Megadeth | Lamb of God | Trivium | Hatebreed – Portland, Oregon – September 4, 2021 – Moda Center
It’s been a long, long, 18 months since the last time I was at a concert. Five hundred and fifty-five days to be exact. The last live concert MIRP attended was KoRn at the Moda Center, February 27, 2020. As a big KoRn fan, I am thankful that I was able to go to that concert. Unknowingly, that would be the last show for over a year. A silver lining to this pandemic is that we are reminded that tomorrow is never promised, life can change and things that we took for granted can be taken away, so we must live each day to the fullest and enjoy the happy moments in life. With that in mind, I did my best to take in every detail I possibly could of the show that evening.
We arrived at the Moda Center a little over an hour early to show start time and already there is the longest line I have ever seen at this venue that expanded to the side of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It didn’t matter though. We were going to a live concert! Friends that I haven’t seen in over a year find me and we embrace. Oh how I have missed what I consider my Metal Family who are people we primarily see at concerts. These people that you bond with over music, and grow into friendships make events like this all the more special.
Eventually, we get up to the front and in order to get into the show, not only do you need a ticket, be wearing a proper mask, but also proof of a COVID vaccine card or a negative COVID test that was done a couple days prior. Unfortunately, some concert goers did not have the latter so were not able to attend. This is a different world we are all trying to navigate through. Having my vaccine card at the ready though, I must have checked my wallet at least 5 times while waiting in line to make sure I had it, I was in! You couldn’t see it because I was wearing a mask but I was grinning ear to ear.
So excited I went to find my seat, saw a few more familiar faces and more embraces on my way which just continued to fill my heart. Finding my seat close to stage left, I take a moment, looked around the arena slowly filling and smiled. This is one of my happy places for sure. Being surrounded by people who love metal, who are excited and ready to headbang, sing and throw those horns up to the sky!
First to take the stage is Connecticut’s own, metalcore band Hatebreed! I’ve never seen them live before but they make my playlist for sure for my pre-work drive and bike riding. Let me tell you, Hatebreed set the bar high! The guys practically ran on stage, said “Lets fucking do this” and kicked off their set with ‘Empty Promises’ from their 1997 album Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire and then rolled right into ‘This Is Now’ from 2003’s album The Rise Of Brutality. It was an early start for me on the road of losing my voice singing along to ‘This is Now’, which the lyrics rang some truth for the time we are currently in. Singer Jamey Jasta talks for a minute saying how excited they are to be here, opening for the iconic Megadeth and to be playing for a big audience because usually, if they play a festival they get put on a side stage. (Whoever plans that needs to change where they put Hatebreed because they bring the energy!) He states they want to pay homage to another band that has influenced Hatebreed and helped pave the way for them and that is Slayer, they do a ‘Ghost of War’ cover which in my opinion was amazing! To give an example of how excited the men in Hatebreed were to be there, Jamey takes a moment to I think fulfil a dream he has had for a long time. He gets the audience to start a wave! Yes he points to those sitting in the seats stage left and says ‘I’ve always wanted to do this’ and gets that wave going. I couldn’t stop smiling. Of course they played their popular ‘Looking Down the Barrel of Today’ and ‘Destroy Everything’ and the pit was perfect. I’ll be sure to not miss Hatebreed the next time they come to Portland.