CONCERT REVIEW: God Forbid – Bleeding Through – Nora – Shai Hulud – Living Wreckage Live at Starland Ballroom


What year is this!? At the Starland Ballroom on the night of this show, it might have been 1999, as much as it was 2023. Minus the fashion trends of the time. It was a time capsule of metalcore that just aged up to musical perfection with God Forbid’s second reunion show in five months, and Bleeding Through back from hiatus as well. The opening bands included Living Wreckage, which features members from Shadows Fall and Anthrax, plus Shai Hulud, and Nora. 

Living Wreckage opened the night with their hard rocking style of metal. Vocalist Jeff Gard reminds you of Sebastian Bach at times. The lineup of Shai Hulud has changed many times over the years, but you wouldn’t know the difference from the way they performed tonight. They ended their set with “The Profound Hatred of Man,” which featured one of the band members’ kids covering the lead vocals. 

Nora is another band I haven’t seen in years. It was great to get reacquainted with these Jersey boys. Carl Severson’s vocals sound just like he did almost thirty years ago. They closed it out with arguably their most famous song, “Nobody Takes Pictures of the Drummer.” 



A set from Bleeding Through, the most atmospheric metalcore band in the world, is a lesson in cardio. They played an intense, ten-song set. Blasting through hit songs like “Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire” and new catchy soon-to-be classics like “Piss You Away.” Brandan Schiapetti’s get-in-your-face energy almost pulled him into the pit with his at-the-rail sing-alongs.


God Forbid’s intro played over the PA and once “The End of the World” kicked in, they ripped it! With a blistering 13-song set, the headline performance was a test of endurance for the band playing only their second show in 11 years. Just hearing the crowd scream “This is the end!” with vocalist Byron Davis for the first time in NJ in over 11 years was magical.


The addition of Nick Hipa, formerly of As I Lay Dying, is the perfect fit. He made it feel like he was always there. Doc Coyle and Nick’s guitar riff harmonies just filled the place. Bassist John Outcalt, and Doc tossed in another melodic melody with the instrumental “A Reflection of the Past.” Then drummer Corey Pierce kicked it back up into high gear with “Living Nightmare.” All of a sudden in the moshpit and in a sea of crowd surfers came a yellow shirt-clad surfer in his wheelchair! You should try it once if you haven’t. The scene supports all!

They ended the night with a series of encores consisting of “Don’t Tell Me What to Dream,” “Antihero” and the crowd favorite “Broken Promise.” Sure, the hairs were a little bit thinner and greyer, but for one night, everyone was 25 years old again, and all was right in the world again.  If this lineup from tonight wanted to do more shows, I’d be ok with that. Mini tours forever!


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