September 4, 2015 Coal Chamber & Fear Factory Rip Through NYC 8-11-15 w/ Jasta & Saint Ridley
After Grunge and Alternative Rock rose into the spotlight back in the early ’90s, Heavy Metal has seen itself become reshaped and filtered into an entirely different mass of variety. During this period, Industrial music also spread its wings, including seminal act Nine Inch Nails, who added an aggressive metal sound to their array of beat and sample-driven sound. As technology and music continued to shift, two products of this major genre shake-up included Coal Chamber and Fear Factory.Both made an extensive and lasting impact within the Metal and Industrial scene. Both also experienced periods of break-ups and indefinite hiatuses, however, on Tuesday August 11th at Irving Plaza in New York City, they were both there to showcase their invincibility. Conquering North America on a twenty-four date tour, the trek was set to end on August 22nd. Promoting their recently released 2015 albums, Coal Chamber’s Rivals via Napalm and Fear Factory’s Genexus via Nuclear Blast, the two heavyweight acts brought along Hardcore mastermind, Jasta, and Groove Rockers, Saint Ridley, for support.
While fans strolled in grabbing a drink and checking out the merchandise, Detroit Rockers Saint Ridley were ready to invigorate the crowd. Members Paul Ridley (vocals), David “Texas” Flynn (guitar/vocals), Phil “Alabama” Durham (guitar), Nathan Garcia (bass) and Richard Schlager (drums) prowled the platform. Influenced by nineties Rock and Metal, they have been making a name for themselves after touring with acts such as 10 Years and Crobot. Recently releasing Fool or a King in early 2014, and currently working on writing new material, they were ready to introduce some of that new material to the crowd. Their Arena Rock energy was evident on the stage as they grooved into Pantera-esque tunes.
Leading the night with stirring enthusiasm, demanding all to raise their hands in the air and pumping up the upcoming acts, they nevertheless had to regretfully inform the audience about the scheduled opener, Madlife, being unable to make it that evening, but assured all that they would have a longer set in their absence. Promising new tunes, Flynn bravely announced an emotive piece written about a day he didn’t think he could get through, before plowing into “Blackened Skies.” Progressing along with a brutal performance, where fans ended screaming in admiration, Flynn enjoyed the enthusiasm they were receiving as they closed the set with “Preacher.” This finale ended in crowd-engaging amusement, where Durham raised his guitar as Flynn jumped into the audience. Saint Ridley will be playing on September 10th in their hometown Detroit, Michigan with (hed) p.e., which will tentatively be their last show of 2015.
A different set of fans pushed towards the front, with a willing handful ready to churn up Irving Plaza with circle pits, as Jasta and his band walked onto the platform. No stranger to the scene, the Connecticut native Jamey Jasta is known for the notorious and prolific Hardcore band Hatebreed, as well as the Sludge Metal group Kingdom of Sorrow. Surprising his fans in 2011 when the release of his solo album Jasta hit via EOne, life has been nonstop for him, and this evening he was pumped for a heinously energetic performance.
Violating the platform, Jasta had his own appetite for destruction as he asked all to bring in the noise. Fans bellowed back, raising their fists and chanting along in a participating frenzy during tracks such as, “Walk That Path Alone,” “The Fearless Must Endure,” “Set You Adrift” and “Screams From the Sanctuary.” Jasta admitted how many thought he was insane for going on a Hatebreed tour and directly into a Jasta tour, as he plowed through tracks from his self-titled solo album including, “Nothing They Say,” the Running Wild cover of “Soldiers of Hell,” and “Mourn the Illusion.” As the music drilled into the crowded eardrums, many formed a colossal circle pit, where members on the sidelines were pushed back from the windy debris. Recently Jasta surprised his audience at Heavy Montréal with Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe, performing “Enslaved, Dead or Depraved,” however, there was room for more tricks up his sleeve. A fan who happened to be in the VIP area at Irving Plaza was invited on the stage to play the guitar for a song. The now proven-talented young axemen, Jasta yelled out “you made Zakk Wylde proud.” Jasta closed the set with a few covers of his own, Hatebreed’s “I Will Be Heard” and Kingdom of Sorrow’s “Buried In Black.” Promising his fans he will return to New York City, but next time Jasta warned, it would be with Hatebreed. No more tour dates for Jasta, however, Hatebreed will be playing at a few locations such as Motörhead’s Motörboat Cruise and Rock Shock.
Packing up the house, it was time for Los Angeles Industrial Metal act Fear Factory to take over the platform. Since their initial formation in 1989, they have become a pivotal influence, incorporating Industrial with Death Metal vocals. Releasing an unforgettable album right from the get-go with 1992’s Soul of a New Machine, fans and other bands have found Fear Factory a genuine inspiration. Continuing with their creative innovations, this evening marked four days since the release of their latest studio offering, Genexus. Ready to present their new beastly beats was founding vocalist Burton C. Bell, Dino Cazares (guitar/backing vocals), Mike Heller (drums since 2012) and newest member Tony Campos (bass).
Flowing in with an atmospheric intro, Bell managed to shake hands with a handful of fans before slamming into classics, “Shock” and “Edgecrusher” from 1998’s Obsolete. The crowd was instantly hooked. Bell asked if they were having a good time as a wave of exhilarated screams erupted. Cazares raised his guitar in the air during “Powershifter,” where Campos’ bass lines vibrated across the crowd-surfing floor. Abrasively moving along, as they went into the acclaimed “What Will Become” and “Damaged” from 2001’s Digimortal had fans rejoicing.
