Getting older can be a bitch, but when there’s a pretty good slate of shows hitting your area around the time of your birthday it sure makes it easier. Such was the case not too long ago when I got to see the one and only WHITECHAPEL live and in the flesh for the third time and my first since 2014. That is far too long to go without catching these boys in concert, and I won’t make that mistake again, believe you me.
The venue was of course, Reverb, one of my favorites, out in Reading, PA. And yep, here is the part where I gush about the staff. Mark Kohl and his wonderful wife Brandi always go above and beyond to not only great shows with killer bills, but they are super-nice to everyone, and they always look out for us here at A&GS. There are so many nights when I’m there and all I can think is, “Man, (Band X) would fucking DESTROY in this room! I hope they play here one day.”
With my good buddy Jimmy the Beer Man in tow, we met up with A&GS team member Tonia S, who took the photos you see here. And of COURSE, no WHITECHAPEL gig in the area would be complete without the always amazing Rachel Cruz, rockin’, rollin’, and cracking people open in the mosh pit! And goddamn the cold beers were goin’ down smooth on this night! Now, onto the show itself…
Opening with a quartet of tracks from stellar new album The Valley, the band hit us with “When a Demon Defiles a Witch”, “Forgiveness is Weakness”, “Brimstone”, and “Black Bear” right off the bat. Clearly the guys were on a mission this night, because the intensity was through the roof. This was never more evident than during “Mark of the Blade” from the 2016 album of the same name. I love this song and live it’s like a fucking bone saw in your skull.
Other set highlights included “Elitist Ones”, “Make It Bleed”, and “Hate Creation”, but one of THE best things was the trio of tunes from 2014’s Our Endless War, which is one of my top records in this band’s catalog. “Let Me Burn” and “Our Endless War” tore shit up to close out the regular set, but we still had one more to go. And that was the encore of “The Saw Is the Law”, my absolute favorite song by this band, and one that pushed the show to an even higher level one last time!
All told this was a fantastic performance by the band. As an added bonus I finally, after five years of online friendship, got to meet my buddy DJ Gunnarson, guitarist from BURIED ABOVE GROUND, and grabbed a beer with him. I hit their merch table for a t-shirt, and all the guys in the group graciously signed a copy of their latest CD, The Crown, for Mini-Amps. If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend you do so.
There are 14 dates left on this leg of WHITECHAPEL’S tour. If you are even remotely on the fence about going, just go ahead and swing that other leg over, grab a ticket and fucking GO!! Oh, but not before you hit yourself with some kind of blunt instrument for even questioning whether you should attend in the first place. Go see this band live, buy The Valley, and fucking support YOUR FAVORITE METAL BANDS!!
LIVE IMAGES: TONIA S PHOTOGRAPHY
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO