It started off like any other Wednesday in the sleepy little rock town of Austin: Torchy’s
Tacos for lunch and plans for a great metal show to cap off the night. Weeknight metal
with any kind of job in the morning feels counterproductive, but Hatebreed had not been
through Austin in several years, since their last SXSW performance for a small crowd at
Red 7. So missing the 10 Years of Perseverance Tour with Whitechapel and All Shall
Perish was not really an option.
As I played a little silver ball before making the jaunt to the new Emo’s, I was thinking
about the first time I saw Hatebreed, and if my whiskey-holed memory served me right,
their show with Slayer circa 2004 was my first experience with their decidedly different
metal performance. Where many bands had come with straight attitude, Jamey Jasta and
Hatebreed were different, positive and dare I say, inspirational.
Negativity and darkness instilled in the posture of so many bands shirked by
Hatebreed’s straightforward self-reliant message. Somehow in 2012, that message still
rings true with fans, and the other bands on the bill. Though All Shall Perish may have
a different take on the world, their true appreciation on stage of the opportunity to be
exposed to a hungry metal audience became exemplified in their performance.
Having seen ASP on many small stages in the past, they appeared comfortable and in
their element on the big stage at Emo’s. By the time they crammed crowd favorite “There
is No Business to be Done on a Dead Planet” down our throats, we knew we were in for a
great night of metal and were sufficiently warmed up and ready for Whitechapel.
As the dulcet tones of Whitechapel began to ring out with their opener “Make It Bleed,”
the crowd doused their smoking material and rushed up front. Knowing their ability to
bring their A-game for every show, I knew they would not disappoint, although I couldn’t
help thinking what an odd fit for a band like Hatebreed. The signature sound of these
Tennessee natives skews more to the deathcore side of things, than the style of the
Yet that did not stay the audience one bit, once they reached “Possession” we all knew
they were more than just an opening act, Whitechapel leveled the place with their
rendition of “Faces” and “This is Exile,” and that would have been enough. As the band
exited the stage, I again realized this was a Hatebreed show.
As the opening bars to “Proven” were hit, Jasta began his trademark show, revving up
the crowd with his Tony Robbinesque motivational style and positive message. I had
forgotten that this was an anniversary tour, so unexpectedly busting out several songs
from Perseverance pleased me. When they paused to chat up the crowd, the explanation
became clear, this was something we had never seen Hatebreed do; play an album in its
entirety, and the crowd was ready.
“I Will Be Heard,” “We Still Fight,” and then into the deep tracks of the album, they
destroyed it. Some of the best performing I have ever seen them give, toward the end
of their set Jasta told a story of getting signed many years ago here in Austin at the Backroom and the crowd ate it up as they finished the night with a best of mix from the rest of their albums and closed with “Destroy Everything.”
I have outgrown their sound over the years, but live their shows have always been
uncontested. Jamey Jasta is a consummate professional, who works the crowd as a fan
of the music he sings and believer in his own message. Their journey will mark two
decades soon and his audience continues to trust in Hatebreed’s profound ability to