fight the power” type lyrics in a powerful voice and encouraging the crowd to chant along with him to “I Am the State” and “Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death.” They topped off their set with “Unnatural Selection,” “D.O.A” and “From the Cradle to the Grave.”
Soulfly slowly emerged on stage as Max Cavalera took his place in front of his skeleton decorated mic. Toronto fans disappointed me a bit as they simply gawked for the first few songs. However they soon redeemed themselves by creating a monstrous pit that bloodied a nose or two. I was very intrigued to see Soulfly’s new drummer and Max Cavalera’s son, Zyon Cavalera. Though his drum kit was pretty basic, he proved to handle the material like a pro and even had a pretty good stage presence. It was refreshing to see such promising young talent next to seasoned musicians like Cavalera and Tony Campos (Ex -Ministry, ex-Static X.)
Soulfly opened up with “Bloodshed” in which Cavalera seemed to be a little too squinty eyed and lethargic, if you know what I mean. But as soon as he went into his “Uno, dos, tres, quatro…” that geared the crowd up without fail, he seemed to get a little more amped up. On Max’s orders a circle put was born and remained for most of the night as they played fan favourites like “Primitive.” Mic in one hand and strumming his guitar on the other, Max owned the crowd. When he demanded we chant “El Comegente” we did, when he demanded we sing “Ole, ole, ole, ole Soulfly, Soulfly” as if it were a soccer match we did. He eventually gave his guitar away for part of “Downstroy” to lead the crowd into a jumping spree.
Soulfly played “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Master of Savagery” off their new album Savages (2013) to which the crowd responded well. But the Soulfly classics were not to be missed as fans lost their minds to “Nailbomb,”“Jumpdafuckup” and the Sepultura cover “Refuse Resist.” Shit got crazy with “Jumpdafuckup.” But it’s really hard not to lose your shit when you have a band screaming “JUMP THE FUCK UP!” at you. Guitarist Marc Rizzo was jump kicking like a master on stage while bassist Tony Campos rocked out and added his own screams to Cavaleras. They ended the night with Soulfly anthem “Eye for an Eye” to which the Opera House chanted the chorus to as if our lives depended on it.
SOULFLY SETLIST Oct 10, 2013
Seek n Strike
I and I
Plata o Plomo
Masters of Savagery
Rise of the Fallen
Jump/Eye for an Eye