This past month was a very monumental month for me; I got to see DevilDriver for the first time at the Pagoda Metal Fest at the Reverb in Reading, PA. California based DevilDriver, fronted by Dez Fafara, played alongside heavy hitters in metal such as Motograter, Death Angel,
and HED PE. If you’ve been living under a rock, or Barry Manilow is more your style, Dez has also fronted a very influential metal band called Coal Chamber, which is also based out of California. Although it was my first time seeing them play, I have a feeling that every time would be like the first time, as they showed no signs of slowing down and were very high energy throughout the entire set.
After much anticipation, the lights finally dimmed and every hair on my body stood on end as the notes to “End of the Line” echoed throughout the venue, then the band took stage with the exception of the lead man. As the song gained momentum and the riffs started chugging, the iconic front man emerged from the smoke, glowing microphone in hand. As some of you may or may not know, his highly recognized microphone was stolen not too long ago, so it was a relief to see it in his hand. Once the opening growl took place, there was no slowing down from there. DevilDriver was a heavy metal runaway train, with no stops in sight. The band moved flawlessly with very little time between songs and kept the “groove” going. Side note: if you’re not a big fan of mosh pits or crowd surfing, I highly suggest you see them in a venue that does not allow it, but recommend you partake because that’s half the experience. Get yourself boosted up and surf to the front of the crowd because chances are, Dez and the rest of the fellas will be glad to see you and may throw you a high five.
The metal phenomon called DevilDriver cruised along and their set list included songs “I Could Care Less”, “Cry for me Sky” and of course, covering Awolnation’s hit “Sail”. What these five guys are doing is a a rarity these days. What I mean when I say that they’re a rarity, is that they give everything they have into the music that they put out. The interaction with the fans ranging from fist bumps from Neil, to high fives from Dez. I could sit down here a break apart the entire band member by member and how great they excel at their instrument of choice, but this is not a review for the members, it’s a review for DevilDriver.
I could find something great to say about each member, but its when all five take their talents and combine them. That’s when it gets real. It’s thos five members that get on stage TOGETHER to create some of the best metal out there. It’s those five guys who get on stage night after night to bring joy and happiness to their fans, no matter what, and continue to do it impeccably. If you’re looking to watch a band who’s in it for the money,
drugs, and booze, then DevilDriver is not for you. If you want to go watch a band who cares about their fans and the music they put their entire hearts and souls into, then these guys are the way to go. Disappointment is not in their vocabulary and if they disappoint you, then you
weren’t paying attention and were probably staring aimlessly into your phone.
The hour set went way too fast, and my disappointment grew at the realization it was wrapping up. They finished up the night with their song “Meet the Wretched” off of their self-titled album. If you have yet to hear this song, I highly suggest you give it a listen. I feel that it was the perfect song to close out the night with because it gave the crowd one last look at their energy and power. As the final song wrapped up, the crowd looked exhausted and soaked in sweat, but continued to give back the energy that DevilDriver put out. Overall, this show I feel was a huge success. Although I am unsure about ticket numbers, judging by the crowd I’m going to assume it was close to selling out (they’re no strangers to sold out crowds, by the way). If you’re a fan of high energy, good ol’ fashioned California groove metal, head to DevilDriver.com and keep an eye out for future tours. They just finished their “Bound by the Road” tour with Death Angel, Winds of Plague, and The Agonist, but I have a feeling that they are far from done!