October 17, 2016 Dope Shake Up Revolution Amityville, NY 10-13-16 w/ Flaw & Motograter
The autumn season is usually a time of harvest, and a transition time from summer into winter. With that, comes the end of some things such as warm weather, the start of a new school year, but it also brings some renewals, such as a tour to honor the reunion of Chicago, Illinois band Dope. Dubbed the Die Mother Fucker Die Reunion Tour, presented by Revolver, the bill brings with it the band’s classic lineup of Vocalist Edsel Dope, Bassist Acey Slade, Guitarist Virus, and Drummer Racci Shay. If that was not enough, it also comes directly prior to the band’s comeback album, Blood Money Part 1, due out October 28th. Upping the ante even more, the tour features Flaw and Motograter, two more big names from the early 2000s era of the Alternative Metal scene. Each of these three bands have their own interesting stories from the past decade and a half, but coming full circle, Dope and company, a month into the two month tour, came out to Long Island, New York to visit Revolution Bar and Music Hall down in Amityville on the evening of Thursday, October 13, 2016.
A bill that featured a list of local acts including Ryder and Vibrater, California-based Motograter was the first national act to take the stage well after 9 PM. With history that dates back two decades, Motograter’s was once fronted by Five Finger Death Punch’s Ivan Moody, who was the voice on their successful 2003 debut album. Since sustaining a share of hiatus and setbacks, Motograter have been resilient, and in 2014 earned a spot on Knotfest. Having just recently stabilized a new lineup over the past two years with long-time member Matt “Nuke” Nunes (guitar), the band has recently inked a new record deal, released a new single “Parasite,” and a have a new album, entitled Desolation, on the way.
Having too big a lineup to sit comfortably on the platform, Motograterist Dustin “Skunk” Anderson and Percussion/Samplist Joey Vice were stationed on the floor in front of the stage while Drummer Noah “Shark” Robertson (ex-The Browning), Bassist Mylon Guy, Guitarist Jesse Stamper (ex-Dead Horse Trauma), and Vocalist James Legion were on stage. A force to be reckoned with, the septet came out to play their first single from many years ago, “Suffocate.” Still donning the tribal body paint the band was renowned for back on 2003’s Ozzfest, the difference in sound and presence has obviously changed over the years.
Respectfully playing some more old tracks from their debut such “Down” and “Wrong,” they still sounded powerful with the new lineup at the helm. The energy from each member was undeniable, clearly waiting for their next big break. Motograter performed to exhaustion, also playing some newer tracks like “Portrait of Decay” and of course their new single, “Parasite.” It is admirable to see Motograter still trucking along after all these years, issues aside, all while being able to rise above them to perfect their craft.
With the night wearing into the late hours, direct support came from Kentucky’s Flaw. Another band that rose to prominence during the Ozzfest peak years in the early ‘2000s, they have gone through multiple breaks along the way. In the end, the band has now fully reformed with an almost entirely original lineup consisting of main Vocalist Chris Volz, Guitarist Jason Daunt, Bassist Ryan Jurhs, and newcomer Corey Sturgill on drums. On several headlining tours in the past few years, they recently made a strong campaign for their rightful comeback with their new album, Divided We Fall, via Pavement Records.
Coming out to a more fervent crowd, there were clearly older fans from Flaw’s heyday in attendance. Amped up, the crowd reacted warmly as the band played hits like “Only the Strong” and “Get Up Again.” Moving about the floor, the chants to the chorus during “Only the Strong” echoed off the walls, instilling chills down spines, all while Volz dedicate it to all members of EMS, police, and military personnel.
Moving forward, Flaw played quite a few new songs off their recent release, including “Bleed Red,” among others, which all sounded very tight, as if they could have been on the band’s striking 2001 major label debut, Through the Eyes. That said, the aggressive punch from the new single, “Live and Breathe,” rippled through the crowd as the band delivered their staple Alternative Metal sound. Before leaving the stage and acknowledging their longtime friendship with Dope, the band played their first single from way back went, “Payback,” and it kept the crowd’s adrenaline pumping between sets.
A late night for a Thursday, it was finally time for Dope to take the stage shortly before midnight to a much rowdier and robust crowd as fans began to take shape around the stage. Having a nice display with flashing screens flanking both sides and behind the drum kit, the band is clearly still quite the showmen, all while boasting their classic lineup. No stranger to the Long Island area, dedicated fans from yesteryear still remember when Dope came to Looney Tune’s CD shop in West Babylon on October 28, 2003 for an in-store performance supporting their album Group Therapy, an event that ended with a concert at the now defunct Downtown in Farmingdale later that night. That in the corner of some spectator’s minds, they were ready for the Dope reunion show.
Edsel Dope, certainly comfortable in his own skin on stage, knows how to banter with the crowd between songs while also encouraging participation and attention. That said, he and the band did an excellent job covering all areas of their back catalogue, opening with “Violence” before going into “Debonair.” Heads were rolling and bodies were flying during the venomous “Die Motherfucker Die” and of course during their remarkable cover of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).” Moving along chronologically through their setlist, they went into more recent numbers later in the set like “Survive” and “No Way Out.”
Keeping the energy level high throughout, towards the end of their performance, the band broke out their cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” “No Regrets,” and also playing the tune “Addiction” with Virus handling the Zach Wlyde solo effortlessly and graciously. Then, before the usual thanks and crowd appreciation, the band demonstrated how great it felt to be back and teased the forthcoming album, Blood Money, launching into 2009’s “Die, Boom, Bang, Burn, Fuck,” which aptly sums up the band’s attitude and persona all in one.
It is great to see a revival from Dope, Flaw, and Motograter. They are not back to recapture some lost glory, but to show they are legitimately making quality music and their readiness to write a new chapter in their stories. Their resurrections come back to a scene that could learn a thing or two from their respected elders on how this is all really done.Photos by: Aintellin Photography