Arch Enemy & Exodus @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (1/22/2010)

Logo - Arch Enemy

Artist: Arch Enemy
Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY)
Opener: Exodus, Arsis, Mutiny Within
Date: 1/22/2010
Label: Century Media Records

It was great to find Arch Enemy doing a headlining tour again because the last time that we found them visiting us in NYC they were doing a “co-headlining” run called “The Black Tyranny Tour”. This excellent event paired them with Roadrunner Records’ own Machinehead and while they lined it out as co-headlining gigs, Arch had always seemed to be the direct support for Machinehead and I am not sure there were too many swapped shows. Of course, I don’t think many of the Metal legions actually minded about this back when those shows had happened because Machinehead was on the rise again and dishing out the tunes for those who enjoyed the incredible sounds on their album of the time “The Blackening”. Tonight’s gig would be an interesting one as it found Exodus hitting the stage as the bands direct support and give us the long awaited return of Arsis while also treating us to some relative newcomers to the scene with Mutiny Within.

Mutiny Within: Tonight would be my first time seeing these young lads of Metal so I was somewhat interested in seeing what they were all about even though my primary focus would be on the headlining Arch Enemy and direct support Exodus. The group is a brand of Metalcore that seems to focus on the melodic side of the genre and finds their lead singer swapping between clean and darker vocal styles and musically they mix it up a little bit by having a keyboard player on board. I think this is a good role to have as we don’t always find the keys in the Core outfits and instead it seems to be something more often found in the Black Metal troupes or the Progressive ones. I could safely say that the band was into being here and how could you not find this being the case being such a great stage and amazing tour. They were doing the head banging along with their riffs and doing what they could to incite some response from the audience that was already in place. It was not too crowded yet but slowly filling up. The band’s debut is a self-titled one and I think that I need to see them again before I am sold on what and how they are doing things. They were done before you knew it this evening and played in almost complete darkness from my vantage point. Arsis was up next and I was very interested in welcoming them back.

Arsis: It’s been quite the roller coaster of an adventure in the lives of the band Arsis who since the last time I was able to catch them live have shifted numerous members and even took a slight break while founder James Malone dealt with personal health issues. To be brutally honest a lot of what this band had gone through would find any normal person choosing to call it a day but fortunately for the Metal community, Malone is not a normal person and instead is one who is intent on delivering his musical message in the best fashion he sees it possible. Since their tour for “We Are The Nightmare” the band has had a complete lineup shift and today finds Malone once again joined by drummer Mike Van Dyne who formed the band with him back in 2000. Nick Cordle and Nathanial Carter round out the bands lineup on guitar and bass respectively and with their new release “Starve For The Devil” ready to be released are once again taking the stages by storm. Malone’s bout with bulimia finds his appearance to be much thinner than I remembered him being but with his public announcements of this battle, we learned that he is on a positive health track and still a very capable musician. Tonight their set breezed by like greased lightning and with the newer, as yet unknown tracks being done the audience was into them but not responding in the same manner to tunes like their resounding “We Are The Nightmare”. I like the sound of the new stuff and think that the fans will embrace it once they are able to absorb it a little more and I am sure that we shall once again find the band delivering some Metal good going forward. Welcome back Jim.

