MUDVAYNE, COAL CHAMBER,
GWAR, NONPOINT, BUTCHER BABIES
BLOSSOM MUSIC CENTER
CLEVELAND, OHIO | AUGUST 4, 2023
By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications
The warm air and sunshine alongside a stacked metal lineup brought an Ozzfest vibe to Cleveland yesterday; albeit not a full day of bands, the evening lineup of five artists exuded a summer mini-festival atmosphere with a crowd of diehard headbangers.
This, The Psychotherapy Sessions Tour, is Mudvayne’s first full headlining tour since reuniting in 2021; since the reunion they have either opened for shows or performed at festivals.
Covered in their trademark face paint, Mudvayne (with their original four member 1996 lineup, along with touring member Marcus Rafferty) entered and demolished with “Not Falling” as lead vocalist Chad Gray (also of Hellyeah) frequently made his way to the front barricade and leaned into the crowd—including an emotionally charged performance of “World So Cold,” during which he fell backwards onto the embracing fans that were stained with GWAR remnants.
Before “A New Game,” Gray told the crowd: “You are all in a safe space here. This is the heavy metal family of Cleveland right here and we fuckin’ made it… heavy metal music saved my mother fucking life!”
The set was phenomenal and the band was top notch as they performed hit after hit for more than an hour, including: “Death Blooms,” “Dull Boy,” “Dig,” “Determined,” “Happy?,” “Nothing To Gein.” After 14 years since the release of their last album (Mudvayne) and a very alive and well fanbase, we can now hope for new music to be released soon.
Coal Chamber have reunited periodically during the last decade and have always made the reunions worthwhile by bringing fans back into their catalogue of hits from the band’s 90’s-early 2000’s foundation.
Lead vocalist Dez Fafara (also of DevilDriver) sported some makeup, enhancing the strong performance of songs that included all out scream alongs to: “Loco,” “Big Truck,” “Dark Days,” and “Sway.” Periodically, the stage was smothered with widespread up smoke bursts.
Since the mid-80s—with the presence of thrash-punk metalers GWAR—we’ve known other life forms exist. The almighty intergalatic planetary Scumdogs, who despise Earth, dominated the stage with their theatrical shock rock, intentionally derogatory remarks and larger than life costumes—bringing smiles to welcoming fans, but devastation to those unprepared for the brutal on-stage decapitation drenchings (Think ICP’s Faygo or Steve Aoki’s cakes… but not).
The band focused its set on their recently released 15th album The New Dark Ages with songs “Mother Fucking Liar,” “Berserker” and others. Lucky contest winner Brandon joined the band on stage during “Let Us Slay.”
With ten albums released and nearly two decades of the heavy, Nonpoint has a lot of songs to choose from and they always nail it with their live song selection.
Sporting all red, and of course his lengthy dreads, lead vocalist Elias Soriano gave it his all during new songs “Dodge Your Destiny” (during which the crowd bounced by request) and the fast rapping “Chaos And Earthquakes” from their latest release X.
The rest of the band also sported red, making it a theme with red shoes, pants, hair, a bandana, a wrist band or a hat. The five-piece included classics and favorites “What A Day” and closing song “Bullet With A Name.”
Butcher Babies have been bringing the metal since 2009. The energy of dual vocalists Heidi and Carla was unstoppable. Heidi announced: “We are the Butcher Babies and we came to fuck shit up!” They grinned, leaned forward and jumped throughout the performance, headbanging and spinning their hair.
Just last month they released their fourth full length Eye for an Eye... / ...'Til the World's Blind and to celebrate the release they performed three songs, including the heavy “Red Thunder” and the lighter “Last December” which showcased the duo’s singing.
The 26-city summer tour concludes Aug. 26.
MUDVAYNE (click photos to enlarge)