Concert review: The Common Enemies tour feat. Spite, Bodysnatcher, thrown, and Mouth for War | 05.29.24, Red Flag (with photo gallery)

Photo of Spite’s Darius Tehrani by Jen Ruff

I’ve gotta be getting old. I know it. I see a show with four bands and I sigh longing for an opener and a closer. I’m an old person meme. Some shows, though, I know the payoff will be worth swapping out full-on pajamas for a band shirt and leggings—upscale pajamas. Seeing the Common Enemies co-headlining tour come to town wasn’t even a question. I love both Spite and Bodysnatcher enough to get all dressed up. Yeah, I’m laughing. 

No one would have to tell me that opener Mouth for War has an affinity for Pantera. Their name taken after a song by the metal legends and in the underlying melodies, I could hear the influence. The nod to heavenly legends being carried on some decades later. These Colorado natives have the heft of starting each show for this monster of a tour nightly and I felt they held their own and then some. With eight songs, they gave the crowd the fuel for the evening. Opening with “Shattered Self” and “Roses in Place of Your Ashes,” the crowd didn’t save their energy. They came out swinging and circle pitting from the start.

This crowd was ready for thrown, and the lads from Sweden didn’t disappoint, with grinding guitar riffs and epic metal cymbal sounds letting you know shit was about to go down peppered nicely throughout the set. They really gave what I love most about metal shows: not a lot—if any—banter, just straight-up metal music with one- or two-word titles like “guilt,” “dwell,” and “parasite,” easy and simple, all lowercase as is their logo/name. I think that’s underappreciated. Artists might think the crowd wants 19 words in a song or every word capitalized but damn it, some bands just want to play music and that’s what thrown did on this tour. Hard and heavy songs, no formalities, no apologies. 

The last time Bodysnatcher came around I reviewed the show and they really haven’t changed at all. The body surfing started early and easily surpassed their Red Flag set from last November, which I know made vocalist Kyle Medina more excited than anything. (He loves to count the bodies.) I don’t think security shares in his delight but that’s the job, as it were. The set weaved through classic and absolute staples “Severed,” “Take Me to Hell,” “Human Disdain,” “Murder8,” and “King of the Rats,” and Kyle along with drummer Chris Whited really have this live show mastered. It flows so nicely even though it’s heavy as hell. They’re true artists, having perfected their craft of how to do a live show so flawlessly and, truth be told, they wore St. Louis out, leaving them a bit worn by the end of their set with one act left. 

I will never ever not see Spite when they come through. Even after drummer Josh Miller left for Chelsea Grin, vocalist Darius Tehrani could shoulder this band with his infectious energy. He doesn’t, of course: he’s supported by bassist Ben Bamford, guitarist Alex Tehrani, and, replacing Miller on drums, Travis (@travis.r.drummer on Instagram). I’m unsure if this move is temporary, but either way he’s filling the absence on drums without (pun intended) missing a beat. It is tight as hell to start a set coming out to “California Dreaming” with a lead singer who conjures an image of Charles Manson in his heyday and delivering a dozen tracks to support the dominance. Take that right into “Lord of the Upside Down” and “Caved In” and we’re absolutely being treated to elite metal. Ending with “Kill or be Killed” and “Crumble,” the fans tried to give everything they had left but this tour really want zero to one hundred from the gate. From the stage, Tehrani gave an incredible speech to show appreciation for the bands who’d opened from the start of the tour through to the current lineup. It was heartwarming, but I’ve come to know that metal is love and appreciation just hidden within the darkest of riffs and the hardest of hardcore.

Now back to my good pajamas. | Diane Ruff

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