May 9th, 2018. It’s been a little over a year since I have seen Nile and probably close to 10 years since I have watched Soulfly do their thing on stage. The best venue in the Kansas City area, The Riot Room, was the host for the evening. This place has been a staple for big tours coming through the Midwest now. Bands that you would think only do bigger theaters are stomping some ass in this little bar that has a maximum occupancy of 280 people. The stage is tiny, the pit is small but the atmosphere is always amazing. Doors opened. People swelled in. Beers started flowing. Let the metal begin.
First up was Garoted, a death metal band from Lincoln, Nebraska who brings forth fury and evil with death metal instrumentation that has a black metal touch to it as well as progressive tendencies. Musically, this band can be fun to watch. Individually, the members of the band were having a lot of fun playing their instruments. Collectively, it sounded a little sloppy at times. Drummer N. Weber was a highlight of the set as he was amazing to watch. He screams at times while performing blast beats and it was rather impressive to witness. He is like a viking version of Gene Hoglan.
Next up was Nile and they opened their set with an old song, “Ramses Bringer of War” and this just set the mood for their set rather early. With a opening like that into fierce riffing and drumming, the crowd matched the energy that was radiating on stage. With each passing song, the crowd grew more and more rowdy. The horns were in the air, headbanging was immense and the pit opened up and swallowed some people whole.
Nile continued to slay with “Sacrifice Unto Sebek”, which is a must for Nile at this point. It wouldn’t be a Nile show if this song wasn’t played. The band went back to old school jams with “The Black Flame” and “Defiling the Gates of Ishtar”. The guys on stage looking like they were having a blast while they wailed on their instruments. “Kafir!” was next and this song always gets great crowd response and this night was no different. The next 3 songs were from their newest album, “Call to Destruction” (which was killer), “In the Name of Amun” and “What Should Not Be Unearthed”, which the latter didn’t translate that well in a live setting. The crowd grew still and the energy died down a little bit. Maybe we were just tired?
The band finished their set strong with the following: “The Fiends Who Come To Steal The Magick of the Deceased”, the old school headbanger “Sarcophagus” and finally, their massive finale “Black Seeds of Vengeance”! Black Seeds got the energy fired up again as both crowd and band demolished The Riot Room. Nile’s choice of songs was a brilliant mix of old and new, whether you’re a new fan or veteran Nile fan, it was a good time. Karl landed his solos perfectly, his growls and grunts are massive. George Kollias is still a god sitting amongst mere mortals. Brian’s performance was stellar as he just nails his parts and looks more and more comfortable doing it. Brad’s bass playing and on stage presence has been fun to watch for years. He now commands the center of the stage and he always looks like he is just simply enjoying himself.
Then enters the almighty Soulfly whom really doesn’t need an introduction. Max and company opened up with “Frontlines” and holy monkey shit did the crowd erupt. I honestly wasn’t expecting that kind of response from the crowd as I never really associated Soulfly to be one of those “truly heavy” bands, even though I have listened to them for almost 2 decades and have seen them several times, but this crowd was ready for war. Soulfly moved on to “Prophecy”, “Fire” and “Blood Fire War Hate”, all which kept the crowd literally on their toes. People were flying all over the place!
The next song probably provoked the biggest mosh pit of their set as “L.O.T.M.” was a high energy slamming song. “Sodomites” and “Rise of the Fallen” were well received and Soulfly is totally in the moment at this point in their set. “Mars” was great to hear/see live and “Babylon” was a crusher as well. Marc Rizzo cut into some guitar solo stuff from familiar metal tracks (ie Van Halen, Slayer and Metallica” which gave the crowd a moment to breathe and collect themselves. Soulfly then move to cover the Nailbomb song “Wasting Away” and then we enter the final leg of their set and they end it rather strong with some older songs.
“Back to the Primitive”, “No”, the first minute or so of “Jumpdafuckup” then led into “Eye for an Eye”, which was a true way to end a Soulfly set. The band ended their set with a shortened version of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” for some reason, which seemed to be pointless. Ending the set on “Eye” would have been a better way to go as the crowd was feeding off of Soulfly’s older tracks.
The beginning of Soulfly‘s set on stage was weird. Max looked sleepy and un-energetic (or possibly stoned out of his mind) and just simply stood in one spot and played with his eyes closed for the first 3-4 songs. Eventually, Max would open his eyes a little more, rage with the crowd and match their energy at times. Marc’s energy and guitar playing was fun to watch. Mike’s bass playing energy and stage presence was fun to watch. Drummer Zyon is actually Max’s son and he wails on that kit! He is a natural!
Be sure to catch this tour! Seeing Nile perform is always a treat and Soulfly has a really good set of songs on this tour. They switch things out too so you may even get a couple more songs than what we got! For instance, “Seek n Strike ” was on their set list but wasn’t played for us. That is all for this recap, watch this space for more concert coverage!