Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by  Brandon McCarthy

Once in a blue moon, there is that one band that one must cross off their bucket list before they or us are gone. I have quite a few that I still wanna catch like Metallica, Scorpions, Creed (yes, I said it so shut up), Eminem, and Guns N’ Roses. On Saturday, October 8th, I had the opportunity to cross another name off my list, and that was Swedish extreme metal/djent pioneers Meshuggah. Those guys have been around since the 1990s and changed the metal scene with their unique blend of progressive metal, avant-garde metal, groove metal, and technical death metal. Though they were not known as top sellers in the metal scene, but that is only because their sound was ahead of their time and with that sound, they developed a cult like following that has made them legends for over 30 years. Known to never rush releasing new material, they have honed their craft to put out their ninth album (first one in 6 years), Immutable. It has been years since they toured the States, so when they came to the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, I was there. With Rabit doing Halloween Haunt once again, I flew solo, but I always welcome the challenge.

Following the performance of Torche (who I missed), Swedish melodic death metal icons In Flames took to the stage. When I heard they were on the bill with Meshuggah, that was a huge bonus for me. Frontman Anders Fridén brought frantic energy to the auditorium once he let out the first roar to the song “The Great Deceiver.” Longtime lead guitarist Björn Gelotte stunned the crowd with his roaring riffs and solos. Helping him with the beat on rhythm guitar was the legendary Chris Broderick. Having been touring with them since 2019, he took the plunge and became an official member this year, which makes In Flames fierier than before. Not only does he kick the beat’s ass, but he also took turns thrashing the solos with vigor. Bassist Bryce Paul and drummer Tanner Wayne wailed on the beat with such ease, merging alternative and death metal as one. Gearing up for next year’s release entitled Forgone, In Flames treated the fans with three new songs that gave us insight to what we can expect, including “State of Slow Decay” and “Forgone Pt. 1.” Their classic tunes like “Cloud Connected,” “Behind Space,” “Graveland,” “Only for the Weak,” “The Mirror’s Truth,” and “Take This Life, livened up the fans. This is my second time seeing In Flames, and while the first time is a classic to me, this performance lives up to the first.

Following a 30-minute intermission, the house lights go off and the strobe lights brought by the group start lighting up, It was then the legends that is Meshuggah stepped out and brought macabre allure with their first tune, “Broken Cog.” Frontman Jens Kidman brought terror and death with his death snarls and screams. Prevailing over the metalheads of Riverside, Kidman is lord of all to whomever adheres his every word. The dueling twin guitar power from Fredrik Thordendal (lead) and Mårten Hagström (rhythm) is just magical. Both of them are wizards in conjuring metal fusing together with other of music like jazz, experimental, and progressive. Whenever Thordendal goes into one of his solos, we just cannot handle the excitement of his might. Drummer Tomas Haake is walking prove that Metal Gods also belong behind the kit. His swiftness and power are matched only by other legends like Dave Lombardo and Charlie Benante. Bassist Dick Lövgren called down the thunder and brought the boom with his mighty instrument of destruction. For nearly 90 minutes, Meshuggah showed cunning metal strength with their set. Not only performing four tunes from Immutable, which included “Ligature Marks,” “Light the Shortening Fuse,” and “The Abysmal Eye,” they dished out the classics the metalheads have been dying for like “Rational Gaze,” “Pravus,” “The Hurt That Finds You First,” “Born in Dissonance,” “In Death – Is Life,” “In Death – Is Death,” and “Straws Pulled at Random.” For encore, they went for kill with “Demiurge” and “Future Breed Machine.” Euphoria washed over me afterwards.

Well, another band on my bucket list has been crossed off. Meshuggah is everything I thought they would be live. Their set design and lighting was incredible to watch, but as a photographer, a nightmare to shoot. In Flames are still burning brightly and the flames does not look to be fading away anytime soon. Halloween is approaching quickly, and I feel this show was the right one to kick off the season. If any of you metal freaks have a bucket of artists to see, then I suggest you get started because before you know it, they will be gone. To Meshuggah and In Flames, I salute you. Horns up!!!


  • Twitter