Hatebreed Bring 25th Anniversary To Clarksville
Article + photos by Nick Zimmer
Clarksville, TN, sitting around 40 minutes north of Nashville, is known mostly as being a military town as it is home to Fort Campbell. Lately it has been the stop of choice for metal tours, and this time around O’Connor’s Irish Pub was the home for the night for Cane Hill, Hatebreed, and Clutch. While we were only able to photograph Hatebreed this night, we stuck around for a jam packed night of heavy metal.
Let me set the stage really quickly - O’Connor’s sits just off of the highway surrounded by 2 gas stations, and that’s it. The Irish Pub has an extensive patio and field out back that includes volleyball nets and on this night, a BBQ truck shaped like a pig.
The night kicked off with Cane Hill taking the stage and immediately grabbing the attention of the still small, but passionate crowd. As the band bounced through tracks from last years Too Far Gone, the crowd had the horns up and their heads banging. The most interesting moment of the set came as vocalist Elijah Witt introduced the track “Too Far Gone” with distorted vocals as if they were on LSD, which happened to be the subject matter of the song. The crowd who was comprised of more of an older demographic, it was sick to see the support for a younger band who were a bit more diverse than the rest of the package.
It’s hard to believe that Hatebreed have been destroying everything for 25 years now. Jamey Jasta and crew didn’t leave anything behind in celebration of the band’s anniversary, spreading their setlist across their entire discography, breaking out deep cuts like “Under the Knife and “Smash Your Enemies” as well as heavy hitters “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” and “Seven Enemies” from their latest album, The Concrete Confessional.
The crowd, which had grown exponentially by the time Hatebreed took the stage, brought the mosh and brought it hard, and I’m willing to bet many fans suffered from a bangover the next morning. Jasta is one of the best vocalists when it comes to hyping up a crowd, and his constant back and forth for cheers and mosh calls added intensity to the set. Hatebreed have not slowed down a bit over the years, and you would be foolish to not catch the band the next time they roll through your town.
As we got deeper into the night and Clutch was preparing to take the stage, the once small crowd was now full and tightly packed. Clutch, who are what can be best described as groove metal, immediately ripped into “How to Shake Hands” from 2018’s Book of Bad Decisions. Singing back every work at Neil Fallon and moshing constantly, it was obvious that the raucous crowd had been preparing for this moment all night, and were not disappointed. Clutch, who are also no strangers to longevity, powered through their biggest hits as well as a cover of Cactus’ “Evil,” while closing the night with an encore of “Electric Worry” and “X-Ray Visions.”
There can be a lot going on in Nashville any given night and it can be quite overwhelming. It was a nice change to get a little bit outside of the city and still being able to catch a quality night of music. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for shows that may hit just outside of your town - they can be easy to miss and you don’t want to lose out on the opportunity to experience something new.