Whitechapel's Corruptour Plays To Record-Setting Crowd in Nashville, TN
A weekend metal show is the perfect opportunity for every metalhead in a hundred-mile radius to get their fix of headbanging and ear damage. A weekend metal show with bands that complement each others’ sound and keep up a consistent level of energy through the entire show is a big reason not to miss the opportunity. Five bands specializing in crushing riffs, otherworldly death metal vocals, and syncopated rhythms teamed up for such a show -- Nashville, TN at Rocketown on the night of October 22nd into the morning of the 23rd. With Whitechapel headlining, I Declare War opened the show. Following them were Oceano, Miss May I, and Impending Doom. There were enough sub drops throughout the show to make Rocketown’s foundation shift.
I Declare War’s Jonathan Huber opened up the show by telling everyone “We’re all here for one reason and one alone – The love of heavy metal.” A half hour before in the line to get in the doors, there were kids lined up as young as fifteen, ranging on up into the thirties. The audience was diverse, but Huber was right. Everyone was here because they loved heavy metal. I Declare War played a decent setlist, with a mix of older songs and newer songs from “Malevolence”, warming up the audience mosh pits. The band had as much energy as the audience, who already sent one person out of the venue with injuries.
During the set change before Oceano, when the lights were up, you could get a good glimpse of how full the 1,500-capacity venue was. About ¾ of the room was packed with bodies, with some on the second floor overlooking the crowd. When Oceano took the stage, these bodies were flying everywhere. Oceano, known as the “most violent pissed-off band out there”, whipped the crowd up, making sure everyone was awake. Their heavy and precise riffing and drumwork set the standard for the night, and their breakdowns made sure nobody could resist headbanging. Vocalist Adam Warren had a commanding stage presence, as well.
Miss May I was up next, and was a bit of a change-up in tone from Oceano. Nevertheless, their performance was high-energy, with the band leaping up onto the monitors and rocking out. Vocalist Levi Benton connected with the crowd, getting everyone to jump up and down in several songs. Less violent and more free-spirited, you could tell the guys from Miss May I were having a ton of fun on stage. With the intensity staying high, they blew through a half-hour set that left the audience screaming for more.
Impending Doom, sporting their blend of death metal instrumentation and heavy groove-oriented assault, took the stage with total crowd control. It’s an eye-opening experience to see a band with heaviness on par with death metal legends Cannibal Corpse singing lyrics centered on Christian content. Vocalist Brook Reeves took a second after their set to tell everyone, “Whatever you think of me or my beliefs, I thank you guys for coming out tonight.” If there was a soul in the audience who didn’t like the lyrics, they were too impressed with the performance to say anything about it – and they weren’t heard over the crowd with horns in the air, screaming in favor of the band.
The main act, Whitechapel, took the stage at the end of the night after some brief sound check issues with hearing vocals in the on-stage monitors. All the lights went out except for a couple of overhead guide lights on stage as they made their entrance amidst their intro music. Launching directly into "Murder Sermon" off of their latest album, “A New Era of Corruption”, the lights came up and the heads went down, banging with full force. The three guitar players and bass player made for an intimidating stage presence for the band. Vocalist Phil Bozeman moved all over the stage while putting his pipes to heavy use. The band moved into another new song, "The Darkest Day of Man," straight from the ending of "Murder Sermon." Video footage of this from the show can be viewed below.
Their set list included songs "Possession," "Vicer Exciser," "Breeding Violence," and others, going back to their first album, “The Somatic Defilement.” Over the course of this set, the band inspired circle pits galore and divided the audience for a “wall of death” during the song "This Is Exile." The band thanked their record-setting hometown crowd for their support and left them calling for an encore, which they came back out to play.
Before the show, Whitechapel’s Phil Bozeman and Alex Wade took some time for an interview with us, which covered their new album, the tour, and the way a band can bust out of the underground. That interview is posted here. A full photo album from the show will come when we re-launch MetalUnderground.com's photo gallery.
The Corruptour over, Whitechapel is now off to play Frisco, TX on Halloween night just before flying out to play with Job For A Cowboy in the UK on November 4th. Joining them on JFAC’s Ruination European tour will be Annotations of An Autopsy and Trigger the Bloodshed, going well into November.
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