Concert Reviews

Concert Review and Photos: DEVILDRIVER in Dallas, TX

Gas Monkey Live! | Dallas, Texas | 25 October 2018

DevilDriver headlines the “Outlaws Til The End” Tour with Jinjer and Raven Black

Wow! This show as a special one, that’s for sure. Not only was DEVILDRIVER back in the saddle supporting their newest record Outlaws Til The End but they brought two killer bands with them; RAVEN BLACK and JINJER.

Dallas just happened to be the second stop for DEVILDRIVER’S month-long US “Outlaws Til The End”  Tour which brought everyone out of the woodwork and to Gas Monkey Live!.  DEVILDRIVER has some ties to Dallas as NEAL TIEMANN, (guitars) for is from Dallas and it’s kinda like their home away from home, as Dallas is for a lot of metal bands. Not to mention, the band has played here a ton of times.  Dallas has always had a tight-knit metal community partly due to the late Abbott Brothers and their hospitality to bands that came through Dallas and the other part because fans just love metal music! 

I must say this, if DEZ had anything to do with picking bands to tour with, I’ll say he slayed this line-up like a BOSS!! The two locals DIVINE RETRIBUTION and DISPOSITIONS kept the momentum of the evening rolling. (PS Dallas hardcore fans keep your eye on DISPOSITIONS – they’re playing this month with SPITE – check their page!) The tour package is RAVEN BLACK and JINJER with DEVILDRIVER and these two bands make this bill a pretty diverse show! Now RAVEN BLACK and JINJER are both fronted by women. But that isn’t the diversity I’m talking about, I mean that’d be a pretty obvious observation, but gender isn’t a marker for being diverse in this situation, Lovelies. It’s their sound these two have that creates that melange, if you will.  Both RAVEN BLACK and JINJER set up the narrative perfectly for DEVILDRIVER to finish off the night – but I’m way ahead of myself. Let’s jump back a bit, shall we?

The first time I saw RAVEN BLACK was in Deep Ellum in a tiny club/bar that was hardly big enough for RAVEN’S tutu let alone the whole band! I was impressed with the comic-esque costuming and their horror-metal punk style of rock and roll. The band is from Los Angeles and since their inception in 2012, they’ve built their brand with a full costumed stage show with parasols, hula-hoops, teddy bears and even a morning star! RAVEN BLACK primes up the crowd to rock with all of the fun songs from their catalog of records! When and I say when and not “if” because they’ll be touring more later this year or early 2019, you gotta see them!

Now the other reason this night was killer was HRH (His Royal Hero) Thomas Woroniak, the editor of ANTIHERO MAGAZINE, came down from Missouri to specifically see the show and shoot JINJER (pronounced GIN-jer), the massively epic, full-on, full-throttle metal band from Ukraine.  Since the tour wasn’t making a stop in his neck of the woods, he came down to see for himself what the buzz was about JINJER. Before the show, Thomas and I had a chance to meet TATIANA and EUGENE (singer and bassist, respectively) and it was such a privledge to be able to chat a little with these musicians that despite the miles between Ukraine and Texas and the cultural differences, love metal music! Let me say this, TATIANA is a tiny creature and for the life of me I cannot understand – it doesn’t compute – how some of the most guttural growls and shrieking screams can come out of her! It’s amazing! So while we spoke, I kept thinking “how in the blue blazes do those screams and growls come out of this sweet, yet stoic creature?”  I couldn’t wait until they performed  and as we got off their bus couldn’t wait to get to the little girls room before I had to settle myself in like a sardine in the photo pit when the show started. I was pretty sure JINJER was going to drop kick me like an NFL kicker!

And holy hellballz- they did just that.  JINJER punted my musically emotionally-bound football right through the goal posts. I’m going to fan-girl out here for a minute – so just bear with me, alright? As a four-piece, there’s a risk that there won’t be that full feeling a song can have with two guitars, ya follow? Now that’s not evident on the songs I heard of JINJER but translating that on stage is another story.  JINJER does not have that issue in the slightest. From the first song this band literally blew me away.  TATIANA’S voice tasers you no matter where you are in the audience, from the pit to the back of the house, this girl’s voice is going to find you, put it’s tentacles into your clothing or skin whilst zapping the sickest music through the taser’s wires. You are brought to life with this insane electricity, like  lightening brought Frankenstein to life – ya, that is what this music will do to you. 

