Max & Iggor Cavalera 'Return To Roots'
Date: 06th October, 2016
Venue: Reggies Rock Club
Ticket: $30 (€27)
Promoter: Empire Productions
I don’t feel very confident when a band is playing an entire album to celebrate its anniversary because I think it feels a bit lazy, especially when the same band has been inactive as far as releasing new music is concerned. I mean, if you don’t promote the music that you write and you keep revisiting the old (and more successful) material, then you are just a performer, and this makes me sad. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and the Cavalera brothers are definitely one. Yes, seeing Max and Igor together onstage is extremely special and for this tour it becomes even more special(er) [sic] because you get the chance to watch half of the original SEPULTURA lineup playing the entire “Roots” album. And this is why the two shows scheduled at Reggies were sold-out, making me think that it would have been a good idea to have moved this into a bigger venue.
The show was set on a working day, so there was no way to be there from the beginning but to be perfectly honest, I didn’t mind losing COMBICHRIST (definitely not my cup of tea), although watching ALL HAIL THE YETI would have been nice. Anyways, you will never feel fully satisfied, if you want everything all the times. There were a lot of people outside the venue while the stage was being ready for the Cavaleras because the air inside was already humid and hot, and things were about to get ever “worse”.
A few minutes after 10:30pm, the band showed up onstage and the audience’s excitement climaxed as the album opener was about to “bring that shit”, as Max likes to say. There was a specific spark in Max’s eyes, something I haven’t seen for quite a while. He looked absolutely excited for this tour and, most importantly, happy to deliver this music-changing SEPULTURA album (this was the first time the Brazilians used Tribal elements in their music) on the side of his brother. “Let’s do it everyone” Max grunted before screaming “Roots bloody roots” that immediately saw some mosh-pit action inside the already packed venue. Oh my goodness, the small setting with the band being at spitting distance created an almost old-school atmosphere, making the entire experience 666 times better. Max was headbanging when not singing, Marc Rizzo was doing his crazy guitar-playing (along with his roundhouse kicks) and Johny Chow was in constant motion, so the stage looked tiny and there was no clear separation between the band and the audience. This is the definition of a show being intimate and it cannot go better than this. “Say hello to my little friend” Max said with a berimbau in hand because it was time for “Attitude”. Sure, everyone knew what was next but this did not decrease the level of enthusiasm and the energy that was increasing by bouncing between the band and the crowd. The groovy rhythm section got us jumping up and down with Igor smashing his drum set like his life depended on this. And yes, the “can you take it” singing / screaming along was absolutely fantastic - almost exhilarating. “Cut-Throat” stormed without stopping (and the audience didn’t stop moshing either) and then it was time to “fuckin’ jump” with the song that pretty much is the definition of the term ‘Tribal Metal’ and saw my eyebrows raised out of confusion of what SEPULTURA were doing. You see, back then, “Roots” was not well-accepted, no matter what all those old-school know-it-alls may tell you.
“Chicago, let me ask you; what goes around...” asked Max and got a loud “comes around” response before letting a huge circle-pit taking over Reggies. It always amazes me how much space is created whenever a circle-pit is in session with many trying to avoid all those empty heads who think using their elbows is what EXODUS were talking about in “Toxic Waltz”. Time to get back to Metal school and learn the basics, guys…. I think “Born Stubborn” came Thrash-ier with more aggression than the studio version, so getting some time to take a couple of breathes during “Itsári” felt right on time. Max used these words to introduce this instrumental: “on the drums, all the way from England, Iggor” showcasing one more time how great he felt with his brother destroying the drum skins.
“Ambush” got us back into the violent festivities but the audience had more to give, so Max made sure that everyone inside Reggies was up to this: “destroy this place” he said just before “Dictatorshit” that once again brought the shit back with more moshing around. Yes, this was the best way to end the “Roots” session but there had to be more, so we just needed to “scream more if you want more shit” as Max said... After a short break (less than a minute), he and his brother came back and did a one guitar and drums cover take on TITÃS’ “Polícia” that came out raw and Punk-ish as it should. That was really special, and as Max said, it was our reward for filling this place up.
Maybe they could have added a couple more SEPULTURA songs into the set but they chose to finish this with covers, something that made the entire experience even more special; I mean, it was like a bunch of friends having fun and thinking about it, I think that was exactly the case. Yeah, “Procreation (Of The Wicked)” came out wickedly awesome, but “Ace Of Spades” gave me the goosebumps seeing Max acting like a genuine fan as he was screaming at the microphone without holding his guitar. “This was a band that got SEPULTURA everywhere” were the words he used and I think he was referring to the “Orgasmatron” cover that saw the light of the day on the “Under Siege (Regnum Irae)” back in the early ‘90s. The setlist ended with a “Roots Bloody Roots” reprice which saw sweaty and tired bodies giving away the last drop of energy but in the end everyone was super happy.
Indeed, this is a special show and it will be a shame to miss the opportunity to get the entire 'Return To Roots' treatment by a lineup that is as close as you can get to the original SEPULTURA. Obrigado!
Max & Iggor Cavalera 'Return To Roots' setlist:
01. “Roots Bloody Roots”
05. “Breed Apart”
10. “Born Stubborn”
14. “Endangered Species”
16. “Procreation (Of The Wicked)” (CELTIC FROST cover)
17. “Ace Of Spades” (MOTÖRHEAD cover)
18. “Roots 2016”
Max & Iggor Cavalera 'Return To Roots'
(click to enlarge)