Coming into the final stretch of the “Double Trouble Live” second run, the tour pulled up to Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even for a Tuesday night, the bands and fans were ready for a good time. Anticipation for the show was high, with lines formed to enter the venue before the doors opened. The autumn and Halloween season was a very fitting setting for the evening as concertgoers dawned their corsets and corpse paint. A cool feature of this show was the multicultural representation of the bands. Slated for five acts, one had to miss this date, Black Satellite from New York City. Cradle of Filth, DevilDriver, Ill Niño, and Savage Existence were ready to put on a show.
Coming out of Costa Rica, Savage Existence began the night with a kick. Engaging with the crowd with “hey” chants and pointing out fans from the stage. Their heavy yet groovy and melodic metal style got a small mosh pit to form early in the set. Vocalist Anton Darusso even joined them in the middle of the set, sharing bumps with fans while performing. He also hung out with fans at the barricade. The entire band was enthused while on and off stage, and connected with fans at their merch table. Their latest self-titled album was released earlier this year. The end of the set felt like a surprise, as the fans wanted more after the final song.
Nu-metal veterans Ill Niño brought their Latin-fused jams to the stage next. The set featured some of their classic cuts like “How Can I Live,” “God Save Us,” and “I Am Loco.” After celebrating the 20th anniversary of their sophomore record, Confession, Ill Niño is set to release their first album, Illmotals, in nine years. Fans got a taste of new music when the band performed “Mascara.” Crowd participation continued as vocalist Marcos Leal asked for crowd surfers, and the audience happily obliged by helping one another ride over the waves of hands.
Experiencing Ill Niño is unique because of the multiple drum kits on stage. Offering a visual representation of their layered Latin sound. The founder of the band, drummer Dave Chavarri, along with percussionists Miggy Sanchez and Daniel Couto, lead a drum jam with all three going hard on their kits. Another fun set that you wanted more of; time flies when you’re having fun.
The first co-headliner to hit the stage was the ferocious grooves of DevilDriver from southern California. The 20th anniversary of their debut self-titled record passed just days before. DevilDriver has been slaying audiences for a long time. Legendary frontman Dez Fafara and lead guitarist Mike Spreitzer are the longest-tenured members of the band. After the first leg of this tour and a national run with his other band, Coal Chamber, Dez has been feverishly performing for the fans after recovering from an illness in 2021.
“It took me 14 months to get to a point where I could perform again onstage,” Fafara said in an interview on Radioactive with Mike Z. 2023 marked the first year DevilDriver has performed live in three and a half years. Fafara and the rest of the band hadn’t lost a step.
“I came here to do business,” Fafara told the crowd. But the business was mixed with plenty of smiles. The non-stop set featured little banter, but the intensity didn’t waiver with more crowd surfers and an even bigger mosh pit. Their set featured cuts that have spanned their two-decade career. Their latest album, Dealing with Demons Volume II, dropped in May of 2023.
Capping off the night were the British extreme metal pioneers, Cradle of Filth, from Suffolk, England. Cradle of Filth has been terrorizing the metal scene for over 30 years and are still drawing fans out of their coffins. Founding frontman Dani Filth appeared on stage in a shroud-like veil over his face before uncovering his spike-laden outfit as the band ripped into “Existential Terror,” the opening track from their latest studio album, Existence Is Futile. Followed by their latest single, “She Is a Fire,” from the live album Trouble and Their Double Lives.
The live album features a number of deep cuts, while the Cincinnati set highlighted their vintage hits, peppered throughout their illustrious career. This was CoF’s fourth time performing in the city and the third at Bogart’s. Dani Filth recounted when someone was stabbed at a 2004 show before they could perform. Fortunately, nineteen years later, this show was much safer and without incident. Keyboardist Zoe Marie Federoff stated it was the loudest Tuesday she had ever seen in a post on Instagram.
The “Double Trouble Live II” tour displayed what makes the metal scene special. Various styles and various backgrounds came together to enjoy the music and the camaraderie.