One of the most anticipated tours of the year (sorry Ms. Swift) came charging through Pop’s Nightclub in Sauget, IL on 11/4/22. Headliners Hatebreed are celebrating the 20th anniversary of sophomore album Perseverance with what may be the strongest tour packages of the year. Accompanying the hardcore legends were Dying Wish, Bodysnatcher and Gatecreeper.
Photos by Mike Haley
Dying Wish, out of Portland, OR, were first up on the dynamic bill. Promptly starting at 7pm, these newcomers brought the high energy, two-stepping breakdowns that you would expect from early Hatebreed tours. Debut album, ‘Fragments of a Bitter Memory’ on Sharptone records was released in 2021 and Dying Wish are earning their stripes having been picked up on several dynamic tour packages since the album’s release.
The band, fronted by Emma Boster, is everything you want from a hardcore and metalcore influenced act. The set, consisting of tracks from the debut album, got the crowd going early. After several circle pits, dancing and cheers of approval from those in attendance, the crowd was pumped and ready for a great night of extreme music.
Next up was Florida deathcore unit Bodysnatcher, out supporting newly released Bleed – Abide on MNRK Records.
Genres aside, Bodysnatcher are as heavy and brutal as any of their contemporary peers. Their 8 song set pummeled the crowd with intense gutterals from frontman Kyle Medina and guitarist Kyle Carter’s slow, groove ridden breakdowns. Having released 4 albums over the course of their 7 year career, the set showcased many fan favorites.
Bodysnatcher have been on a touring hot streak as of late, no doubt due to the caliber of their live show, recently joining legends of the game Dying Fetus and now Hatebreed.
Ending their set with fan favorite “King of the Rats”, Bodysnatcher left the audience at Pop’s wanting more.
🎥 GO HERE to watch high quality audio set of Bodysnatcher’s performance.
In the third spot of the night, Gatecreeper were up to keep the night’s momentum going. You get what you’d expect from a Gatecreeper show; hair whips, head banging and a wall of sound that, at this point in the night, was unmatched. Gatecreeper’s 13 song set, much like Bodysnatcher’s included highlights from most of the band’s discography.
Opening with “Sweltering Madness” from 2019’s ‘Deserted’, the band set a new tone for the night.
While they may not be known for today’s breakdown-eccentric style, Gatecreeper knows how to throw down at a live show.
Set highlights “Craving Flesh”, “Barbaric Pleasures”, and “Flamethrower” showcased the Phoenix, AZ band’s signature sound, a combination of death metal and doom. Grooves accompanying Chase Mason’s menacing growl kept the crowd energized, ready for what was next.
When Hatebreed finally graced Pop’s stage, the crowd was near exploding. Opening with classic track “Empty Promises”, new and old Hatebreed fans alike were singing alongside metal icon Jamey Jasta.
Spending much of the first half of their set covering what are sure to be staples in the band’s set like, “Destroy Everything”, “Tear It Down”, and “Last Breath”, the energy Hatebreed have for this tour is unmatched.
Years of touring and honing their skills have put Hatebreed at the top of their game. Jasta’s on stage demeanor is that of a man who’s enjoying life through music and wanting to share his excitement through participation from everyone in the crowd.
Equality was present, especially when it came to age differences within the crowd. Jasta threw out commands for circle pits, opening the floor up for hardcore dancing/mosh pits, and even teased those in the crowd who have been fans since day one, asking several times, “who was going to be coming out of mosh pit retirement”.
Brian Fair of Shadows Fall fame proudly answered that call and was spotted crowd surfing early in the set.
The second part of the set was a celebration of 2002 ‘Perseverance’. Joining them onstage was former guitarist Sean Martin. The three guitar onslaught brought the 20 year old songs back to life on stage.
First playing album opener “Proven”, then getting into some of deeper cuts like “Hollow Ground” and “A Call For Blood”, Hatebreed showed they still have what it takes to be the kings of hardcore.
A few surprises along the way like “Under the Knife” and “Diehard As They Come” Jasta and crew mixed things up perfectly throughout the night.
Ending the night with anthem “I Will Be Heard”, Hatrebreed absolutely destroyed Pop’s and showed that the scene is alive and well in the greater St. Louis area.