The unfiltered, rage-induced, gritty, and just plain violent display of human emotion, otherwise known as Sepultura, found their way to Reggie’s Rock Club on Friday. Sepultura was began in Brazil in 1984 by the Cavalera brothers. At this point the only original member still riding the wave from the very beginning is the bassist Paulo Jr. Even with some heavy changes in the line-up, it is impressive for a band to last 30 years, especially while keeping a full head of steam the entire time, as they have. While sharing the spotlight in the early 90’s with such similarly brilliant bands as Anthrax, Pantera, and Slayer, they also paved the way for many bands like Korn, Sevendust, and Mudvayne to make a name for themselves. I quite honestly feel bad for anyone who missed this show. If you are reading this, and you weren’t able to catch them in Chicago, I would suggest following them out to the east coast where they are headed next. Not many bands are able to announce a 30 year anniversary tour, and even less would be able to offer this intense of a show after all those years.
Derrick Green has been laying down filthy vocals for the group since 1997 and refused to disappoint the crowd for this anniversary show. His power and consistency, coupled with the sheer size of the man, reminded me of the singer of God Forbid. At the same time he held a very honest and caring energy that captivated the crowd while he would discuss how grateful he was for all the fan’s support and love throughout the years. The entire group appeared to be in awe at how much support they were receiving from the crowd, but after witnessing the immense energy and ridiculously heavy performance they put on, I can understand why they were showered with the love they did. The newest addition to the band, Eloy Casagrande on drums, proved that even at age 24 he could keep up with the veterans in the band. This kid not only kept up, but at times stole the show with his unbelievably tight and precise drum licks. At no point did he even show a glimmer of exhaustion, and he was barely given time to breathe in between tracks.
One of the tracks that hit me particularly hard was “Arise.” I assumed the crowd would be excited to see Sepultura, but I didn’t foresee the mob-like response they got for songs like this. This band not only holds onto a strong fan base, but in many regards they have revolutionary political following that intends to change the world for the better. For songs like “Propaganda,” I felt a very similar communication between the band and the crowd that I found at a Rage Against the Machine show years ago. It’s interesting and inspiring to see a following of all different ethnicities, cultures, and musical interests unite for an evening to give support and thanks to a band that has poured their souls out for 3 full decades.
The aggressive stance this band takes on certain political and cultural issues would occasionally steer certain listeners away, but I sincerely recommend digging into the lyrics and the message a bit deeper before you move on from these guys. Between how long this band has been successful and how much passion they all put into their music, I would say they are more than worth your time if you aren’t aware of them already. They have over a dozen albums to flip through if they spark your interest. Keep your ears open for new music, but never forget about those who cleared the way for all the new music to find its place. Sepultura deserves a great deal of respect and is a band you should see before they decide to wrap it up; hopefully it won’t be until many years from now.