I lived with my buddy Jack when I was 18 years old and he is the reason I first heard the album Roots. It was and still is one of the heaviest/grooviest albums I have ever heard. Max and Igor Cavalera decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sepultura album Roots by getting back together to play the entire album. I never got to see Sepultura when Max was with them so I REALLY wanted to cash in on this once-in-a -lifetime chance at redemption. I ended up going to this show because I was not able to go see them at Aftershock 2016 like I originally intended. At first they were just going to play a number of festivals but thankfully decided to add more dates. Phoenix was one of those dates, which worked out great since that date was on a Friday, Phoenix is within driving distance from San Diego and our good friend Ken had moved back out there at the beginning of the year. One of Ingrid’s best friends also lives in the Phoenix area so we decided to make a weekend trip out of it. Bob somehow got a hall pass for the weekend and joined our little road trip as well.
Oh yeah did I mention that Max was pulling double duty for this show by playing a set with Soulfly before playing the entire Roots album? Even better since I had never gotten to see Soulfly either. There were actually 7 other bands as well as this date was sort of a mini-festival but all we cared about was Soulfly and “Sepultura.”
Club Red is tucked into an unsuspecting strip mall in Mesa and holds about 750 people. It was actually fairly nice inside and had an ample bar area to get drinks. Me, Ken and Bob arrived with just enough time to grab a drink before Soulfly went on. About half of the Soulfly set was from the albums Primitive and Prophecy. Killer.
Up next and certainly last was the almighty Roots album not only being played in full, but in order! I thought I would hang at the back part of the pit area so I could control the mosh a little more but immediately caught a stray arm to the mouth so I quickly switched gears and went through the pit up to very front where I stayed for the entirety of the set. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the bearded wonder Johny Chow from Stone Sour was filling in on bass for this tour. These songs took on even more life being played live in a small venue and bodies never stopped moving. Life is good.
SETLIST: Roots Bloody Roots, Attitude, Cut-Throat, Ratamahatta, Breed Apart, Straighthate, Spit, Lookaway, Dusted, Born Stubborn, Jasco, Itsari, Ambush, Endangered Species, Dictatorshit, Ace of Spades (Motorhead cover), Wings (Soulfly cover)
Main Stage: Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Godsmack, Static-X, Incubus, Methods of Mayhem, P.O.D., Queens of the Stone Age
Second Stage: Soulfly, Kittie, Disturbed, Taproot, Reveille, Primer 55, Black Label Society
So here I am again returning to the Gorge with my honey Lucinda for some good old rock/metal. Friends Mark and Claude joined us. Taproot was the first band up that we were interested in seeing. They seemed pretty polished to be playing on the second stage. Disturbed played next. There was a buzz around them and they did not disappoint. They had just released The Sickness in March and played the finer moments of the album in their set. I remember wanting to watch Soulfly but the distance between the second and main stages at the Gorge is sometimes too great for the time allowed between bands. I didn’t want to miss whoever was up next on the main stage. Speaking of the main stage, Queens of the Stone Age should have been there but for some reason our show was the first they were not at (they took a break from Ozzfest August 24th-30th). Methods of Mayhem were the first band there that we watched on the main stage instead. Tommy Lee did a great job as a frontman/guitarist for being known as a drummer. He had a funny narrative about crawling back home after a night of heavy drinking. Incubus was next and this was the first time I had got to see them perform songs from Make Yourself. After seeing them open for 311 I forgot about them until I heard an acoustic version of “Pardon Me” that blew my mind. They definitely impressed the crowd. Static-X followed with almost the same setlist as the year before but had pumped up their stage show a little. Wayne’s hair may have grew a little longer too, which for those who are unfamiliar with it is about two feet of hair sticking straight toward the sky. Godsmack was after Static-X. Their debut album slowly grew on me after hearing Lucinda play it a number of times to the point of me actually looking forward to seeing them. They rocked their ass off and even played the then unreleased song “Awake.” As the theme of the summer seemed to be, I was once again really at this show to see one band: the almighty Pantera. I was turned onto them by Claude right after Vulgar Display of Power came out and have been a fan ever since. I was lucky enough to be able to buy Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill the day the albums came out. For this show they were on tour for the album Reinventing the Steel that had just been released a few months prior. I remember the crowd going crazier than I have ever seen a crowd go. They were fucking going off. I remember trying to protect Lucinda from the debauchery since she was so small and we were in the floor section. Dimebag was a showboater but with his level of talent had every reason to be. We stayed around to watch Ozzy but weren’t really that stoked to be there. Pantera kicked our ass and I’ve never really been a fan of Ozzy’s solo efforts because I have Black Sabbath to compare to. Don’t get me wrong, he was nuts but unfortunately he had the displeasure of playing after Pantera and competing against my previous year’s experience of watching Black Sabbath. If you are fan of Pantera then unfortunately you know how the rest of their story unfolded, which is why I never got to see them again.