Tuesday, March 28th, The Haven played hose to the Blood, Lust, Death tour. Combichrist, Dope, September Mourning, and Davey Suicide rolled into Winter Park to provide the fans with a solid metal show. I was fortunate enough to be granted access to photograph the show. When I arrived at The Haven that night I was stunned. It was packed from wall to wall and a line was rolling out the door. The last time I saw The Haven that filled was when Lacey Sturm visited back in July 2016.
When I got inside Davey Suicide was on stage already rocking out the crowd. The band consisting of Davey Suicide , Needlz , Drayven Davidson , Niko Gemini, and Derek Obscura was in the midst of “No Angel” from the recent ‘Made From Fire’ album. Davey definitely had the crowd’s attention with his vocal and charismatic performance on stage. Musically, the band sounded phenomenal. They followed it up with “Rise Above” which is also from ‘Made From Fire’. This one had the crowd bouncing and I enjoyed seeing how easy Davey’s vocals transitioned from quick speaking to screaming to clear singing.
Davey mentioned how the band had some litigation issues with their former record company and how happy they were to get that settled and the ability to made another record and perform on this tour and in front of The Haven crowd. The crowd appreciated his openness with applause and cheers. The band continued with “Dirty Rotten Filty Rich” from ‘Worldwide Suicide’. This was a slower song that had a groove the crowd was swaying along. It had some nice stretched out guitar riffs and Davey delivered it beautifully. The closed out their set with “Generation Fuck Star” from the self titled album ‘Davey Suicide’. A solid upbeat head banging song where the Davey Suicide fans sang along and started to mosh. It was a solid finish for the band and the crowd appreciated it.
Coming up next was the band I was excited to photograph again, September Mourning. September the hybrid human reaper with her reapers Riven, Wraith, and Stitch were back again. The first time I saw them they were headlining at The Haven and put on a stellar show. I was definitely excited for them to be back again. When they finally hit the stage, they opened up with “Eye of the Storm” that appeared from their ‘Volume II’ album. Musically the song is dark with heavy guitar and drums, yet September’s vocals provides a light to the song. And her high notes are clear, powerful, and chilling. They followed up with “Skin and Bones”.
Besides enjoying them musically, I really love photographing this band. The costuming and their movements on stage present a very unique performance along the lines of the band In This Moment. They put a lot of effort into their appearance and it is definitely paying off as they have a very strong fan base. Right after they performed a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”. It is a beautiful rendition performed in that dark and chilling way September seems to have nailed down. From each note they play to each chord she hits, the cover is perfect for them.
September Mourning continued through with “Angels to Dust”, which is one of their heavier songs with some terrific drum pounding where Stitch truly outdoes himself. September also shows off her vocal range between some screaming parts back to her singing. Right after they played “20 Below” their latest single from ‘Volume II’. It’s a very catchy tune that had the crowd singing along once September hit the chorus. They finished with “Children of Fate” another of their heavier songs where Riven and Wraith truly show off their guitar work. It was a great song to close their set and the crowd hooted and hollered in appreciation. I wished their set was longer, but that will have to wait for another time.
Dope took the stage next along with some huge video screens and lighting. Edsel Dope, Nikk Dibs, Daniel Fox, and Virus certainly got a rise from the crowd when they took the stage. The opened up with “X-Hale” from their most recent album ‘Blood Money’. Though this appears in the middle of the album it fits great as an opening track to help build the anticipation with the crowd. They then ripped into “Violence” from the ‘No Regrets’ album. Edsel’s guttural singing and Virus’ heavy riffs got the crowd moving and moshing early. Dope then played “Blood Money” the title track from the recent album. I really like this song for them putting out an industrial metal sound. And their video screens on stage showing some lyrics allowed the crowd to sing along.
Edsel did tell the crowd that he hadn’t been feeling well but wasn’t missing the chance to keep performing for the crowd. If he was sick you couldn’t tell. He sang with full strength and sounded awesome. This is a band who is sounds great recorded and even better live. They continued through their set with “6-6-Sick”, “Bring It On”, and “Bitch”. When they played “Take Your Best Shot” from ‘Life’ and Edsel brought out that scream the crowd went crazy. “My Funeral” from ‘No Regrets’ showed the crowd Dope could still mix it up a bit a little softer than the hardcore metal.
The crowd was ecstatic when they played “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” from their ‘Felons and Revolutionaries’ album. The song is a cover of Dead or Alive’s single. It’s one of Dope’s most well known song and it sounded fantastic. They even played a cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. The crowd sang alone with every word in the chorus with Dope urging the crowd to get nuts. They finished off their set with “Die, Boom, Bang, Burn, Fuck” from ‘No Regrets’. The crowd was in a frenzy throughout the song leaving them spent and wanting more. Dope’s performance was phenomenal and proved they still got it.
When Combichrist came up on stage the crowd went ballistic. This seemed to be the band The Haven crowd was here to see. Andy LaPlegua, Joe Letz, Eric13, Brent Ashley, and Nick Rossi stood there ready to rock. It was an interesting setup with Nick Rossi having a drum set on the far right of the stage and Joe Letz having a standard drum set on the drum stage at The Haven. More interesting was seeing Joe Letz come out in a green ski mask, a bikini top, and a skirt. Joe started off the set by kicking one of the drums off the stage and making a roadie get it and put in back in place. Andy stood there grinning at the antics. I knew right there the crowd was in for a wild ride.
They started off with “What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?” from ‘What The Fuck Is Wrong With People’. The crowd was loving it and Andy had that maniacal grin on his face and a twisted look in his eye. You could see Andy and the band was enjoying it too. They followed up with “Blut Royale” from ‘Everybody Hates You’. This really fit the industrial metal feel and Andy looked pumped up to sing it. The drumming between Joe and Nick was stellar as both of them were trying to get the crowd riled up and moving. Next came “Skullcrusher” from their recent album ‘This Is Where Death Begins’. This is a great song for the band with Andy getting a chance to mix up the vocals, Joe and Nick mixing their drumming well, Eric ripping off some really slick guitar riffs, and Brent providing a solid bass line made this song something special.
Some of their other songs included “No Redemption”, “My Life, My Rules”, and “Shut Up and Swallow”. The crowd was truly rowdy during all of their songs with a mosh pit forming at the back of the crowd that pushed forward multiple times with those of us against the stage trying to hold our ground. Joe continued knocking over drums, making the roadie come out to fix it, and only to do it again. The funniest was watching Eric and Brent play keep away with the drum the roadie was trying to put back. Crowd surfing occurred as a well known fashion and Cosplay Deviant model SushiiXhyvette actually crowd surfed onto the stage. The craziest part of the night was when Andy picked up Nick and literally threw him into the crowd. THREW HIM INTO THE CROWD. Luckily the crowd caught Nick and body surfed back on stage.
Combichrist finished off their set that night with “Can’t Control”, “Maggots at the Party”, and “Sent To Destroy”. The crowd roared at the end of their set and chanted “Combichrist” trying to get them to play one more song but they couldn’t convince them. The band did come out afterwards to meet with the fans who did stick around for autographs and pictures. Overall, the Blood, Lust, Death tour stop at The Haven was a huge success. All of the bands performed well and left the crowds wanting more. I’m sure this isn’t the last time we’ve seen any of these bands at The Haven and I personally look forward to their return.