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Meshuggah, In Flames, and Whitechapel Live at Hard Rock!

Photos and Review By Ryan Renger

The Hard Rock Hotels are no strangers to Heavy Metal rocking their venues. Hard Rock Live at Fire Mountain was no different, with the Sacramento venue hosting the recent Meshuggah, In Flames, and Whitechapel concert. The Sacramento date was the second on this monumental tour full of Swedish and Knoxville Metal.

Tennessee Death Core mainstays Whitechapel opened the show with heavy 8-string riffs and frontman Phil Bozeman's trademarked devilish screams. The band, named after the famed district where Jack the Ripper committed his killings, opened their set with deep gutturals from Bozeman as they played Let Me Burn. Although the pit at the venue wasn't full yet, the people who were there early knew how to get their rock on, and how could they not when Whitechapel is playing their biggest hits. Their set continued with two songs, Forgiveness is Weakness and Brimstone, from their transcendent The Valley album, which was released in 2019, and signaled a change in the band's sound, propelling them over the last couple of years. More new music rang out through the speakers as a couple of songs from their newest album, Kin, were played before their most popular song, The Saw Is The Law, ended their set. Whitechapel were a welcome addition to this tour, as they round out an active 2023 and are set up for a just as active 2024, with their Live In The Valley album releasing in January, and touring plans most likely to be announced soon!

The first of two Swedish Metal bands on the bill took the stage next, with In Flames bringing their Melodic Death Metal sound to the capitol of California. The Gothenburg-based band opened their set with the namesake from their newest release, Foregone Pt. 1. This really excited the crowd, and there is no doubt that this is because of the rousing support Foregone has received since its release earlier this year. After facing some striking criticisms for the derailment of their sound on their last couple of albums, Foregone has set the band on the right path again. The set from In Flames was very eclectic, with at least one song from 8 of their albums being played. Lead Vocalist Anders Friden was full of energy on this night, bouncing back and forth across the stage, allowing every side of the pit to experience his growls up close and personal. Overall, their set had a very good ambiance, with colorful lights and flashing strobes setting the scene for an eventful 45-minute set that ended with fans screaming their hearts out to Take This Life.

Draped in darkness and red lights flashing over the band as Tomas Haake banged away on his toms was the setup for the other Swedish Death Metal legends, Meshuggah, as they took the stage. This show was a little over a year and a half since the release of their latest album, Immutable, and they opened with a song from that great record, Broken Cog. The song started out a little slow but quickly picked up speed and brought the energy to an 11 in the building. With over 35 years of experience in rocking faces off, Meshuggah has a great reputation for building tension in the audience and allowing their fans of all ages to express themselves fully in the huge mosh pits that fill venues. Like In Flames, Meshuggah's set contained hits from across their career, with 7 albums appearing on the night, going all the way back to their 2002 album Nothing. The set was more than double that of In Flames, and at no point did the energy die down. The night ended with an encore of Bleed and Demiurge, the former appearing on the setlist for the first time in 4 years. This show was undoubtedly the heaviest performance to make its way through the nearly two-year-old venue, but it was much needed for this Sacramento crowd who have longed for a larger venue than Ace Of Spades so that more tours can make their way to the valley of the most populous state. The venue is a shining example of Hard Rock's dedication to live performances, with high ceilings that allow for great airflow and amazing acoustics that provide even more invigorating sound so that your ears are happy no matter where you are in the building. If you have any doubts about attending this show, you should quash them now and purchase your tickets at the link below!

Purchase tickets at this link.

Check out photos from the night here!


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