It was a Tuesday night, but it could’ve been a Saturday if you didn’t know better. Trees was packed with Dallas metalheads who showed up for Soulfly and Nile with local support from Bad Blood and Driven Below. Max Cavalera’s Soulfly is perpetually on tour. Last year he was in town on two occasions: once with his brother Iggor as they were touring the classic Sepultura album Roots and later again with Soulfly performing Nailbomb’s 1994 album Point Blank. Oh yeah, Max and Iggor also dropped a new Cavalera Conspiracy album, Psychosis, late last year, but last night it was just a simple, crazy Soulfly gig.
Local acts Driven Below and Bad Blood got the evening started, slowly coaxing the Tuesday night crowd into a frenzy. I missed Driven Below’s set, but arrived as Bad Blood was getting set up. The Fort Worth band is a metal juggernaut full of piss and vinegar. Vocalist Talmage Crumholt screamed, growled, jumped about maniacally and otherwise did everything he could to get the crowd going. The Bad Blood followers were gathered en masse and enthusiastically supported their band. They sang along, banged their heads, and acted like the following Nile and Soulfly sets were just a bonus to their Bad Blood gig. The band is tight and their performance highlights the dynamics of their songs. I do think the sound guy gave them the supporting act treatment, though. The guitarist wasn’t very loud in the mix and overall Nile and Soulfly were considerably louder. Nevertheless, the band delivered a solid set.
Technical death metal behemoth’s Nile drafted off of Bad Bloods energy and promptly obliterated everyone’s ear drums. From the first note of the first song, the pit erupted into a whirl of limbs. Honestly, the bands music does nothing for me. But, I must’ve been the only one who didn’t eat that shit up. The band played 11 songs across 7 albums, but more than half the set came from 2000s Black Seeds of Vengence and their latest LP What Should Not Be Unearthed. While the guitars meshed into an indecipherable cacophony of noise, one thing pushed through: those fucking drums. Holy shit was that guy loud. Geoge Kollias’ feet work as much as his hands and his double-bass attack will shake your bones. Overall, Nile is a solid band. If it’s the sort of thing that’s up your alley, I can’t imagine you not enjoying it as much as the Dallas crowd did.
A little before 11:00pm, Soulfly took the stage and immediately picked up where Nile left off. I’m not sure the pit ever stopped between sets. Playing songs across their entire discography, with an obligatory Sepultura song and Black Sabbath cover thrown in, the band seemed especially inspired. Guitarist Marc Rizzo constantly jumped up and down with the song crescendo’s when he wasn’t impeccably nailing his solos. Cavalera’s son Zyon (drums) keeps getting better with each successive tour. There could be many factors attributing to this, but for whatever reason he really seemed to hold things together last night, opening up room for Cavalera and Rizzo do their thing. Max was typically earnest in his interaction with the crowd. Demanding circle pits and raised fists, he directed the show from the floor to the stage. The crowd delighted in damn near every song they played and acted post haste on his every demand. Soulfly put on display every quality that has earned them their loyal fanbase and critical acclaim. They were high energy, intense, and melted everyone’s face off.
– J. Kevin Lynch (words); Brently Kirksey (photos)