Venue: Reggie’s Rock Club – Chicago, Illinois
Special guests: Jungle Rot, Warbringer, Demons Within
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2017
Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
The mighty Destruction was formed in Weil am Rhein, Germany, in 1982. They originally called themselves Knight Of Demon until they changed their name to Destruction in 1984. Today they are considered one of The Big Teutonic 4 of thrash metal, along with fellow countrymen Kreator, Sodom, and Tankard. The band has been going ever since, not without a few bumps in the road, but they’re still strong 35 years later.
It was a beautiful spring evening to see a legendary band in Chicago. Frontman and bassist Schmier stated during the show that it was great to be in Chicago because we’re known for our metal scene and they haven’t been here since 1989!?! That doesn’t seem right to me, but I have no way of verifying his statement. If it is true, then it really was a momentous occasion seeing Destruction on that night since they haven’t played Chicago in 28 years.
Three great bands opened for Destruction and first up was Ohio-based death metal band, Demons Within. This four-piece group was very energetic, especially frontman J.C.B. who reminded me both in looks and performance of Rob Zombie. Their music was brutal with melodic riffs and J.C.B.’s vocals were typical death metal unclean growls but were better than most.
Their set ran for about 45 minutes and they really set the tone for the night. Demons Within were great for getting the crowd pumped up and ready for a great night of metal. This is a band you should check out if they tour near your city.
4 out of 5 Pentagrams!
After the usual short break while the bands tear down and set up came the Los Angeles-based thrash metal warriors Warbringer. I was looking forward to seeing Warbringer live because I really like their sound and music. They took the stage and lead singer John Kevill really knew how to wake up the crowd.
Warbringer has an aggression and energy that most bands lack these days. They have the balls and bravado of a band that’s been headlining for years, which they should be. They’re great and they know it and after a few songs, the crowd knows it too. One of my favorite songs of theirs – “Remain Violent” is a real crowd pleaser and is probably the best thrash song making the rounds these days. Kevill instigated a fierce circle pit which the brave ones enjoyed.
This band really impressed me and was one of the best-supporting bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Warbringer is going places and I’ll be there to see it. Bravo!
4 ½ Pentagrams!
Next up was the veteran American death metal band, Jungle Rot. These guys have been around for over 25 years and their stage presence showed it. Jungle Rot is an example of one of the best American modern death metal groups. They played a good eclectic mix of their varied discography.
Frontman Dave Matrise’s signature vocal growls were on point and sounded better than ever. The accompanying guitar work of Geoff Bub and James Genenz was intense and heavy as hell. They sounded very polished and their musicianship is top notch. This was an excellent set and they displayed why there are one of the best at what they do.
Then the mighty Destruction took to the stage! For me, this band is larger than life as I’ve been following them since their debut about 33 years ago. I have always been a huge fan of the German Teutonic thrash movement and Destruction is at the top of my list alongside Kreator. This trio comprised of frontman and bassist, Schmier, guitarist Mike, and drummer Vaaver rolled up on stage to massive applause from the crowd.
They kicked things off with the title track from their most recent album, Under Attack. The crowd was now in a frenzy – this is why they were all there, to see Destruction. The circle pit was in full force at this point. Their recent album is terrific but I believe most people were there to hear the classics and the boys didn’t disappoint.
For the next hour and fifteen minutes, the band played a great mix of old and new with an emphasis on their older material. Here is the complete set list:
- “Under Attack”
- “Curse The Gods”
- “Nailed To The Cross”
- “Mad Butcher”
- “Life Without Sense”
- “Release From Agony”
- “Total Disaster”
- “Thrash Attack”
- “The Antichrist”
- “Invincible Force” (w/Dave from Jungle Rot)
- “The Butcher Strikes Back”
- “Thrash til Death”
- “Bestial Invasion”
A cool memory from the show was when Dave, the singer of Jungle Rot joined the band to sing “Invincible Force” with the band. He looked like a kid getting his Christmas wish, you could see it was a big moment for him.
Mike’s guitar attack was tight as could be, he didn’t miss a beat despite looking like a thin waif of a man. Schmier, on the other hand, was large and badass looking. I could describe the man as 6’6” biker from Hell! I wouldn’t want to mess with him.
For a band that’s been in existence for 35 years, they didn’t show their age, they kept the set rolling from start to finish full of youthful exuberance, and the crowd appreciated it. This Chicago crowd was into this show and loud-as-Hell!
When I review a concert, I don’t let my appreciation of the band get in the way of telling it like it is. Destruction is a veteran act that has been churning around small venues and paying their dues for a lot of years and they are worthy of headlining a huge arena but this mid-size venue was the perfect place to see them for the first time, intimate but not too much so, and not so large that you lose that intimacy. They played their hearts out and it showed they loved every minute of it. This was a bucket list event for me and Destruction didn’t disappoint in any way except-Time. I felt the show could’ve been a little longer as it wasn’t even an hour and a half show more like an hour and twenty minutes or so. But nevertheless, it was a top five show of my concert-going adult life.
Watch A Clip Of Destruction from The Show Here:
5 out of 5 Pentagrams!