Man, the other night at Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill in Dallas was one for the ages. First of all, I was getting yet another chance to chat with the guys from HAVOK, who recently signed with Century Media Records, and we here at A&GS couldn’t be happier for them. And secondly I was getting to check out FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY and REVOCATION live for the first time. Circumstances beyond FFAA’s control prevented them from making the trek to Dallas back in June with WHITECHAPEL, but that’s fine because they were here now! As an added bonus I got to see ARMED FOR APOCALYPSE who I knew zero about, but proved to be an excellent band for this tour.
So let’s start with them. Again, I didn’t have time to familiarize myself with their material but I figured if there is something there it will come through, even to the uninitiated. Guess what? It did. I have no idea what songs they played or anything like that. What I do know is the sheer energy put forth by these guys was enough to get motors running in the place, mine included. Their music is heavy as fuck and they’re fun to watch. Plus, after meeting Corey Vaspra (bass, vocals), Nate Burman (guitar, vocals), Nick Harris (drums, charisma), and Kirk Williams (vocals, guitar) after their blazing set I can tell you now that this band has a fan for life in me. Just a great bunch of guys. Look for a feature on them here very soon!
Next up was FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY, and their brand of death metal was rabidly welcomed by all. Vocalist Greg Wilburn looked like a kid in a candy store the whole time and the band behind him laid down a series of crushing grooves and monster tones looking to fuck shit up. The coolest thing about them though? There was a fan up front who clearly knew every word and nuance to every song, and Greg was giving him the mic to let him have his time to shine often. That’s the power of this metal music we all live and die for; it brings people together. I don’t know who was happier during all of this, Greg, the fan, or me watching! This was something I conveyed to both Greg and guitarist Patrick Sheridan at their merch table. That kind of connection is just real.
Now it was time, time to watch my boys in HAVOK kick some ass and take some names. Vocalist/guitarist David Sanchez injured his wrist not too long ago and as a result Dan Gargiulo from REVOCATION stepped in to help out with the guitar work. It was weird seeing David up there with his lime green cast on, but once “Covering Fire” and “Point of No Return” kicked us up the asses I no longer noticed. Reece Scruggs performed his usual guitar acrobatics on “Give Me Liberty…Or Give Me Death” and bassist Michael Leon held down the low end while making his signature crazy faces. Drummer Pete Webber was everywhere at once it seemed, and as I’ve said before if he’s not the best thrash metal drummer and one of THE best drummers PERIOD out right now, then you fucking tell me who is, OK? Because this man can wreck shop on a drum kit before most people have adjusted their seat!!
By the way, HAVOK had the most insane circle pits of the night. They were barely ten seconds in when the floor just erupted in this swirling vortex of madness. I loved watching it, my friend Jose all up in the mix for pretty much their entire set. When they launched into “D.O.A.” you could tell this was what many were waiting for. Their all-too-brief set ended with “Time Is Up” which once again had the place going bonkers, me included. This was my third HAVOK gig, and every time I see them it just reaffirms why I will NEVER miss them live, because they are one of the best live bands you will find right now case closed.
Now, I’m a REVOCATION fan but I’m not a crazy one. After this night however, I may have to reevaluate that statement. These guys came out and wrecked the place from start to finish. Songs like “Dismantle the Dictator” from 2009’s Existence Is Futile and “Invidious” from 2013’s self-titled record proved they were here to make a statement and that statement was, “Get up, you motherfuckers!!” New song “Deathless”, the title track from their album dropping this Tuesday sounded even better live, and of course “Madness Opus”, another new song sounded fantastic. “Opus” is one of my current favorites off of Deathless so hearing it live was an added bonus! Be sure to look for my interview with singer/guitarist David Davidson in the near future, too.
All told I had a fucking awesome night. I got to witness four bands come to Gas Monkey, which is definitely one of my favorite venues in Dallas, and scorch the earth while hanging with old friends, new friends, and in-between friends. My photographer buddy Joe Guzman took some killer pictures for us and also corralled an unruly dude in the pit who was pretty much a drunken mess and hurting people. Way to go, Joe!
LIVE PHOTOS: GUZPIX