I went to see Hatebreed live in the Manchester Academy2 tonight, and had a very good time.
Both of the support bands, Demoralizer and Black Dogs, were from Grimsby in the UK. Both of them were hardcore bands, but on different ends of the spectrum. Demoralizer were meaty, like the Parkway Drive but with no clean bits ever, and Black Dogs were a bit more brash and angular. Like…, um, the only thing I can think of is Bring Me The Horizon circa Count Your Blessings…but with 100% of the Death Metal removed.
I happily went along in my Self-titled album artwork-on-the-front, ‘In Ashes They Shall Reap’ on-the-back Haterbreed T-shirt that I’d got when I last saw them live in Stoke back in 2010, with Rise To Remain as support before they’d put out their debut album.
Both of the bands were very good at what they did, energetic, the frontmen were good at their non-singing parts of their jobs ie. crowd encouragement, raising enthusiasm etc. Both of them at one stage climbed on the barricades. In one instance Black Dogs singer ended up climbing it in such a way as to require me to hold his leg steady ‘or I’ll break my fuckin’ neck falling off’ (not me, him, he’d asked me to support him like a buttress to stop him from breaking his neck via a fall) and at the end I got a fistbump for my trouble…which I guess would be cool if I’d known the band beforehand. If Matty B or Jamie Jasta did it I’d be all pleased with myself so it was nice of him.
They were both decent.
Hatebreed came on. They played loads of the big songs like ‘Live For This,’ ‘Destroy Everything,’ ‘I Will Be Heard’ etc. as well as a bunch of pre-Perserance material (He said ’95 and ’97 alot in the stage-talking) and plenty of material from the new record which went down really well, which Jasta commented upon as heartening, (oddly they didn’t play current single ‘Put It To The Torch’) and stuff like the punky ‘Indivisible’ and the fun-guitar-solo having ‘The Language’ went over brilliantly. Suprisingly, ‘Honour Never Dies’ which is off the new album was an absolute phenomenon, it came across like it was a decade long fan-favourite, it got an absolutely gigantic response (which I enjoyed becuase its one of the only new ones I’ve learnt the words to yet, seeing as the record is so new) and seems destined to become another of ‘the big songs.’
Speaking of new stuff becoming one of ‘the big songs,’ my absolute highlight of the night was when they dropped ‘In Ashes They Shall Reap’ from the self-titled. From the very first second I heard that song (which coincided with laying the Yeti level of Uncharted 2) I absolutely loved it and it is to this day my favourite Hatebreed song. When they played it in Stoke last time I “lost my absolute shit” to it, and I’d commented earlier today that if they played it again, I’d be going home hoarse. Well, you’ll be glad to know I can barely speak. I, along with everybody seemingly in the building, sang every single word of that as loud and hard as I could, it was such a success I’m surprised they don’t end on it. Only ‘Destroy Everything’ ‘Perseverance’ and ‘I Will Be Heard’ came close to that response. The former and the latter would’ve been bigger but too many people were crowd surfacing, so I go home having been kicked in the face five times and may have a genuine neck injury from when some heavy selfish tosspot lost his balance transferring between crowd and bouncers and fell with most of his weight on my neck. Another selfish tosspot did the same thing, twice, to a young girl beside me who looked like she was genuinely injured for a moment. Crowd surfers are selfish tosspots. Good harmless fun? Not when you keep HARMING people. Tosspots.
Anyway, that was the show. ‘Doomsayer,’ ‘As Diehard As They Come’ and ‘Defeatist’ were all brilliant too. It was all brilliant. Hatebreed are brilliant. Money well spent. I went out in a Hatebreed tshirt and now I’ve got a divinity Of Purpose tour-dates tshirt too. And another set of good memories of Hatebreed. Jasta is such a good frontman, he knows how to make you have a good evening. There’s no other context in the world where I could get kicked in the face five times, fear my neck is genuinely damaged, and still have a good evening. He’s such an amazing frontman that the took a full projectile pint of water, hard, to the face and didn’t even react or be interupted from his encouragement of the crowd to be energetic. If that was Axl Rose the concert would be over, if it was a lesser frontman he’d at least have stopped his sentence. But then that’s what Hatebreed are all about ey? Perserance!
Take home message, if Hatebreed play…go see them. And maybe don’t crowdsurf, if that’s alright.