If you were born in the 90s, it’s likely that you are used to listening older people talking about all those killing gigs you were not able to attend. Back in 96 when Roots came out, I was a two year old little baby who definitely never heard of Sepultura. So logically, this review isn’t doing any comparison between “Return to Roots tour” and a tour that happened 20 years ago. Honestly, I really don’t give much importance to the discussion around Max’s vocals or his ability to play the guitar. If you like to criticize, go ahead because you have the feedstock for that. But in my opinion you’re missing the point. Being 30 is different than being almost 50. After all, who really gives a fuck if Max’s voice is not the same anymore. I am thankful I was given the opportunity to see the Cavalera brothers playing together once in my life. And that is something that nobody can take away from me.
As they had promised, the show was basically the whole Roots album, played in order. So logically it started with a killing “Roots Bloody Roots” and the innate response from the audience was to immediately start jumping and scream out the lyrics. It looked as if suddenly everyone got plugged into the wall socket to charge as the power emerged really fast. When this happens, who really needs an opening band?
Although this was not the type of thing Machine Head did earlier this year, since the other Cavalera shows had opening bands. And in my opinion, this one should have had too, but that leads to another discussion which would make us lose focus.
Back in 2015, when I first saw Max playing “Roots Bloody Roots” during a Soulfly concert, it didn’t cause much impact on me. It was good, but it wasn’t this magical. Actually this whole show was so powerful. “Can you take it?” Of course we can. And we just did. On that night we were a bunch of die-hard metal fans on Christmas eve. That was our special Christmas gift. Or maybe it’s only an excuse I give to justify that stupid angelical smile on my face pretty much the whole show, totally worth it.
“Ratamahatta” was actually pretty fun, as a lot of people started to dance following that tribal groovy rhythm. I must confess I haven’t danced for quite a long time. In fact, I danced more in this show than in the rest of this year, but it’s still okay. For several times during the show I just didn’t know if I wanted to headbang or just dance, so I pretty much did both at the same time. Nevertheless, my neck suffered on the following day which wasn’t particular good as I had to make a 3 hour bus ride.
Although it supposedly was a sold-out Hard Club, it was much easier to endure this concert than “Gojira’s” in early July, when it seemed you were just showering in your smelly sweat in the middle of the crowd. Of course by the middle of the “Return to Roots” show you would be all cover in your own sweat, but still manage to do okay until the end. Even though Max would ask you to jump one more fucking time. Igor’s older brother’s performance was in fact very powerful during the whole time, justified by the intense connection he established with the audience. He made us feel like we were part of the show – a very important part. The truth is, “what goes around” really “comes around”. Max did a great job in involving us in the scene and we didn’t disappoint.
“Put your fucking hands up motherfuckers”, shouted Max while Igor was playing a drum solo. The audience clapped their hand while dancing to the rhythm. Never saw anything like this. Max himself also started to play his own tambour. But the dancing moves would soon be followed by major circle pits for the last songs. “Dictatorshit” was crazy as fuck. It was followed by a Celtic Frost cover of the song “Procreation (of the wicked)”.
Then, it was time to pay tribute to Lemmy Kilmister with the band playing Ace of Spades. Certainly you know that when this song comes on, wherever the place may be, everyone goes fucking nuts. But don’t get me wrong, that is just the right way you should act, since Motörhead will always be among the best bands in the world. With all this speed rolling on, they ended the show playing a much faster “Roots Bloody Roots”.
“This Roots will always remain”. Yes, especially this “Return to Roots tour” will. I will surely never forget how awesome this night was. As Max said in a recent interview, this formation with Max, Igor, Marc Rizzo in the guitar and Johny Chow in the bass will be the closest we will get to see the former Sepultura playing. Well, I don’t mind, as long as they do it again. It’s understandable why they chose Roots – after all it’s the most known Sepultura album. Nonetheless, I would love to see the two Cavalera brothers perform other Sepultura early albums, like my favorite one – Chaos A.D.
Text by Sara Pinto