Exodus: Yes The drivers of the Shovel Headed Kill Machine were back to give the Metal citizens of New York a true lesson in violence and based on the unrelenting manner in which they deliver their set you just were left with the feeling that you were on their shit list. If you’ve not seen Exodus over the last couple of years then you are missing out as a Metal fan because similar to Testament, the guys are on a rise and supporting some really killer material. When you add their long established classics for the Thrash Metal genre to the powerhouse recent releases of “Shovel Headed Kill Machine” and “The Atrocity Exhibition, Exhibit A” then you are really getting your money’s worth. The band hit the stage with such levels of aggression and force that you would have thought they were headlining and not the direct support act. Gary Holt was really doing some good for Metal guitar enthusiasts everywhere and it’s really fantastic to have Tom Hunting back on the drums as he has been since 2007. Let’s hope he sticks around for the duration this time because his style is just so perfect for the band and he is a founding member. The other part of the magic that makes Exodus happen these days is singer Rob Dukes who is nothing less than an unleashed animal that is very, very hungry. The singer prowls the stage and glares at the audience with intensity and should you catch his gaze it is one that will make you humbly look down in the hope that his onstage ire doesn’t cause you bodily harm. Imposing to say the least in his stage manner and fantastic in his delivery of the new material he was a part of as well as the bands classics. Of course the other members of the group in Lee Altus and Jack Gibson were not standing still and spent their time running around and inciting the audience passion all the more. The crowd was volatile and I expected this since I caught their set when they opened up for Kreator and while this was a Metal show I was not expecting it to be as over powering as it ended up being. Wow did I feel bad for those fans that were pressed up in the front because I am sure that their heads were ringing for a week after this set alone. The highlights of the Exodus set were too many to line out but some of the bigger ones came via the classic opener of “Bonded By Blood”, Duke’s big “F U” shout out to Osama Bin Laden for “Children Of A Worthless God” and of course the crowd shark feeding frenzy of “Toxic Waltz”. The singer was also sporting a New York Rangers hockey jersey for their player Avery. I thought that was pretty cool to be doing but I am a Rangers fan after all. In the end I could not complain about any of the eleven songs that were executed and only hoped for more but none came. I had to admit that while Arch Enemy was the headliner for the tour that Exodus was really making sure that they would be on top of their game with their delivery of a support set like this one night after night. I am sure that it will not be long before we see Exodus headlining gigs again and in the venues that are slightly smaller than this one it would be perfect.

Arch Enemy: So here we were at the main attraction for this “Tyrants Of North America” tour and so far so good so I didn’t expect any disappointment as Arch Enemy’s time on the stage got underway. The band members came out and took heroic stance to some very dramatic intro music and while it might have worked for them, I felt it was a little strange since I like when this particular group just appears and assaults the Metal senses. Recording wise they have been releasing powerful albums and their latest one is entitled “The Root Of All Evil” which is interesting because it revisits some of the bands favorite tunes from when they were fronted by singer John Liva. They would be re-recorded and hence re-sung by the bands singer of almost ten years Angela Gossow, so we could expect to find a bunch of these in the set lists makeup tonight. When the group started playing it was like a well-oiled machine but how could it not be with the Amott brothers working together again for a few years. Many might remember how Chris stepped aside from the band for a couple of years to pursue studies but now is back for the attack with his brother Michael (who we last saw at this venue for the Carcass tour). Angela arrived to the stage like a burst of energy herself and was super energetic in her head banging and running all over the place. She was pointing everywhere which was getting the crowd all riled up and while the bodies were flying over the security barrier it didn’t seem to be as much as was happening for the Exodus set. This is not a slight of course but one can agree how a different vibe goes on during their songs and hence finds much less flying into the air happening.

The show was good and as solid as I usually find Arch Enemy being in the live sense but they would only do two numbers from their re-recordings which surprised me just a little bit. I realize that they have a lot of popular tunes from Angela’s lengthy tenure but I felt the special nature of re-presenting ones oldest stuff should have found this being concentrated on for this tour. Clearly there are songs that cannot be avoided during the show like “We Will Rise” and “Dead Eyes See No Future” as well as their slightly newer eventual classics of “Nemesis” and “Ravenous” but when you pause the music for three full solos it takes away from giving the audience songs. Granted the Amott brothers are exceptional players, but to have two guitar solos as opposed to a decent dueling one makes no sense. Pairing them up would have given us another eight minutes at least and while drum solos are sometimes fun; I think they often slow down the effect of a powerful Metal show. Despite this viewpoint the show delivered and everyone left wanting more Arch Enemy. Angela did speak to the crowd a couple of times but there was nothing out of the ordinary brought up and instead it was the usual banter of being excited to be here again and who’s ready to rock and thanking the opening bands. This is not a talkative kind of show anyways so I didn’t expect much more dialogue from her. I was surprised at her saying when we come back we will play a little longer since we did get something like eighteen tunes tonight or fifteen when you deduct the soloing.

