2019 has started off with a bang, seeing countless rock/metal bands bringing their tours to Kansas City en masse, especially ones I didn’t have a chance to see (ever and in recent years) plus newer bands I haven’t even heard of. One such tour was Soulfly and their powerhouse support with the likes of Kataklysm, Incite, and Alukah. I was familiar with the likes of Soulfly and Kataklysm, the latter being on my wishlist of bands to see and photograph personally. Soulfly are legends and being able to see them was an experience in itself.
The night opened with Alukah, hailing from Waldorf, Maryland, playing in the vein of death metal. I hadn’t heard of them until the night of the show, but they immediately made a fan out of me. While they did have some technical difficulties at first, they were able to get them remedied quickly and jumped right into their set. They immediately got the crowd riled up, with explosive instrumental prowess alongside their entertaining frontman, RJ Bunda. While they don’t play anything “revolutionary” in the sub-genre, they held a magnificent stage presence compared to bands with a longer existence. They are a group that placed themselves on my radar and I’m hoping to see them again soon.
Incite, hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, took the stage next, managing the intensity and taking it even farther than the previous set. Incite play in the vein of groove metal, accentuated with thrash and death metal elements. They were also a band I hadn’t heard of until the night of the show, but they easily impressed myself as well as many others who were attending. With their groove style, they were able to entice much of the venue with headbanging rhythms and even inspiring a few mosh pits. Their energy then transferred to the first of two main acts, Kataklysm.
Kataklysm play death metal with inspirations from many other sub-genres. They were on my radar well before this show and I was excited to see how they would perform. They didn’t disappoint, as every member demonstrated their own personalities with their instruments as well as showmanship. Sadly, for future shows on the tour, they wouldn’t be attending as Maurizio Iacono (vocalist) had to take a last-minute trip back home after the event. The venue was very much packed at this point, with many of the patrons screaming out songs for Kataklysm to play. The crowd favorite “Crippled and Broken” was among this list and was played near the end of the set. Mosh pits opened at every opportunity but well within an enclosed area in the middle of the floor. This was one of the more enjoyable, packed shows I’d been to in a long time.
The headliner finally took the stage, hopefully, able to impress as every band thus far performed exceptionally. Soulfly immediately drew the attention of everyone in the venue, which at this point was pretty much filled to the brim in the floor area in front of the stage. The energy and charisma were at an all-time high as Max Cavalera led the charge right from the start. The stage didn’t exactly allow for much movement, but Soulfly adapted and were still able to match the excitement of the crowd. Many fans sang along, while others participated in the mosh activities, some lasting entire songs.
The experience was fulfilling. Each band exceeded expectations, even with a few difficulties at the start. I urge anyone reading this review that they should check out Alukah and Incite ASAP, as they create some great music that translates well to the live setting. I’m hoping they gain opportunities to tour more in the future. Kataklysm was my favorite of the night and Soulfly impressed with their charm and tight band chemistry. If you can catch the later shows of the tour, I urge you to attend. While it may not be the full lineup from the earlier part of the tour, don’t let that discourage you, as the quality of the show won’t be lessened one bit.
All photos by Jeffrey Allee