Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah released their eight studio album The Violent Sleep of Reason in 2016. Since then, they have been actively touring in support of the album. Their band name comes from the Yiddish word meaning, “crazy”. To start the year, they announced a small west coast tour which concluded at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, California. Even before doors opened, loyal metal fans were already in line waiting to get in. Support came from Toothgrinder and Code Orange which served as energetic opening bands as the venue had already filled with metal maniacs even on a Monday night.
The lights went out and fans cheered as an intro track started and the band members made their way to the stage and started the show with the first track from the newest album, Clocks. Right away, you can tell how Meshuggah separate themselves from other bands in that their music is far more complex with crazy 8-string guitars, polyrhythms, and double bass drumming from Tomas Haake that is godlike. Another way to describe their music is called djent, a metal subgenre which utilizes the use of distorted, palm-muting, and low-pitch guitars. You can also hear the distinct bass playing from Dick Lövgren in that you can hear his bass playing that sounds like a rubber band as he plays in unison with the guitarists and is Meshuggah‘s signature sound. Meshuggah‘s music is made to hit you with blunt force so you can really feel the music hitting you and going through you. It’s metal that’s super easy to head bang too and of course, mosh your soul away too. The next track played was the second track from the newest album, Born in Dissonance. Another thing you’ll notice is how Meshuggah has set up their stage. Aside from banners, the band uses some of the most beautiful light shows you will see from any band. From the flashing lights, strobe lights, to the back lights. You never saw the same light show twice. The lights themselves gave you a psychedelic feeling and blended really well with the band’s music. Meshuggah kept up their energetic performance and performed each song to perfection as they played songs such as Rational Gaze, Lethargica, Nostrum, and Violent Sleep of Reason. Frontman Jens Kidman spoke to the audience and thanked them for coming out. for the next song, he said that they should all know this one. As soon as the song started, fans went crazy as they recognized the song Bleed, which is perhaps the band’s most famous song. It is known for Haake’s insane double bass drumming involving triplets that would change throughout the song as well as more insane guitar playing. Meshuggah ended the show with Straws Pulled at Random, then left the stage. Fans weren’t ready to go home just yet and chanted the band’s name for them to come back out. Surely enough, Meshuggah came back out and played the first encore, Future Breed Machine which is another one of their most famous songs and is also a very catchy song. Kidman once again thanked the fans for coming out and left them with the final song of the night, Demiurge. Fans went wild as crowd surfers even appeared aside from all the horns in the air and head banging going. Meshuggah left the stage for the final time and some fans were seen covering their ears as they had just witnessed an amazing and loud band.