Rallying off of their 2018 release Eternal Nighmare, metal core band Chelsea Grin stopped at the Forge in Chicago with openers Left Behind, Spite, and The Acacia Strain.
Left Behind is a Hardcore/Metal Band from West Virginia that gets down with the crowd. Their most recent release, Outside the Body includes a feature from Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan in the track “Peeling Wax.” The bands heavy tones was the perfect taste of what the lineup had in store for the evening.
Spite came in after and tore up the stage. The pit picked up the pace as people from the second floor of the venue started to throw water/beer into the pit making the floor very slippery. But the sense of community was strong as everyone helped each other up as Spite continued with the same high, rowdy energy as Left Behind.
The Acacia Strain vocalist Vincent Bennett had many things to say about manifesting anger and hate within yourself- to find a way to release it thru something like art, starting a band, just something to release it but not dwell on it. He claims it will just eat away at you and make you a bitter person. Bennett continued repeating these lessons throughout the set.
Chelsea Grin packed their set with old time favorites as well as their newer material. This made the tour an attraction for old and new fans alike. Their setlist went as far back as their 2008 self titled EP, including a rowdy rendition of “Lifeless.” Other highlights were performances of “Broken Bonds” off of Self Inflicted and “Playing with Fire” from Ashes to Ashes.
The band also had a balloon drop halfway through their set in which two balloons had a special coupon for merch in it. Everyone in the crowd gathered around and smashed the balloons as fast as possible to get the special tickets. The unique interaction with fans was a highlight of the evening.
The encore, “Hostage” off of Eternal Nightmare erupted one of the largest pits of the evening.