The Decimation of the Nation Destroys Lafayette, LA
Band Photo: Hatebreed (?)
In the heart of Cajun Country in Louisiana is a small town called Lafayette. The town is not only famous for being the place of my birth and raising, but occasionally, it has some kick-ass concerts (I guess in honor of me.) But anyway, the latest in the series of great shows was a visit from the Decimation of the Nation Tour featuring an amazing lineup of Toxic Holocaust, Dying Fetus, Winds of Plague, Chimaira and Hatebreed. Anyone lucky enough to be in the vicinity of this tour could not help but go to the local bar and witness their town being decimated with some of the best metal musicians of our day.
Toxic Holocaust led by the blonde-locked Joel Grind wasted no time in jumping on the stage and launching right into their trademark thrash. Toxic Holocaust was relentless in their assault; playing songs back to back without giving the audience a breather. The song that really pleased the Lafayette crowd (and my personal favorite) was “666” from the Evil Never Dies album. Also a recognizable tune was “War is Hell” that made the true metal heads in the hall headbang with fury. Toxic Holocaust is always a great band to see live. You’ll think you’re back in the 80’s with the vests, the hair and the jugular-cutting thrash.
For a slower, but no less brutal change, Dying Fetus entered the stage. The incredibly low growling vocals of John Gallagher went straight through the fall and on to Hell. The sludgy, achingly slow breakdowns perfect for headbanging made the whole crowd move to the music. The blazing fast shreds tore through the air with a vengeance. It was almost tiring to watch them.
Next, the stage was absolutely filled with the six members of Winds of Plague. Johnny Plague spread his deadly infection across the room as he growled his words and jumped from one side of the stage to the next. Keyboardist and great backup vocalist Kristen Randall screamed along with Johnny and all the boys swooned. I was waiting for one brave, stupid nerd to grope her as she leaned over the audience and shrieked in their faces. This is the band that got the mosh going. How could they resist when ordered to make a circle pit by the frontman while he held their complete attention. They were all incredibly energetic as they ran and jumped everywhere, never missing a note. The riffs flew, the beats pummeled and the growls hurt.
After such a workout of the ears, everyone was hoping for a moment of rest. The weak went outside to smoke their expensive cigarettes while their hands shook with fear. They dare not go back in. The faithful and curious onlookers stayed inside for Chimaira. And what a show they put on. The music was fast and aggressive. Being so well known, the crowd went wild for them. Rob shredded out his soul into his instrument while Mark Hunter growled at the top of his lungs. Once again, this band had surprised me by how heavy they were even though they were so popular with many kinds of people (i.e., even preps like them). Chimaira is truly a band for everyone, but I don’t think that all of those people can handle their live show.
The headliner of the night was Hatebreed. Vocalist Jamey Jasta ran the stage while he belted out the hardcore lyrics. They had so much energy during the entire set, it’s really just incredible. The crowd roared and headbanged for the beloved band as they gave all of the momentum right back to them. Vocalist of Winds of Plague Johnny Plague claimed that he has watched them every night of the tour because they have an amazing live show. Hatebreed just knows how to get the blood pumping! When they ended, all left completely satisfied that their brains had been scrambled by one of the best hardcore acts ever.
All of the bands on this tour exude an energy that I have never seen before in one night. Five bands in a row that are so fiery is not easy to conquer, but if you have the will, you’ll find a way. It was an incredible show with even more incredible bands that rocked the fucking house down! I hope they come to your town, just so you know what I’m talking about.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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