at (le) poisson rouge, New York City, NY, USA, September 11, 2019

SOULFLY (Live at (le) poisson rouge, New York City, NY, USA, September 11, 2019)
Photo: Kristian Singh-Nergård

9/11 is a date that holds significance in the US, and in New York City in particular. Some might find it odd to go to a Metal show on a night like that, but what better way to show unity, peace and love than the Metal community coming together?

The bill this night was worthy of a Metal feast! For a measly $30 you got a bill with 7 (!) bands. Soulfly brought with them Unearth, Evergrey, Incite, Prison, Shattered Sun and Arrival of Autumn.


EVERGREY (Live at (le) poisson rouge, New York City, NY, USA, September 11, 2019)
Photo: Kristian Singh-Nergård

Evergrey might have seemed a bit out of place in the company of the other bands on the bill. Their riffs are heavy enough though but with keyboards and clean vocals they are way more melodic than the rest of the bands. Singer Tom Englund addressed this during their set, saying that if you like them, then he’s sorry that the set is so short, but if you don’t like them you’re in for a treat. They only played 4 songs but with a vengeance! The band seems really tight and performed with the experience of a seasoned band; after all they’ve been around since 1995.

As the set was short (and they arguably didn’t play for their usual crowd) they chose to focus on newer material. “A Silent Arc” and “Weightless” from The Atlantic (2019) was followed by “My Allied Ocean” from The Storm Within (2016) and “The Grand Collapse” from Hymns for the Broken (2014). It seems like they squeezed New York in last minute while passing by (on their way from Canada to Baltimore), and in that sense the crowd should be happy to even get the 4 songs. With the tightness of the band and the energy they brought it would be great if they could return soon to headline in the Big Apple.

Evergrey setlist

A Silent Arc
My Allied Ocean
The Grand Collapse


UNEARTH (Live at (le) poisson rouge, New York City, NY, USA, September 11, 2019)
Photo: Kristian Singh-Nergård

Unearth was undoubtedly the favorite among the youngsters in the crowd. Many of their fans at this show could not have been more than a toddler, if born at all, when the band formed back in 1998. Finally they got to see Unearth play in NYC and everyone were ready for their favorites to tear it up. And tear it up they did. In spite of one of their guitar amps failing right as they came on stage, they never got thrown off. The amp got fixed quickly and the band owned the stage in seconds. It didn’t take long until a mosh pit opened up on the floor.

They opened with “Incinerate” and “Survivalist” from last year’s Extinction(s), heavy hitting songs with loads of energy. Their set had a good mix of new and old, with three songs off their sophomore album The Oncoming Storm (2004) representing the oldest songs in the set. Singer Trevor Phipps, along with guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi, represents the core of the band and have been there since the beginning. The three of them were constantly on the edge of the stage, rubbing their energy off on the crowd and especially the mosh pitters.

Bassist and backing vocalist Chris O’Toole kept a little more distance but gave everything in his screams and playing. Together with drummer Nick Pierce he steered the Heavy Metal ship safely from one headbanging wave to the next. The two of them are a tight team and a great rhythm section. Unearth was barely able to squeeze in “The Great Dividers” from The Oncoming Storm, which Phipps dedicated to the current climate in the US, before having to yield the stage to the headliners.

Unearth setlist

This Lying World
Never Cease
Watch It Burn
My Will Be Done
Zombie Autopilot
The Great Dividers


SOULFLY (Live at (le) poisson rouge, New York City, NY, USA, September 11, 2019)
Photo: Kristian Singh-Nergård

Soulfly was visiting New York City for the second time this year. Back in February they played the slightly smaller Gramercy Theater. (le) Poisson Rouge might have a larger capacity but the layout is a bit odd with the stage located in one corner. There was no photo pit which caused this photographer/reviewer to battle the over-eager mosh pitters with one hand and taking pictures with the other. Quite an experience! At the same time the stage was not very high either, so you feel closer to the bands playing.

It was great to see Marc Rizzo, who’s been in the band since 2003, tear through the guitar solos with such ease. He really is one of Metal’s underappreciated guitarists. Cavalera of course still plays rhythm guitar with only four strings. This goes back to the very beginning of Sepultura when he couldn’t afford new strings and chose not to replace the strings he didn’t use much. He brings so much energy to the stage, and you’d be amazed that he turned 50 earlier this year. He knows how to work the crowd and had them singing along to everything, even repeating choruses after a song was over, just to get the most out of the crowd. Bassist Mike Leon has been in the band since 2015 but is such an integral part of the band already. He was slapping and popping the bass like there was no tomorrow and helped Cavalera keep up the energy at the front of the stage. The drummer is none other than Max Cavalera’s son, Zyon. Zyon has been in the band since 2012, when he was only 19. This kid is a great find! He has such a great sense of rhythm and he plays with such ease that it’s very enjoyable to watch and listen to him playing. His style is similar to his uncle, Igor Cavalera (Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy) but he also brings his own flair.

All the other great bands aside, there was never any doubt; this was Soulfly’s night. They tore into “The Summoning” and “Under Rapture” from last year’s Ritual before diving into a couple of shortened down and merged versions of “Fire” (from their self-titled 1998 debut) with “Porrada” (from 2004’s Prophecy), and “Bleed” (also from Soulfly) with “Plata o Plomo” (from 2012’s Enslaved). The setlist was a parade through all stages of Soulfly’s career. The highlights were many but arguably the greatest were “Jumpdafuckup” (off 2000’s Primitive), “Prophecy” (off Prophecy) and the rendition of “Tribe” (off Soulfly), complete with Max Cavalera playing Berimbau and transitioning into a cover of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up”. The percussive instrument Berimbau is a symbol of Brazil and of slavery, and a Soulfly set is not complete without it.

All in all, it was a great night in NYC. With a bill like this Soulfly and its peers are welcome back any time!

SOULFLY (Live at (le) poisson rouge, New York City, NY, USA, September 11, 2019)
Photo: Kristian Singh-Nergård
Soulfly setlist
  1. The Summoning
  2. Under Rapture
  3. Fire / Porrada
  4. Bleed / Plata o Plomo
  5. Prophecy
  6. Arise Again
  7. Babylon
  8. No Hope = No Fear
  9. I and I
  10. Tribe (with Berimbau intro)
  11. Get Up, Stand Up (The Wailers cover)
  12. Ritual
  13. Dead Behind the Eyes
  14. Rise of the Fallen
  15. Back to the Primitive
  16. Jumpdafuckup / Eye for an Eye
  17. Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne cover) (Instrumental only, without Max)


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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