AUSTIN — There aren’t a whole lot of first-time-seeing-them-live bands that could make a 7 1/2-hour wait upon first arrival at the venue worth it.
Then again, Havok isn’t an ordinary modern-day metal band.
Harkening back to the good ol’ days of early ’80s groups such as Overkill, Exodus and Death Angel, the thrashers from Denver headlined the Dirty Dog Bar on Austin’s famed 6th Street District on Friday night and blazed a trail of furious metal for 70 minutes.
Prior to the show, the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner went Into The Pit with singer/guitarist David Sanchez. Click on the video box at the bottom to watch the conversation.
Taking the stage at 12:30 a.m. after Evil United (Austin & San Antonio), Southern Front (Austin), Legion (Houston), Widower (Austin) and Black Thorn Halo (Austin), Havok unleashed tunes from all three of their albums, including Unnatural Selection, which was released June 25.
The mosh pit was in full force from the opening note, on a higher level than that for the previous bands, even though their pits were nothing to be ashamed of. Mixing older tunes such as Point Of No Return, From The Cradle To The Grave, D.O.A. and Scumbag In Disguise with newer offerings including I Am The State, Under The Gun and Give Me Liberty . . . Or Give Me Death, Sanchez and cohorts Reece Scruggs (lead guitar), Mike Leon (bass) and Pete Webber (drums) fueled intense moshing that, after the 70 minutes, left several teenage girls standing tall and smiling with the big boys.
Stage-divers were also in effect, including one female fan who jumped between Leon and Sanchez, lifted up her Iron Maiden T-shirt to reveal her bra, then dove back into the crowd. After the song, Leon said that other female onlookers should “feel free” to do the same. They didn’t.
But for set closer Time Is Up, virtually everyone who was in the pit joined the band on stage for an enthusiastic live version, culminating the night’s festive atmosphere in a unique way (watch here) and leaving fans drained . . . yet still wanting more.
Stay tuned for a slideshow of the bill’s other bands.
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