When DevilDriver first announced their headlining North American tour, frontman Dez Fafara expressed how he intentionally selected intimate clubs to be up close and personal. Additionally, he expected it to be a sold-out trek as he and the rest of the band were looking forward to presenting their country covers album, Outlaws ’til the End, Vol. 1, which was released over the summer via Napalm Records. Joining the California metal outfit on the run that kicked off on October 23rd was Jinjer and Raven Black and, we were there for their NYC date on November 2nd at Brooklyn Bazaar.
Brooklyn Bazaar has a unique look as though you’re walking into an underground metal speakeasy. However, the quaint location holds more than other Brooklyn clubs such as The Kingsland and Saint Vitus but, intimate enough to give Fafara the “CBGB” style he wanted. The line looped around the downstairs area and had a mix of fans that were wearing both DevilDriver and Jinjer attire. The place was packed to the point people ended up ordering drinks until a path cleared up to walk upstairs just in time to find a spot as close to the stage to catch Raven Black’s set.
These Los Angeles metallers take their music to a theatrical level, similar to bands such as Avatar, Marilyn Manson, In This Moment, Wednesday 13, etc. The group calls themselves, “a dark metal carnival” and that is exactly how the night started. Raven herself continued to interact with the crowd as the group supported their sophomore effort, 13.
The vibe changed when the packed house became shoulder to shoulder as though everyone was waiting for the headliner. However, many were also there to see Ukraine’s Jinjer. Whether they became fans of theirs after seeing their first North American tour opening for Cradle of Filth this past Spring, or from the beginning in 2009; these eager Jinjer fans held onto their spot as though their lives depended on it. All eyes were glued to the stage as the group gave a truculent delivery to the packed house. Fans continued to sing along with Tatiana Shmailyuk as her vocals powered throughout the room. Bassist Eugene essentially shredded his way as though he was an axman. The energy was once again fierce as they introduced three songs from their upcoming Micro EP including their latest single “Ape.”
After a short break, long enough for the audience to find a way towards the back to grab a quick drink, it was time for DevilDriver to close the evening. Frontman Dez seemed to have everything he asked for as it was apparent there were DevilDriver devotees as the energy instantly shifted. A handful of fans immediately held onto their cellphones ready to video or snap a few photos while others instinctively decided to mosh. Due to the small space between the floor and stage, the interaction seemed more personal than you would see at larger venues. The group’s sharp momentum lasted throughout the entire set that consisted of songs: “Ruthless,” “Hold Back the Day,” “These Fighting Words,” “Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot), “Whiskey River (Willie Nelson cover),” “Grinfucked,” “My Night Sky,” “Sail (AWOLNATION cover),” “Before the Hangman’s Noose,” “Nothing’s Wrong?,” “I Could Care Less,” “Clouds Over California,” “End of the Line,” and “The Mountain.”
The Outlaws ’til The End tour wraps up this Sunday (18th) in San Diego, CA. However, DevilDriver has big plans for next year including being part of OzzFest on New Year’s Eve as well as joining Megadeth on the first-ever MegaCruise.