After two years since their last visit, DevilDriver returned to San Diego in support of their new album “Trust No One”. The show was a stacked bill with support from Daemos, Hemlock, Incite, and Holy Grail.
To start the show, Daemos was the first band to perform. Daemos has been in the San Diego metal scene since the late 90s and fit perfectly into the aesthetics and line up for the night. Daemos had a short set, but had the ability to convey their musical influences from classic metal to hardcore and also give a good set to prepare the room for the acts to follow.
The second band to perform was Hemlock from Las Vegas. Hemlock has been around for over 20 years rocking stages worldwide opening for some of the world’s biggest metal bands. Their goal was to make sure everyone was having a great show, and the band definitely succeeded. Hemlock delivered a fast paced setlist appealing to the fans in attendance. Hemlock fit the bill extremely well and it was exciting to see a band so passionate about their music and the experience they can deliver to a crowd. Hemlock provided a set that was reminiscent of the late 90s/early 2000s metal scene and kept the crowd engaged to their performance.
After a great set from Hemlock, the energy in the building was brought to a whole new level when Incite took the stage. Incite is known for a highly energetic live set with a heavy influence on powerful hooks. Richie Calavera gave his all into his performance and the rest of the band were in top form. During both “WTF” and “The Slaughter”, it was especially difficult to not headbang and just let the music take over. The passion and creative writing that goes into their songs showed and left the crowd floored and entertained from start to finish. Incite knows how to play and deliver a killer set no matter the venue and crowd size. They left everything on the stage and their presence will not soon be forgotten.
Holy Grail was set next to perform and I honest felt it was difficult for them to perform after a set like Incite’s. After seeing them open a couple years back at the House of Blues for Exodus and Anthrax, I was looking forward to seeing them perform again with more experience under their belt. Unfortunately, Holy Grail seemed to have a hard time getting their momentum going at first and by the time they were getting up to speed, their set was close to ending. Their vocalist, James Paul Luna, was hitting his notes and the band was musically on par with the records, but the energy and presence felt lacking. Overall, Holy Grail was still able to satisfy the crowd, but it felt like the band was having an off night and was not able to perform at their full potential.
This was San Diego’s first chance to witness the new DevilDriver after long time members Jeff Kendrick (guitar) and John Boecklin (drums) left the band in late 2014. Since then, DevilDriver recruited Austin D’Amond (ex- Chimaira/Solus Deus) on drums and Neal Tiemann on guitar to fill the missing pieces. Even with these new members, DevilDriver an astonishing show. From start to finish, the band was giving their full energy to the crowd and performed many hits from their newest album as well as touching on classics such as “Clouds Over California” and “I Could Care Less”. Their set was another testament to the ongoing legacy and status of this incredible band.
The show seemed to fly by as all the bands provided great sets and proved metal is very much alive and well and the San Diego crowds know how to have a great time.
Special thanks to Brick by Brick for letting us cover this amazing show! What were your thoughts on the show? Let us know in the comments below!
Pictures by Ethan Wick