California-based heavyweights Spite pummeled their way through Greensboro on this past Sunday’s stop of The Root of All Evil Tour, leaving nothing short of total chaos in their wake. Joined by their peers in Varials, I Am, Orthodox, and Dealer, the powerhouse quintet is about halfway through their nationwide tour promoting their 2019 full-length release The Root of All Evil. Spite has seen rising success over the span of their career, with each album garnering the band a wider audience and bigger tour packages than the last. This show was about as ridiculous as one could expect it to be, with the room packed from wall to wall and a pit that was brimming with spinkicks and haymakers beginning with the very first song of the night.
As most shows go, you could reasonably expect the room to be about half full when the show starts and the opener begins playing. Not in this case, however as the crowd had already filled the room as the Raleigh-based Discerner took the stage to start the night off. Having seen the band numerous times in its previous incarnation as Blessed By the Broken, I was pretty excited to see how far these guys had come over the years. It didn’t take long for the room to explode as the band powered their way through their set and kept the crowd captivated throughout. Discerner managed to exceed all expectations of what a local band opening for such a stacked tour package could be like, and to be honest, if you didn’t know that they were the local opener, you might have mistaken them for a band on the tour! At this rate, I knew the rest of the night would be mental if the energy kept up.
I was thrilled to be proven correct as the room exploded once again when Dealer took the stage. Hailing all the way from Australia, this was their first tour in the United States and you truly would’ve never guessed it from the crowd reaction. Featuring former vocalist of Alpha Wolf, Aidan Holmes, as well as notable ex-members of other major bands from the country, Spite did well picking these guys as their opener for the tour. This band will undoubtedly be running their own headline tours within a few years, that’s for certain. Orthodox took the stage following Dealer, and only kept the momentum going with their punishingly heavy tunes. While their sound differed from the previous two bands, they still clearly had a place on the tour as the energy in the room didn’t dissipate for a second throughout the set. I particularly enjoyed shooting this band as they had an interesting stage presence which made them super fun to watch and photograph.
I was pretty excited about shooting for I Am, who performed next, as I had stage access for their set, which afforded me a pretty good vantage point for capturing the chaos that erupted during their set. Fresh off the heels of touring the UK as the openers for Thy Art Is Murder’s headline tour, the band found themselves comfortably in the middle of the lineup for this tour. Being my first time seeing the band, I was excited to finally check out a band I had heard of for a while but had never gotten the chance to experience. I can’t say I remember a whole lot in the way of details being that I was mostly focused on getting around onstage to get photos, but suffice it to say that I would definitely catch these guys again when they come around! Up next was Varials, who having seen play before, I knew would be bringing the heat. However, I was particularly interested in seeing this set. The reason being that just over a month prior, the band announced that Travis Tabron had departed. This had me pretty bummed considering that Travis is an absolute beast of a vocalist and contributed a lot to the overall sound the band had. However, the band chose Matt McDougal of Boundaries to fill-in for the tour, so I knew that the band would still be delivering a crushing performance. This was definitely the case, as the Philadelphia-based metalcore act delivered the heat upon taking the stage. The band didn’t miss a single beat and the crowd continued to tear the room up as they delivered on keeping the energy level up, playing material mostly from their 2019 release In Darkness but also playing a few old favorites off of 2017s Pain Again. At this point in the show, the bar was set pretty well high and every band was managing to exceed all expectations. I knew most people were probably pretty wore out by this point as well, but I also knew that Spite would manage to resurrect the energy level with no problems whatsoever.
The moments before a headline band takes the stage are always pretty tense and filled with the excitement of seeing what’s to unfold and this was certainly no exception. As the lights dimmed and the crowd began cheering, band members take stage as the intro track comes in and you know you’re about to learn a lesson you won’t soon forget. Vocalist Darius Tehrani walks up to his mic on the floor, picks it up, and gets the crowd going just as the band explodes into album opener “Reign In Hell.” This was followed up by “The Offering” and “All I Know Is Hate.” The band mostly played songs off their latest full-length, but did keep a few fan favorites from their previous two releases in the setlist. I steered clear of the pit for most of the night, this set in particular, because just from what I could see side-stage, that area was a total warzone and I definitely was not trying to join the person who had gotten taken out of the show earlier with a broken leg or the other person who had gotten a black eye. Been there and done that! I opted to enjoy the ferocity of the band’s live performance from sidestage, up front, and from the back of the room. However, I did decide to jump in towards the end when closed their set with “Killzone” and “Death Sentence” because I could never live with myself anyways if I went and saw Spite and didn’t throw down at least once, despite having already busted my leg the previous night at a show.
If you’ve not yet had the chance to see Spite, I highly recommend you do so as this band is already blowing up and with good reason, but be forewarned that you’ll likely not make it out without a scratch if you’re trying to make the most of your experience! The 5-piece is just as tight live as they are in-studio, and deliver on everything you could hope for and expect from a live performance. If you like your live music heavy, explosive, and violent, then this is just the tour package for you to check out! The tour is currently ongoing and ends out west on March 22nd in Portland, OR. That means there’s still plenty of days left to do yourself a favor and experience one of the heaviest helpings of live music touring the country right now!
Spite’s third full-length album The Root of All Evil was released on October 4th, 2019 via Stay Sick Recordings and is available now here!