You’re probably not going to believe me but, I had no idea I’d be shooting this whole show. I was there for opening act Feast on the Fallen and planned on making it an early night, until I was approached by a man I’d never met about pictures. He turned out to be the guitarist of Niviane, an American Power Metal band from California, and this turned out to be an amazing night. Feast on the Fallen opened with their usual brutal and energetic performance. Guitarist Kareem M. Maize going full tilt as vocalist Randall Cole brought the audience to the floor with his grinding growls. Up next was another PA band, Contemptment. I’d never heard of them before but they were a solid band with good music, certainly one I hope to run into at more shows. While these two bands excelled at warming up the crowd, the night had only begun to heat up.
Niviane told me before the show that they were the ‘unknowns’ on tour with Soufly but they planned to leave the crowd remembering them, and I have to say they hit their goal for this night. They’re from Sacramento but Pittsburgh came forth to revel in their music, newly made fans headbanging, throwing horns and eventually crowding around their merch table once they finished. They say they don’t make fans, they make friends, and I enjoyed watching them live that motto. When the band makes it a point to meet and greet the people who loved their set, it’s always a great sign of who they are. These guys traveled the tour from 8/20 – 9/03 so I just caught them before they ended their run, but after their performance I was very glad I didn’t miss out. I’m left with memories of whipping hair, throwback vocals and the energy of the night hitting full capacity before the headliner even took stage.
About that headliner though….
Before the first notes were even played by Soulfly, fans were crowded into the front stage area like sardines. No one wanted to miss a second of this performance. As the band filed on stage, a roar went through the building and that energy that had already hit capacity overflowed. By the middle of the second song there was a mosh pit going hard and throughout the show the white lights above the crowd would suddenly burst on, revealing screaming fans and raised hands as Soufly drank in the madness and returned it tenfold. Max Cavalera stood among it like a leader among his people, exuding a confidence and poise that, when mixed with his musical talents, left me wanting to know more about him. Some articles described him as ‘The legendary” Max Calavera and it’s not hard to see why. With this kind of metal you expect there to be power behind it, but this man was larger than life. Switching between devilish grins and smiles he effortlessly drew the crowd into his world and showed them exactly what he was made of. In the bands online bio there is a sentence that I don’t think anyone can understand until they see it themselves, “Thousands of fans worship at the altar of a speaker or congregate in person for the sermon of a live show.” On this night the metal fans gathered and worshipped this deeply ancient beat in our modern world, this sermon of music, and we were moved.
You still have time to catch a show on the tour, so grab those tickets fast before they’re gone and see for yourself how I came to a show, ready to leave and rest, before I found myself at the feet of something larger than life and became a believer.
Photography by Jana Lee Macheca
FEAST ON THE FALLEN