Review and Photos by Elizabeth Bruce
The Psychotherapy Sessions tour stopped in Ohio last night, and it was not a show that should've been missed. The tour includes an amazingly talented line-up of Butcher Babies, Nonpoint, GWAR, Coal Chamber, and Mudvayne as the headliner. Last night's show occurred at the Blossom Music in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. It was a perfect sunny day for the pits of hell to open up at the outdoor show. The energy was high, and the atmosphere felt amazing. The Butcher Babies kicked off the night with an unforgettable set. I personally have never been a huge fan of female heavy metal vocalists, but Carla and Hedi left me in awe with the amazing vocals they delivered. Although they did not interact with the crowd so much, the audience loved their performance. Whether screaming the lyrics back, starting mosh pits, or even crowd surfing, everyone in the building truly enjoyed what The Butcher Babies had to offer.
Nonpoint took control of the audience, starting with their single Victim. As soon as they began their performance, more mosh pits opened up as many viewers rushed to their seats to ensure they didn't miss their set. Lead vocalist Elias Soriano tore the stage up; he visited every inch of the stage he could get to, even kneeling in front of the fans and singing into their phones. As their set continued, they did a cover of Back to Back by famous rapper Drake, which caused an uproar even for the metalheads. Each member had color-coordinated outfits, which consisted of red and black. This was an important detail because it showed that every member cares about stage presence and showcasing the family it takes to do shows every night. As Nonpoint wrapped up their set with one of the more popular songs, Bullet With A Name, fans wanted more and more. They definitely left that stage with many more fans than before.
Next to deliver a killer set was none other than GWAR. This is when most security guards, photographers, and even some audience members bring on the ponchos because they know what they're in for. GWAR is a very hilarious yet serious act to watch. They include a lot of props and even a few stage actors. If you have yet to learn what GWAR is known for, you're in for a ride watching them live. As soon as they walked on stage, not one person inside the venue was sitting down, as they began with Hail, Genocide! They start slow with the stage props, like a couple of fake chainsaws, and spray fake blood (red dye) over the crowd. As they progress, the more fake blood there is. They even bring out little puppets or giant monsters they hit with spiked spears, rip off their body parts and spray the crowd even more. They ended their set with If You Want Blood (You've Got It), an AC/DC cover. Anyone who staked their claim to the pit during the Gwar set left the night covered in gallons of blood. It was certain that multiple showers were in order to shed the memory of being in the pit, but no matter if you get the blood off, the memory of Gwar will live on in your skin.
The pressure was on as Coal Chamber was the last chance to warm the crowd up before Mudvayne took control. As the members took the stage, the stage lights flashed red and white as the infamous Michael Myers theme song played, leading into Loco, one of Coal Chambers's biggest songs. The momentum was high throughout the entire set; everyone was on their feet, headbanging, jumping up and down, and even moving around to each part of the stage. Dez Fafara has incredible energy. Dez's style/sound of music is one of the most unique acts I've ever heard. Not only did they sound amazing, but the stage presence, from smoke, lighting, and body language, was outstanding. During their set, Dez stopped the show due to fans trying to get his attention as an audience member was causing chaos and trying to start a fight; Dez eventually threw him out. You rarely see an opening act or even a headliner stop the show and take care of the crowd. As their set continued, the energy remained high from both the crowd and the band themselves. Not only were they successful in warming the crowd up, but they also left the arena scorching and yearning for more when they left the stage.
To really kick the night off was none other than Mudvayne themselves. They had a few different styles of curtains that were dropped as they began Not Falling. At this point, the nearly sold-out crowd had piled in and was ready for the fun to begin. Chad, the lead singer of Mudvayne, isn't one to stand still or even stay on the stage. In front of the barricade, there are steps where during the second song, Under MY Skin, he walks down and up onto the barricade holding fans' hands and even crowd surfs. He stayed like that for two whole songs. It was amazing to see that not many fans had their phones out during these special moments; most held Chad up in the air, singing along with the brightest of smiles on their faces. The energy during this set was not comparable to anything I'd seen or heard the entire night leading up to this moment. The screams of the fans filled the Blossom and even echoed. Despite how loud the fans were, You could still hear Chad delivering some ear-piercing screams. In between songs, Chad noticed he had a few younger fans in the front row and stopped to talk to them and ask how old they were; a few of them were twelve, while the youngest one was just four years old. After appreciating the younger fans, he thanked the parents and told them he loved their parenting style. As the night progressed, Mudvayne did an incredible job of making sure they played all the hits, so it was a perfect time for those who were new and those who had been around 10+ years. During the middle of the set, he told the crowd it was truly a blessing to see metalheads coming together to take care of themselves, forget about reality, and let it all go. One of the ways he interacted with the audience was by telling everybody that was at the show was now one big family, and he asked everyone to turn around and give a stranger a high five and called it the "heavy metal high five." The band finished the night with Chad asking everyone, "Are you happy?," as he tore up the stage for one final song closing it out with one of their biggest hits, "Happy."
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