HATEBREED / MUNICIPAL WASTE / TERROR / CRO-MAGS / FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY – Franklin Music Hall, Philadelphia, PA – 4/4/19
Review and Pictures: Tara Lakatos
Hatebreed’s 25th Anniversary Tour kicked off on April 4, 2019 at the Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia. For this show the brought with them Fit for an Autopsy, Cro-Mags, Terror and Municipal Waste. This show was another early one on a weekday so fans slowly trickled in the door until it was filled pretty close to capacity. I’ve said this before and I’ll reiterate it here, 5 bands is too many to have on a bill. In my opinion this takes away so many things. The first band or two have very few people in the crowd, Fit for an Autopsy played to maybe 150 people and had a short set. How is this good for exposure for a smaller band and how are they going to make any money from the tour? Most of a bands revenue comes from merchandise sales, with that small of an audience and 4 other bands, no one is making enough money to keep gas in the van. The show started at 6:30 and Hatebreed finally hit the stage around 10:20, by this time the audience was so spent from mosh pits and an insane number of crowd surfers that several fans were taking a nap on the rail during the set change from Municipal Waste to Hatebreed. Fans definitely got their money’s worth but in some sense I also feel like they were short changed a bit with short sets.
For me personally this was a challenging show to photograph and even review to a point. The stage lighting was poor for the most part so photographing each band member didn’t happen. We weren’t allowed to stay in the photo pit for more than a couple of minutes for most bands because they would make us leave because of the crowd surfers. Once I left the partial safety of the barricade the entire floor was a mosh pit so I would leave the area to protect myself and my gear. Don’t get me wrong the crowd was having the time of their life, it just made my job that much more difficult.
Fit For An Autopsy
First up New Jersey locals, Fit for an Autopsy. The band consists of Joe Badolato (vocals), Patrick Sheridan (guitar), Tim Howley (guitar), Peter Spinazola (bass) and Josean Orta (drums).
These guys are a super tight metal band; great vocals and killer musicians. Like I had mentioned they played to a relatively small crowd. There were maybe two rows of people on the rail and you would think this wouldn’t produce crowd surfers but it did as well as people just plain jumping over the rail in excitement. The entire floor was wide open so there was a circle pit of maybe 10 people led by a really rambunctious guy in a fake blood covered t-shirt. He was called out by the band a few times, Joe said follow the guy in the bloody shirt and open this place up. They are currently working on a new album and are continuing on with this tour.
Next up was Cro-Mags. This band has been around the metal scene forever and are legends in their own right and have a strong cult-like following. They were formed in the late 80’s in NYC and have gone through more lineup changes than KISS. To be honest the only current member I am sure of is the original lead singer John Joseph. For me this was the most underwhelming performance of the night. John’s vocals were decent and the band was good but there wasn’t anything that stood out. It was a solid yet lackluster performance sandwiched between two great bands.
The third band of the night was Terror. This band absolutely blew my mind and are quite possibly my current favorite hardcore metal band. Terror consists of Scott Vogel (vocals), Jordan Posner (guitar), Martin Stewart (guitar), Chris Linkovich (bass) and Nick Jett (drums).
By the time they hit the stage the venue was packed. The crowd went absolutely crazy! The whole floor became a giant mosh pit and sea of crowd surfers. There were bodies literally flying everywhere including over my head. They are supporting their 2018 release “Total Retaliation” and played “This World Never Wanted Me” off of it. The guitar riffs for this song remind me of Metallica, heavier in a way but without the blazing solos. Scott’s vocals throughout the set were more of a metal rap, he wasn’t necessarily singing, but he wasn’t screaming either. They covered 15 songs over about 50 minutes, playing songs from back to 2003 when they first started. If you’ve never heard of this band; check them out. You will not regret it.
In the direct support position was Municipal Waste. This band was highly anticipated by the crowd as they kept chanting “Municipal Waste is gonna f**k you up” prior to them hitting the stage. Municipal Waste consists of Tony Foresta (vocals), Ryan Waste (guitar), Nick Poulos (guitar), Philip “Landphil” Hall (bass) and Dave Witte (drums).
They hit the scene in 2001 with their first EP and released their debut album “Waste Em’ All” in 2003. Their latest album is 2017’s “Slime and Punishment”. This was the only tour date that Municipal Waste was on so they had quite a number of fans in the audience. They played an amped up, hardcore set that left little in the gas tank of many of the audience members. By the time their set was over the crowd at the front were taking a cat nap on the rail. They played songs off of 4 of their 6 albums in a set that lasted about an hour. The title track off “Slime and Punishment” was a real ripper. Shredding guitars, guttural vocals, and a floor shaking rhythm section. The solos were tight and the audience raged in approval.
Out of all of the metal shows that I have been to this was definitely the most crowd participation that I have witnessed. Towards the end of their set Tony asked the crowd to participate in the wall of death. The wall of death is when they try and get as many fans as they can to crowd surf at the same time. For several minutes fans made their way from the back to front on the hands of the crowd, there was one guy that had been crowd surfing all night, on his last run he jumped on stage. A security guard grabbed him by the ankles but he managed to get away. He ran up and hugged Tony and jumped around for a bit before getting off the stage. I’ve seen this a few other shows but the fans never got that far before being tackled by tour security. Municipal Waste only has one tour date on the calendar so far for this year but I do recommend seeing them if they roll through your area.
Saving the best for last, Hatebreed. This is their 25th anniversary tour, over that time they have released 8 studio albums and were even nominated for a Grammy in 2004 for Best Metal Performance of “Live for This”. Hatebreed consists of Jamey Jasta (vocals), Chris Beattie (bass), Wayne Lozinak (guitar), Frank Novinec (guitar), and Matt Byrne (drums).
As I was driving to this show I turned on Liquid Metal on SiriusXM and ironically enough Jose Mangin was interviewing Jamey. It was cool to hear him talk about Hatebreed, the ups and downs of owning his own record label, his solo project Jasta, and his clothing line Hatewear. Jamey definitely keeps himself busy when he is not ripping up the stage with Hatebreed.
Thankfully the audience had about 35 minutes between sets to recover a bit because Hatebreed hit the stage like an atomic bomb. Jamey is a super explosive frontman, Frank is so enjoyable to watch because he is smiling most of the time, and Chris is all over the place playing his bass like he’s in charge of the whole show. They played 22 songs that spanned over their career. They performed “Puritan” off of their 1996 EP “Under the Knife” which was our first taste of their early work, they then hit “Tear it Down” off of 2003’s “The Rise of Brutality”. This track showed the growth of their sound, it was harder, faster and more in your face. Jamey’s vocals are not for the faint of heart; you can easily lose your breath trying to keep up with him. They played “In Ashes They Shall Reap” off of 2009’s Self Titled album. This track was super bass and drum heavy unlike some of their other more guitar driven songs and it was one that the audience jumped in unison for. Hatebreed also touched upon newer material from 2016’s “The Concrete Confessional”, playing “Looking Down the Barrel of Today”. This song was hardcore all around with metal riffs, heavy drums and hair trigger vocals.
Hatebreed while developing their sound over the last 25 years have remained true to their core. Each album built upon the last. You could hear subtle differences in each song that they performed on this night, but they never strayed from where they started. I’ve been able to catch them twice recently since they played on the final Warped Tour last summer, and I am sorry that it took me so long to see these guys live. They pack a true metal punch and energize even an already spent crowd. They are continuing this tour in the U.S. through the end of May, and have dates across Europe over the summer. Don’t miss out on these shows, they are something you don’t want to miss.