MoJo JoJo with I Declare War
I Declare War was the first of the bands on the “Welcome to Hell” tour to play. And for the lowest-billed band, they had quite a crowd going. I entered Starland just as their set started and instantly I saw a pit clear out and I went straight in. They had a limited set and played a few songs of the 2010 release Malevolence and even a few songs of off their first release Amidst the Bloodshed. I was glad they played my favorite song “Federal Death Alliance.” They had the mosh pit going crazy for the full set, and rightfully so considering how their music is nonstop brutality.
MoJo JoJo with Chelsea Grin
Chelsea Grin went on right after I Declare War. IDW put on a brutal set and left the crowd ready for more. Now, I’ve seen Chelsea Grin twice previously, and those performances were characterized mainly by small disinterest crowds and problems with the sound. This time, however, when Chelsea Grin started off with their single off of their 2010 release Desolation of Eden, “Recreant,” the pit cleared out instantly and the quality was great so I knew this was already my favorite performance by them. “Recreant” is their most brutal song by far. The final breakdown lasts about 45 seconds and is pure violence. The band went on to play “Crewcabanger” off of their self titled EP. Once again, the final breakdown is absolutely nuts. Both songs were played well and the vocals were pretty close to how they sounded on the album, a task that is not easy considering the necessary range. One gripe I have with the set is that they played their 2 best and hardest songs right off the bat. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the set wasn’t fantastic. It’s just that when you use up the best breakdowns you have, the crowd, and more importantly the mosh pit, lose their momentum. Great performance overall though.
MoJo JoJo with Veil of Maya
Veil of Maya went on after Chelsea Grin, and this band had the crowd buzzing. They haven’t played a Jersey venue in a while and this would be my first time seeing them. They were probably the one minor “misfit” on the bill for the show, since they have more of a technical style while the rest of the bands had a clear breakdown-based style. They went fast from the beginning of their set and didn’t slow down one bit. One thing that I really like is that they used this eerie noise in between songs to make their set flow; it gave a really uneasy feeling that is somewhat welcoming at a deathcore show. The band members played their respective instruments extremely well and there were no noticeable mishaps. Very good performance, I cannot wait to see these guys again!
MoJo JoJo with The Acacia Strain
As always, thanks so much to all of the great tour managers I was able to meet, who made it very easy to set up the photos and banner signing.
- MoJo JoJo & Deeps