JINJER’S punchy bass lines and full-on soul jiggling low hums that fill your chest cavity if you’re close to the subs…OMG. The guitars and drums melt together and just about the time when you remember to suck in some oxygen and breathe  BAM!! what only can be described as a tempestuous burst of an unclean vocal or growl hits you right in the face. And if you didn’t know better, you’d swear someone else was creating this vocal chaos that TATIANA  throws with her growling screams. Just imagine what you see on stage, visually in front of you – and what you’ll hear is the exact opposite come out of her mouth for the unclean vocals.  She is BRU-tal!! I loved the entire set from start to finish. The whole band worked nicely on stage and all four of the artists are extremely killer musicians. I haven’t seen a bassist play like that since JOHN TAYLOR on RIO! 

JINJER BAND MEMBERS: Tatiana Shmailyuk – vocals | Roman Ibramkhalilov – guitars | Eugene Kostyuk – bass | Vladislav Ulasevish – drums

Dude, when DEVILDRIVER took the stage, there was zero time wasted on picking up where JINJER  left off. This band has always grabbed an audience by the good ole gonads and just pummeled the hell out of them at their live shows.  The force that builds from the contagious mix of these players, especially now, is straight up Cali-Metal with a dollop of gristly American rock that is synonymous with DEVILDRIVER.

Now, let’s give ’em all a horns up and a fist-bump up high for their latest release entitled “Outlaws Til The End Vol. 2″ . This record includes a collaborative effort of DEVILDRIVER with an assortment of musicians like HANK 3, WEDNESDAY 13,  RANDY BLYTHE, AND JOHN CARTER CASH who have  successfully created their own space in music with an affinity for the roots in American music.  These musicians also share the outlaw spirit found in DEVILDRIVER all of which have made their mark creating and performing the music they love. 

What shines through with DEVILDRIVER is the way DEZ commands a stage. He has the experience of performing on pretty much every kind of stage all over the world and it shows with the way he engages the band’s fans. If you weren’t familiar with DEVILDRIVER before seeing them live, you will be a F4L (fan for life) leaving one of their shows. #truth

Where DEVILDRIVER excels collectively is their ability to sell a song to the crowd as they work the stage and make a connection with the audience just like a Klingon tracker beam pulls in any one of the Starship Enterprise. And for those fans that thought that this tour was going to be the majority of songs off “Outlaws Til The End Vol. 1”, well don’t you feel silly now? Jokes – but for real, DEVILDRIVER played a litany of tracks off all their past releases and even dusted off a few that haven’t been played live in a while like “Grinfucked” and “End of the Line”

They did play “Whiskey River” the WILLIE NELSON cover that is off of “Outlaws Til The End” which is a pretty sick track if you ask me. I kinda kept thinking that MR. NELSON would come around the curtain and saunter on stage, but I think he was busy that night or something…but the song was killer without him, too. I’m so glad they also played “Sail” – I dig this song  – especially DEVILDRIVER’S version! The heaviness in the recording is apparent live and even more so. I think it’s a brilliant version of such a haunting song. I’m glad they played it! 

DEZ, being the original and only founding member of the band, has had the mad skills and talent in keeping DEVILDRIVER relevant and in the game since 2002.  As one of the true “rock shows” that’s on the road right now, I would recommend getting your tickets now – if at all possible. These tours have a tendency to gain momentum as the days tick by! You have until the 18th of November to complete this mission or you can hold out for their appearance on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles a the world-famous Forum with OZZY, MANSON, WEDNESDAY 13,  ROB ZOMBIE and more! But, I urge you to get tickets because JINJER won’t be here again until next year – at least we hope. I mean, it is pretty far from Ukraine, right? 

If you haven’t picked up the new ‘Outlaws Til The End Vol. 1′ you should go listen to it on Spotify and then download it or pick it up at your favorite music outlet! Check DEVILDRIVER’S  Facebook page for all of the tour dates and of course, VIP seating and Meet and Greet Packages! 

DEVILDRIVER BAND MEMBERS: – Dez Fafara – Vocals |  Mike Spreitzer – Guitar |  Neal Tiemann – Guitar |  Diego Ibarra – Bass | Austin D’Amond – Drums

TIl Next Time – MLMR – Cherri 🍒🍒🍒


All photos © Thomas Woroniak Photography

DevilDriver


Jinjer


Raven Black


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Cherri Bird

Independent and selective rock journalist & wordsmith, focused on strengthening the connections between a fan and the bands they follow through the words she writes. Specializing in interviews, music & show reviews, and candid photography; Cherri takes what she discovers and pounds the social media pavement to fuse the energy that music brings us with the bands that create it.

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