When Sepultura released ‘Quadra’ in February 2020, little did they know the world was racing toward an international time-out? Whatever little slice of Hell we were occupying made sure that this album never truly saw the celebration it deserved. Fast forward almost three years, and instead of reentering the studio to make new music, Sepultura venture out on tour to retroactively mark ‘Quadra’ with a string of shows. The first to sell out was in Dublin, Ireland, where Sepultura made a triumphant return to The Academy’s main stage.
Support from Crowbar, hailing from New Orleans, brought a healthy dose of charm, cheers, and chuckles early on. Veterans in their own right, the quartet worked through their beloved discography. Between songs, vocalist Kirk Windstein, sporting a Thin Lizzy t-shirt, engaged the already full venue in the same way you would an old friend and was greeted as such.
Which made for a slightly different approach to Sacred Reich. Recently reformed, with the monstrously talented Dave McClain (ex-Machine Head) back behind the kit, Sacred Reich charged the stage with “Divide and Conquer.” Executing a favorably memorable set, musically at least, fans and band members seemed somewhat at odds at times. If Crowbar opted for colorful banter, Sacred Reich leaned toward ceremonial banality. Or at least philosophical, frontman/bassist, Phil Rind did. Making every effort to ensure each fan felt as if they mattered to him more than his own kin, Rind couldn’t help preaching one generic anecdote after another. “Be the change you wanna see?” While his heart was in the right place, by the end of the set Sacred Reich fans had a few suggestions.
With The Academy crammed so much that a single sneeze might cause the walls to burst, lights went down as “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath spilled from the P.A. Bleeding into “Policia” by Titas; the entire audience dancing in darkness without care. Presently, Sepultura took to the stage to the joyous uproar. Delivering a wonderfully woven set of new and old, saluting songs with life spans longer than some audience members. Catering to multiple generations of the Sepultura family, classics such as “Cut-Throat“ and “Territory” sat harmoniously alongside contemporary favorites including “Machine Messiah” and “Agony of Defeat”. As the night came to end, a back-to-back performance of iconic duo, “Ratamahatta” and “Roots Bloody Roots” delivered an epic finale that even the venue staff couldn’t look away from.
When you consider how many Sepultura fans held on to tickets for the better part of three years, even as there was no guarantee this show would happen, there is no greater testament of their loyalty to this band. A loyalty richly reciprocated. Sepultura are one of the most decorated and accomplished metal acts with a career of almost four decades, yet they do not take their fans for granted. For their Irish fans, they brought a night of celebration. Celebrating the living connection between the band and fans. Celebrating ‘Quadra.’ Celebrating the history of Sepultura. Paving the way for what’s still to come.