All in all a healthy night of Metal but clearly one that found Exodus being the larger highlight based on just how much blood pumping their time on stage caused in the audience. It was also interesting to observe how legendary Metal Queen Doro Pesch was in the venue watching the show and when she walked out into the merchandise area/lobby, she was besieged by fans that recognized her. It was great to see her being so moved by the attention and she made sure to sign autographs and pose for a photo with whoever wanted one. Running into her was a definite plus for many of the fans that managed to catch her as the show ended. I’ve seen a number of Metal’s elite at the shows in the past and can only say that the fans should be observant at them just in case something like this happens again in the future.

Exodus Set List:
1. Bonded By Blood
2. Iconoclasm
3. A Lesson In Violence
4. Children Of A Worthless God
5. Piranha
6. Deathamphetimine
7. Blacklist
8. War Is My Shepherd
9. Strike Of The Beast
10. The Toxic Waltz
11. Shovel Headed Kill Machine

Arch Enemy Set List:
1. Intro (tape)
2. The Immortal
3. Revolution Begins
4. Ravenous
5. Taking Back My Soul
6. My Apocalypse
7. Silent Wars
8. Drum Solo
9. I Will Live Again
10. Dead Eyes See No Future
11. Blood On Your Hands
12. Bury Me An Angel
13. Chris Guitar Solo
14. Michael Guitar Solo
15. Dead Bury Their Dead
16. We Will Rise
17. Snow Bound – encore
18. Nemesis – encore
19. Fields Of Desolation – finale

Here is a shot of that snazzy Nokia Theatre Times Square marquee.  As you can see the show was sponsored by those folks over at Metal Sucks – Nice work chaps, congratulations on that.

The Marquee: Arch Enemy in NYC
The Marquee: Arch Enemy in NYC

Official Website: http://www.archenemy.net/
Official Website: http://exodusattack.com/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/arsis/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/MutinyWithin/



6 thoughts on “Arch Enemy & Exodus @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (1/22/2010)”

  1. Wow! those pictures are all so powerful!! Especially the Arch Enemy pictures 😀 The review was lovely as well.. re-living the night!

    P.S: Arsis was just amazing! absolutely loved their performance. And Ken, your pictures of Arsis really captures the moment 😀

  2. Ken – another good, solid review! Very accurate. It was an amazing show and I was glad to see the Piercing Metal lens there to capture the (relatively sane) insanity! 🙂 As always, major props – keep up the always-amazing work!

  3. Nice photos, it was brutal getting anything with the light there. Arch Enemy were solid, I agree, but I wish they played more of that newer stuff they just released. I was actually there to see Exodus, and I gotta say the new singer was not too bad!

  4. The Legendary Ken Pierce once again delivers his “Piercing” Review that delivers The “REAL” Show!! … Mutiny Within did prove to be quite the upcomer on that Tour and is now signed with RoadRunner Records after impressing Agents at The Nokia Show!! … Arsis, speaks for themselves!! … EXODUS RULED THAT SHOW!! They got the Crowd AMPED and INVOLVED!! AND! THEY HAVE A SENSE OF F*’in HUMOR THAT IS AWESOME SICK!! … “KILLER BONUS” of the Evening was DORO — The TRUE QUEEN OF METAL — out supporting the Metal Scene with Nick Douglas, Long Time DORO bassist!! She had just flown in that afternoon from Germany to work on upcoming DVD and STILL Found time to be with us in METAL!!!! (Angela isn’t filling Doro’s shoes anytime soon!!!) … Thanks Ken and Thank You for Piercing Metal!! –Rock On and Rock Hard!!!

  5. I disagree about Exodus being a highlight. They played their older material with the current tuning which took away some of the crunch. Arch Enemy blew them away.

  6. Yo Ken! nice article!! (although anything is nice when Angela Gossow is around) my opinion for this show is best expressed as “the shit!!”
    I got to see Arsis for the first time and I was nicely impressed, and banged around in the pit much more than I expected with them, which is good jajaja.
    Exodus was in my opinion the surprise of the night, I didn’t expect them to do such an intense show, the crowd was hyped^^ but I liked Arch Enemy’s show better (I’m a solid fan) then again it seemed to me that Angela was tired during the last songs.
    but I got photos with all Arch Enemy, with James Malone from Arsis and with Doro (thanks again Ken).
    in all a stupendous night of Metal^^

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