Ah, Hatebreed. How a band so damn good is still playing venues this damn small is beyond me. And they didn’t sell out, though I’d be surprised if they weren’t far off.
The main support were Black Dogs who we caught the end of. They were OK from what I saw. Confident, in-your-face and talented. Unfortunately due to the early doors (another daft curfew being imposed) and the fact that beer is almost half the price over the road in Wetherspoons, we missed the start of their set and all of the opening band’s.
Still, we were in good time for Hatebreed who this time around were playing in front of everyone who’d bought a ticket. As Jamie Jasta remembered, the last time the band played Glasgow was during some rather nasty weather. I made the trip over the M8 from Edinburgh at around 20mph at times, the road being coated in a thick sheet of bobbly ice. Not nice. The gig was downsized from the Garage to G2 and they played to maybe 100 people. I also had a stinking cold so spent the set up against the barrier taking pictures.
Not so this time. With around 300 people crammed into the ABC2, the band took to the stage with a huge cheer. Acknowledging the curfew of 10pm to make way for the kiddie disco later on, the Jamie and co launched into a blistering set that barely let up for breath. No encore – why waste time off stage when you can fit another song in? – and only the briefest of time chatting to the crowd.
The ploughed through tracks from every single album and reminisced about each tour they’d been on that brought them to the UK. The first time I saw them was on the inaugural Unholy Alliance tour with Slipknot and Slayer. Due to the co-headlining, there was an early doors at the Manchester Evening News Arena for that one, so my mate and I walked in as this young band (“Hate…. something?”) were coming to the end of their set.
They had fully half the arena on their feet. How the hell did a bunch of young upstarts manage to capture the hearts and pounding fists of so many people who had forked out to see two of the biggest heavyweights in metal at the time?
Because they are fucking brilliant, that’s why. They’re unrelenting, hold nothing back and their lyrics should speak to every one of us.
Take that arena-blasting performance and cram it – three or four albums later – into the tiny 400-ish capacity function room that is the ABC2. With a wealth of fantastic material to choose from there wasn’t a duff track all night. Hell, they missed more classics out than they played! They could play the entire of their self-titled album and I’d have walked out (well, staggered) a happy person.
The sound was good, the band were on the top of their form and the audience just lapped it up. I’m kicking myself for not buying a t-shirt, but I was just floating when the band left stage and was outside by the time I remembered I’d seen one I liked. Dammit.
If there’s sad news to impart, it’s that they won’t be back for another couple of years as they’re touring in support of the current album for some time.
However long it is before they grace our shores again, I’ll be there.