Deafheaven, Envy and Tribulation packed Webster Hall (pics, review & setlist)
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Deafheaven / Envy / Tribulation
The stacked tour of Deafheaven, Envy and Tribulation is currently underway. After Envy and Tribulation both hit NYC for their own headlining shows on Wednesday (11/4), the whole tour landed at Webster Hall for a sold out show last night (11/5). Deafheaven were of course the headliners, but it was the kind of show where every band acted and was treated by the audience as such.
Tribulation kicked things off with an early set time of 7 PM, and though it wasn't too full when they started, it had packed in a good amount by the time they were done. People like to talk about how Deafheaven are "metal for non-metalheads," but honestly, if there was one band on this bill I think would appeal to people who don't normally listen to heavy music, it's Tribulation. Yeah they wear corpse paint, but they're more glam than satanic. The way they prance around the stage, their attitude, their guitar swings and headbangs -- it's all closer to Motley Crue or at least Judas Priest than the similarly face-painted Watain. And besides the obvious black/death metal influences on the vocals, they sound that way too. Tribulation were undoubtedly the catchiest band of the night, with riffs, solos and twin leads that would've fit right in on late '70s rock radio. Of course it does have that darker, gnarled edge which will probably keep them off the radio, but also makes them excitingly unique. They played mostly off this year's The Children of the Night, and if you haven't checked that album out yet, you really should.
Then it was Envy, the longest running band on the bill and by far the most influential. The Japanese band have been around since the '90s, and they helped pioneer the type of screamo/post-rock that can be heard in bands from La Quiete to Thursday to Pianos Become the Teeth to, of course, Deafheaven. That sound has been experiencing a bit of popularity lately, and it's a great thing that the bigger bands are giving their fans the chance to see where it all began (after Deafheaven they're touring with La Dispute). And watching Envy play it really was obvious where so many of these newer bands get their moves. But their set was more than that -- Envy are still great. They have a new album out this year which they played some songs off, and those sounded as urgent as when they broke out a classic. And best of all, they were LOUD. The crack of their snare drum was the loudest thing I heard all night.
Finally Deafheaven wrapped up the show, with the best set I've seen them play yet. Their new album New Bermuda has only been out for a month, but it's so clear that it's already had at least as big an impact as Sunbather. They played the whole thing start to finish -- only interrupting to squeeze in their 2014 single "From the Kettle Onto the Coil" -- and the place was going wild for every song. It wasn't until the encore that we even heard anything off Sunbather, and those songs felt more like an added bonus than the main attraction. The crowd was clapping along to the quiet parts of the new songs, howling after every loud part calmed down, and just generally seemed to be loving it. One thing that's for sure is New Bermuda is the band's most diverse album yet, with influences spanning thrash, metalcore, post-rock, classic rock and more, and seeing them bring all of that to life was a thrill. The way they can be churning out a brutal attack one moment and making clean beautiful atmospheres the next, with less than a second to transition, is truly impressive. They may be a divisive band in some circles, but even the skeptics are having trouble denying the band's current live show.
Pictures continue, with Deafheaven's setlist, below...
Brought to the Water
From the Kettle Onto the Coil
Gifts for the Earth