A Devildriver live show is always something for most metal fans to get excited about. Whilst in my opinion their recent records have not been as enjoyable as the first three they’re still a force of nature in the flesh. The prospect of seeing them on the same tour as the mighty Machine Head and seeing them on as big a stage as the one at Wembley Arena was far good an opportunity to pass up, so Rock Sins’ headed to Wembley to catch The Eighth Plague world tour in full flow.
Second on the bill after Darkest Hour had done a good job of warming up the crowd, as the lights went down and the opening bars of the jangly riff to End Of The Line could be heard throughout Wembley that (to use a Jim Ross phrase) business was about to pick up. Anyone who’s seen Devildriver live before knows that they provide a merciless assault on the senses (in a good way) and the more frenetic and chaotic the crowd reaction the better. Dez Fefara and the boys were greeted with a huge cheer as End Of The Lines’ intro gave way to the song itself and there was already a big circle pit in place before Dez had uttered a word. The Californian five piece were on fine form straight from the off as End Of The Line had never sounded better, and Head Onto Heartache (Let Them Rot) kept the pits moving and the heads banging.
Mixing things up with some newer material, the opening track from most recent album Beast sounds far more powerful in the flesh than it does on CD. “We’re about to play Not All Who Wander Are Lost, I cannot incite anything, I cannot prompt anything!” was Dez’s greeting to the crowd just before launching into one of Devildriver’s most loved (and arguably best) tracks, obviously a) having been warned by the Wembley stewards and b) being well aware that tour mates Bring Me The Horizon were cut off at the same venue this time last year for instigating too many circle pits. The crowd however needed no commands from Dez or anyone else to double the size of the main circle pit and dive in as the song dropped. Watching Jeff Kendrick letting rip on songs such as Not All Who Wander is always a fantastic sight and the man in question was on top form shredding at a pace most sprinters would be proud of. The huge cheer that followed quickly turned to more headbanging as Devildriver kept up the pace with Before The Hangman’s Noose, with its “good day to die” chorus echoing around many parts of Wembley Arena back at the stage.
“This is an old song, if you know the words, then sing the fuck along” was the welcome to I Could Care Less and it seemed the majority of those in attendance were indeed familiar with the lyrics, though many others were having far too much of a good time in the now several circle pits to join in on vocal duties. Sadly Devildriver’s time with Wembley had almost come to an end, but there was one last treat for those in attendance. “This is Clouds Over California, you know what to do”. Cue one last enormous circle pit as the rest of those in attendance engaged in a large amount of headbanging as Devildriver finished off a fantastic performance with the perfect song to end their short but very sweet set.
The full Devildriver setlist was:
End of the Line
Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot)
Dead to Rights
You Make Me Sick
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Before the Hangman’s Noose
I Could Care Less
Clouds Over California
“We’re Devildriver on Roadrunner Records!”. And with their traditional sign off, Devildriver departed the Wembley stage. Given their relative short set time, Devildriver were fantastic. The crowd were chanting the band’s name at least three times during the set and they were given a thunderous send off by the Wembley masses. Hopefully this is a precursor to a return visit to the UK soon, preferably for a full headlining tour, as there are few bands who can deliver the goods live like Devildriver.
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