Ever since Unnatural Selection came out and tour dates were announced I had this night circled on my calendar. Havok at Three Links in Deep Ellum on a hot July night. It really doesn’t get any more metal than this, now does it? Many thanks to Liz at Earsplit PR and Tom at FiXT Publicity for making this night happen. And a special thanks to photographer Jordan Sandifer from Darkhouse Image for the great pictures and for putting up with me all night. Now…on to the show!
Havok took the stage just after midnight to an eager and thrash-hungry crowd, and they didn’t disappoint, immediately tearing into “Covering Fire” and “Point Of No Return”. It didn’t take long for the circle pit to get going which simply spurred the band on.
Newer songs like “Give Me Liberty…Or Give Me Death” and “I Am the State” were met with thunderous applause and fans like myself headbanging and singing every word. Drummer Pete Webber played like a man possessed, and you had to wonder where he was hiding his extra arms, especially on “From the Cradle To the Grave”.
Bassist Mike Leon, vocalist/guitarist David Sanchez, and guitarist Reece Scruggs were lively and animated, and headbanging at every opportunity. All three of them have great stage presence and made sure to make eye contact and connect with fans often. As a matter of fact, Mike kind of reminded me of Steve Harris up there, both in his style of play, and his stage presence. That may be saying a lot, but it’s true.
Another new song “Worse Than War” was sandwiched between crowd favorites “D.O.A.” and “Afterburner”, and was excellent live. It’s also one of my favorites on the record, so I was pretty excited! The intensity of the pit was turned up to 11 for set closer “Time Is Up’, and rightfully so, as it is a fucking beast of a song, and a modern-day thrash classic. Even better, they blew out the P.A. halfway through it!! THAT’S FUCKING METAL, BABY!!! The sound guy got it back up a minute later, but the boys never missed a beat, and finished like champs.
I left Deep Ellum that night a thousand times happier than when I got there. I had been so looking forward to this show and they delivered on every level. I’ll tell you what…if Havok comes to your city you need to go see them. As I’ve said before, they are the real deal, and when many of their contemporaries fall by the wayside, they will still be putting out amazing records and melting faces live.