Jinjer Breaks The Rules At House of Blues New Orleans

The House of Blues was sold out. The crowd inside was surging with barely an inch between any two people. It felt just like the old days again. It’s not surprising that this lineup would easily sell out. Each of the three bands have been notably crossing over into the mainstream just enough to bolster their fan bases without sacrificing the heaviness.

All Hail the Yeti wasn’t just ready to rock. They were ready for all-out war. It was evident because of the war paint they donned on their faces and the ritual adornments lined across the stage. Their set kind of felt like the bonding celebrations held the night before the big battle, washing down the fear with loads of ale and dancing around the firelight. Vocalist Connor Garritty invited the entire packed house to lift up their arms and sway them under his direction. Connor’s deep gutturals and bassist Nicholas Diltz’s occasional clean singing shook the walls during their set, which included songs “Bury Your Memory” and “Funeral Heart” from their 2021 album Within The Hollow Earth. As their set ended, the crowd sincerely did not want them to leave.

A rousing rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” played just before the second band stormed upon the stage. There was nothing silent about Suicide Silence. In fact, I would call them raucous and unpredictable. Within moments of taking the stage, vocalist Eddie Hermida took one foot off the stage and stood on the edge of the barricade, straddling the security pit that was put there to protect the band from the crowd surfers and mosh pit. He thrust his face into the faces of his fans and whipped his long, sweaty hair at them. They could not get enough of it. In fact, Eddie performed this maneuver several times throughout the set, even stepping completely off of the stage at one point to stand nearly on top of the front row fans. He fell into the pit at one point but was pulled out by the security team and heaved back on stage without missing a note.

He didn’t want to be the only one having fun and often encouraged the horde to perform a Wall of Death and other extreme pit practices. The whole band also regularly encouraged the crowd to join in singing parts of the songs with them, splitting the audience in two and daring them to sing louder than the other side. There was so much energy and life force spent by the band that guitarist Mark Heylmun and bassist Dan Kenny had to put their backs together and lean hard on each other for support. They just had barely anything left to give after that.

Three floor-to-ceiling screens strobed and stunned the eyes of the viewers as Jinjer bolted on stage. Three musicians took to their perfectly-placed risers; Bassist Eugene Abdukhanov, guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov, and vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk were silhouetted by the impossibly bright screens. Drummer Vladi Ulasevich seated himself at the canary yellow, Dr. Suessian drum kit in the middle of it all. All of these bright, happy colors flooded the dark venue even as the performers themselves were difficult to see. This is Jinjer’s specialty: to bring the unexpected to whoever will listen or watch. Tati stood center stage, swinging her long braid around her head in between brutal, guttural growls and gorgeous clean vocals. She donned a yellow jersey emblazoned with “Booyah” and “666,” and her eyes glowed with neon green eyeshadow. Song after song, inundating the room with a rainbow of color, the quartet continued to impress and astound. “Pit of Consciousness,” “Disclosure!,” and “Retrospection” made those in the crowd not busy tossing themselves into the pit raise their horns in appreciation.

This three-band show had an interesting progression: from the ancient look of All Hail The Yeti to the attitude-era intensity of Suicide Silence to the ultra-modern, genre-breaking poise of Jinjer. This show is an exercising in appreciating the past and embracing the present.

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