jakub | December 17, 2023

Meshuggah Came to The Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut on December 12, 2023


 

 

Meshuggah came to Wallingford Connecticut’s Toyota Oakdale Theater on December 12, for their next to last show on their 2023 US tour. Whitechapel and In Flames opened the night of some killer heavy metal and deathcore music. The lines were light heading into the venue, but the fans were hardcore and entered with excitement. By the time Meshuggah went on, the place was nearly full. 

Whitechapel was first to take the stage as the fans were still filling in. They are a deathcore band from Knoxville, Tennessee. With six members in their band, they feature a third guitarist. Having released eight studio albums with their most recent, Kin, released in 2021, these guys are no strangers to the touring circuit. They put on a tight set of heavy, guttural, punch you in the chest metal tunes that leaves you wanting more. They opened the night with “Let Me Burn”, off of the 2014 release, Our Endless War, and closed the set with “The Saw is The Law” off of the same album. Outside of that, they stayed with newer material. Three songs off of 2019’s The Valley, and the newest song being “A Bloodsoaked Symphony” off of their most recent studio album, Kin. With only a short 6-song set, Whitechapel left the fans wanting more.  

 

Whitechapel is:

Phil Bozeman – Vocals

Ben Savage – Lead guitar

Alex Wade – Rhythm guitar

Gabe Crisp – Bass

Zach Householder – Third guitar

Brandon Zackey – Drums

 

 

Whitechapel Setlist:

1.Let Me Burn

2.Forgiveness Is Weak

3.Brimstone 

4.We Are One 

5.A Bloodsoaked Symphony 

6.The Saw Is the Law 

 

In Flames was next up, bringing their Swedish brand of melodic death metal to Connecticut. In talking with some of the attendees, I got the impression that In Flames brought in a good portion of the fans. That’s no surprise, considering they’ve been around for 23 years and have fourteen studio albums out. In Flames really had the crowd moshing and crowd-surfing for most of the night. The lead singer, Bjorn Gelotte, brings his unique combination of growling vocals and mixes in a melodic twist at times, which gives them a sound unlike most other bands. Earlier this year they released a new album, Foregone, from which they played Foregone pt. 1″, and “State of Slow Decay”. If you want to bang your head, you don’t want to miss these guys if they play in a city near you.

 

In Flames is:

Bjorn Gelotte – Lead guitar

Anders Friden – Lead vocals

Tanner Wayne – Drums

Chris Broderick – Rhythm guitar

Liam Wilson – Bass, backing vocals

 

 

In Flames Setlist:

1.Foregone Pt. 1 

2.Deliver Us

3.Darker Times

4.Everything’s Gone

5.All for Me

6.Behind Space

7.Cloud Connected 

8.State of Slow Decay

9.The Mirror’s Truth 

10.I Am Above I

11.Take This Life 

 

Headlining the night was Meshuggah, a Swedish extreme metal band, whose name means “crazy” in Yiddish. Meshuggah originally formed in 1987 and has 9 studio albums. On November 10 of this year, they remastered and re-released Chaosphere as a 25th anniversary edition package.

The theater was packed, and as it became time for Meshuggah to take the stage, the crowd had a loud chant going, “Mes-Shug-Guh…, Mes-Shug-Guh…, Mes-Shug-Guh”. A deep voice came over the pa system, warning the fans that for their comfort, they should be wearing sunglasses and hearing protection. The band hit the stage to drums pounding in repetition in time with the lights flashing. The members were positioned in front of panels illuminated in red, and occasionally flashing white, through the entire first song, “Broken Cog”.

As the next song, “Rational Gaze” began, they all stepped towards the front of the stage and the lighting changed to include more white backlighting with continuous flashing lights for pretty much the entirety of the show. The fans were going crazy in the pit, thrashing and moshing. Crowd surfing was prevalent through most of the evening. If you ever wanted to attend a really heavy metal show, this was the one to be at. The guitars were chunky, vocals growling, and the drums pounding. The atmosphere was filled with excitement of people singing along, head-banging, and moshing about. 

One part that stood out to me as much different, was “Mind’s Mirror”. This recording was a futuristic computer-generated voice which had huge green led lights flashing rapidly with the spoken words in otherwise total darkness. At the end of the spoken word section, a guitar plays individual notes slowly with the lights flashing in time. The crowd began clapping in anticipation to the next song, and in a flash of blinding white light and the strum of a guitar they erupted into “In Death, Is Life”, followed by “In Death, Is Death”. They ended their set with “Future Breed Machine” off of 1995’s Destroy Erase Improve.

After an exhaustive night of head-banging, moshing, and crowd surfing to some of the most iconic death metal, deathcore, and metal bands out there, the crowd slowly made their way out of Connecticut’s Toyota Oakdale Theater. Meshuggah will be back on tour again starting March 7, 2024, in Budapest, Hungary.

 

Meshuggah is:

Tomas Haake – Drums

Fredrik Thordendal – Guitars

Jens Kidman – Vocals

Marten Hagstrom – Guitars

Dick Lovegren – Bass

 

 

Meshuggah Setlist:

1. Broken Cog

2.Rational Gaze

3.Perpetual Black Second

4.Born in Dissonance

5.Ligature Marks

6.The Abysmal Eye

[Tape] Mind’s Mirrors

7.In Death – Is Life

8.In Death – Is Death

9.Humiliative

10.Future Breed Machine

 

 

 

 

 

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