Bell took a moment to joke with the audience as he expressed how great it was seeing New York and New Jersey folks getting along together in the same room. With all jokes aside, Bell continued by admitting how great it was to be back at Irving Plaza and how they returned for two reasons. The first was to embrace the lovely faces in the audience and the second was to showcase the new album. Bell managed to have the entire venue chant out “Genexus,” and introduced the newer material with the latest “Soul Hacker” and “Dielectric.” Exciting the crowd, Bell asked if they enjoyed the new material and everyone cheered. Bell looked at the audience and asked if they like it a lot, and fans screamed louder, raising their Metal horns in utter praising momentum. Bell grinned and informed all to buy the new album at the Merchandise booth.
After diving into fresh material, it was time to dig deep to the roots of Fear Factory, as they went into the catalytic “Martyr.” As the set appeared to be winding down, Bell informed, “oh no, we are not done, there is one record we neglected so far.” Fans cheered as the house lights turned on and went into “Demanufacture” and “Replica” from 1995’s Demanufacture. It was during these last few songs where Bell admitted intimately to his fans how, if it was not for Coal Chamber, they would not be on tour. After the roaring screams settled, Bell continued, “You have to support your favorite artist, you know why? Without the support, we wouldn’t be here.” Proving their dedication to their fans, they had a meet and greet shortly after the show. It’s not too late to see Fear Factory, as their tour continues throughout the year promoting Genexus.
Lastly, it was time for the event of the evening as Los Angeles Industrial Metallers, Coal Chamber staggered onto the platform. Consisting of the same lineup since their initial breakup in 2003, Dez Fafara (vocals), Meegs Rascón (guitar), Mike Cox (drums), and Nadja Peulen (bass), who replaced Rayna Foss-Rose shortly before the disbandment, Coal Chamber was formed in 1993. Kicking off a ten-year career, which showcased an original sound where their music featured not only in the musical scene but for Horror soundtracks including 2002’s Resident Evil. Driving in with such imagery, which captivated many as each member showcased a specific distinction that made them stand out from the Nu Metal scene. Known for headlining major shows with acts like Drowning Pool, Ill Niño, and 40 Below Summer, Coal Chamber was right at home. Rising to the top with their unique image, the road to success seemed nothing but clear blue skies. Unfortunately, it was in 2003 where the Chamber shut down and frontman Fafara moved onto other projects including the Metal band DevilDriver. It was not until at least seven years later where, Rascón surprised a DevilDriver crowd when he appeared on stage at an aforesaid show and guest performed in “Loco.” Rascón and Fafara embraced each other with a brotherly hug, as peace officially ignited and they decided to reunite Coal Chamber. Since their reformation in 2011, an album has finally been released which is Rivals, a thirteen year follow up to 2002’s Dark Days. These images and thoughts were at the forefront of the fans’ minds here at Irving Plaza.
Cox kindly waved to the crowd as he grabbed his sticks ready to jam. While Rascón and Peulen gathered their gear, Fafara smiled at the packed house and said “hi.” A screen emerged as the backdrop, filled with flashing images which went along with the glimmering stage lights. Grabbing an old school mic, however, with a intoxicating green light attached, Fafara howled into “Loco” and “Big Truck” from their debut self-titled album in 1997. The crowd was split between ferocious headbangers and callous moshers, which was exactly what Fafara wanted, as he didn’t want anyone standing in the sidelines. Being pleased with the reaction from the crowd, Fafara thanked everyone for coming and promoted Rivals by going into “I O U Nothing.” Each member held a fervent amount of energy that transcended into the audience which ranged from veteran to rivalry fans. Continuing on with Dark Days hits such as “Fiend,” “Rowboat,” and “Something Told Me,” had the loaded room jumping.
Halfway through the set, Fafara asked if there were any old Coal Chamber fans who saw them before they broke up. Several fans gave a roaring response. As each member smiled in appreciation, they continued with the latest, “Nail in the Coffin.” Progressing along with “Clock” and “Dove,” a lucky fan who was caught crowd surfing by the security managed to receive a high five from Fafara before he scuffed off. Enjoying the New Yorkers, Fafara engaged and asked who was there from the very beginning as they went into “Oddity” from the self-titled debut album. Continuing to converse, Fafara gave a shoutout to other bands that were playing in New York City that evening, including shows such as Insomnium at the Gramercy theater by simply thanking everyone for being there, knowing there were a million other shows happening. As the set was winding down, Fafara demanded everyone to form a circle pit as they went into “Oddity” followed by “I.” Loving the energy, Fafara admitted that they do not an encore and thinks it is dumb, as they closed their set with “Sway.” Perhaps next time they will pick a few tracks from the second album 1999’s Chamber Music. Recently concluded the Rivals tour, which makes this the perfect time to pick up the album and enjoy.
This evening concluded with fans fulfilled and satisfied, especially with the way in which each band interacted with the crowd. This was shown directly after Coal Chamber, where despite no official encore, Fafara jumped off the stage and walked into the crowd, shaking as many hands as he could. Rascón jumped in along as well to shake hands and smoosh a few faces from a few short folks in the front. There was even time for a meet and greet as fans had a chance to speak to these Industrial Metal masterminds. It is most likely that a New York City return is not too far away.