Blood, Lust & Death in Tampa and Orlando

By on April 2, 2017

All Photos By Johnathan Hawkins, Will Ogburn & Travis Failey

The Haven in Winter Park and the Orpheum in Tampa were the perfect settings for exactly the kind of uncensored in-your-face show that Dope and Combichrist put on. With September Mourning and Davey Suicide as support, The Blood, Lust, Death 2017 Tour was in full swing in Florida.

On Tuesday, space was at a premium and the venue was packed with hardcore fans, both of the bands, and of rock music in general. As time went on, the show got wilder and more unpredictable as each of these bands brought a crazy energy to the stage and a unique show to the crowd.

This was easily one of the wildest shows that I’ve covered so far, and the lineup kept fans guessing what they’d see next.

Davey Suicide

Davey Suicide was the tone-setter for a whole lot of weirdness to come, as he took the stage with a face full of makeup, dreadlocks swinging and surrounded by flashing, colorful lights.

Davey was a ball of energy from the time he stepped on the stage, bouncing around constantly and making his hair flicker in the light. He also changed costumes throughout, donning a horned hat and a striped circus themed getup.

Davey’s set was short and included “Too Many Freaks” and Generation F****star”

Overall, it was a fun energetic warm-up for the long list of bands to come. Davey Suicide fit right into this costumed troupe and prepared fans for what to expect.

September Mourning

Perhaps the most well-polished stage performance of the night was September Mourning.

More than just a band, their shows follow a whole storyline where their lead singer, September Mourning, is a half-human reaper character that tries to save the souls of the living. In addition to their front woman in all white, the other members were shades shrouded in black that danced around the stage.

This show was unique in that it featured more than costumes but an entire theme, telling a story throughout the concert. The characters and special effects were eye capturing, and the music fits it nicely.

The venue was tightly packed throughout her whole set, and September was close enough to reach out and touch the crowd. Her set was really interactive and she told parts of the story to the tightly packed house.

Their set included “Eye of the Storm,” “Skin and Bones,” “Children of Fate,” and believe it or not, a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”

Dope

It was a pseudo-hometown show for Dope’s frontman Edsel Dope, who grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. The band’s front man was battling a fever the day before, but it was easy to tell that he still put in the effort to show out for these special stops.

Dope’s sound is aggressive and erratic, and their stop in Orlando specifically was perfect for moshing and getting loose after work on a Tuesday. What their music lacks in depth, it makes up for in intensity, as the band and the music are pure nu-metal fury.

Their two men on the strings, Virus, the lead guitarist, and Nikk Dibs on bass, were blurs for most of the set. They sprinted around, jumped off the risers, and held their guitars up as they shredded. Adding to this stage presence, the band was accompanied by three huge screens that showed lyrics and images as they played.

Their hard-hitting tracks like “Blood Money,” “Die MF Die,” and “Die, Boom, Bang, Burn,” and even two covers, “You Spin Me Round,” by Dead or Alive, and Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” had the Haven in a frenzy.

Fans wanted a face-melting, head-banging experience out of Dope, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

Combichrist

This show was already pretty wild before Combichrist took the stage, but they definitely took it to a level I’ve rarely seen before.

The set started with all 6-foot-5 of drummer Joe Letz, dressed in drag, sprinting to the front of the stage, handing a drum into a roadie’s outstretched hands, and beating the hell out of it.

He would be a constant spot of chaos at center stage, haphazardly kicking his drums around the stage, sending roadies scuttling after them. He deep throated his drumsticks, tossed them around carelessly, and swapped them in the air with his co-percussionist Nick Rosi. They would both play violently, bashing the drums with their full bodies.

It would be really hard for frontman Andy LaPlegua to top Letz antics throughout the night, but he was almost equally wild. At one point, he jumped into the crowd and walked around singing at people. His expressions contorted randomly as he screamed and danced with the arms-length crowd.

Their eardrum-shattering intensity and rapid pace gave the building one unified beat as the whole house ebbed and flowed together. With such hits as “Maggots at the Party,” “Throat Full of Glass,” and “Zombie Fistfight,” fans were vibing, moshing and doing everything in between.

For their intensity, creativity and the devotions of their fans, Combichrist is worth seeing. Though I’ve only seen them twice, two things are obvious: they never play the same show, and they never phone it in.

Every artist that played on Tuesday brought something just a little bit more insane to the table than the last, and it made the whole show interesting. I would definitely recommend this tour, as long as you’re prepared to wake up with a neck ache and no voice the next morning as I did on Wednesday. Speaking of Wednesday…

There was no rest for the wicked as the madness ensued once again on Wednesday at the Orpheum in Tampa where the pit was a little more nastier and men over 50 weighing 300 pounds thought it was cool to crowd surf. Can you say epic fail?

What was really surprising was the amount of women that were at the Tampa show. Some were dressed like Marilyn Manson while others shined line Marilyn Monroe. It was a true variety of outfits and attitudes in a packed house in Ybor City. The only complaint by many was that Combichrist came on so late in the evening around 11:15 or so. Other than that it was a sight and sound extravaganza.

The Blood Lust and Death Tour will be tough to compete with in 2017. All the bands brought something sonically and visually different from the other bands in the lineup and my main take away from the show was that Davey Suicide should be a household name in rock.

They would be a perfect addition to the Worlds Loudest Month festival circuit as Davey has a larger than life stage presence that the fest fans would gravitate to.  Hopefully with the recent release of Made From Fire, Davey and the boys will get to the next level they very well deserve.

 Davey Suicide http://daveysuicide.tumblr.com/

 September Mourning http://www.septembermourning.com/

 Dope http://dopearmy.com/

CombiChrist https://www.facebook.com/combichrist

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