Tucked away in the shadows of Allianz Fields, the famed Turf Club, a staple of the twin cities’ underground entertainment held one of metal’s best and longest-running acts, Soulfly. With snow flurries filling the air the street was still bustling. Walking towards the green and white facade of the Turf Club, you are met with the staff taking tickets and stamping hands just within its doors. The room itself has a dark and rustic feel to it. Down the middle stands pillars that split the room. On the right half, a fully staffed bar runs the entire length of the room. The left side has a few tables set up towards the doors and nothing but an open hardwood floor with a stage completely painted black. Along the walls hang artists’ posters of past performances and appearances within its walls. Downstairs patrons fill the booths in the “clown” bar. Yes, it is exactly what you think, a room full of clown images. Despite the coulrophobia, the air was full of tunes from a jukebox pumping out metal classics. The anxiousness of the night was at a fever pitch.
Moving upstairs to the front of the small stage, everyone packed themselves in like sardines. Looking to the back of the packed room was a sight to see. Bodies everywhere and no open spaces. Fans are on top of stools and tables just to get a view of the legendary frontman, Max Cavalera playing his band’s best. On stage, equipment is tucked into the back line and next to drummer Zyon Cavalera’s kit. His kit is perched against the back of the stage leaving very little room, but enough for him to operate. 5 monitors run along the front of the stage. Tucked behind them were the evening’s mighty impressive setlist and peddle boards wrapped in plastic.
While taking the stage the audience noise went from casual conversation to roars of screaming. Frontman and guitarist, Max Cavalera, a legend of the modern metal scene greeted the crowd while smiling and prepping his guitar. Bassist Mike Leon stands off to Max’s right slapping hands with fans up front and newcomer on guitar Mike Deleon is checking his tuning and waving to fans. That easy connection to those in the room is clearly on display. The barrage of brutality despite that friendliness was unrelenting. Max Cavalera, the founding member, commanded and controlled the room. Armed with his ESP weapons, he was in peak performance mode. His fingers stretched across the fret and bent strings at a fevered pitch. Often leaning his guitar head towards the rowdy front row, he unleashed riff after riff with notable ease. Before nearly every song was about to be performed an introduction was given by the title. Regardless of the introduction, the fans knew what was coming by the intros and notes accompanying it. Each and every break the small circle pit slowed down to celebrate the oncoming gem.
Around the stage, guitarist Mike DeLeon shredded through the setlist. The newcomer looked like a 20-year vet of the Soulfly tribe. He often lays down the riffs back to back with Cavalera. His head banged with a smile on his face. It was safe to say he mastered the catalog and setlist. With old-school proficiency, you would believe he has been a member since the late 90s. Stomping and flinging his hair everywhere all around his portion of the stage while playing with such efficiency was a sight to see.
Despite being blocked into the back of the stage Zyon was crushing it. His playing was electric. Listening to his quick snare snaps and symbol smashes rung through the hall-like room. The introduction of Back To The Primitive gave you an immediate idea of how well his playing was going to affect the evening. Having his parts singled out on occasion showcased his abilities. Up close his emotions were contained. He was laser focused and in sync with Mike Leon’s ground-shaking low end. The two were one unit driving the tempo faster and smoother than the recordings.
The show was a journey through the history of Max Cavalera’s Soulfly. Performing fan favorites across the band’s 25 years of existence and most notably off of the Soulfly and Primitive albums. The chefs kiss to it all and the show was topped off with a Nailbomb and Sepultura covers mixed in. The pure energy and good vibes rushed across the venue with every downstroke. That one hour and fifteen minutes of time dedicated to moving one’s soul was a masterclass on how going back to smaller club shows is beneficial to everyone. Soulfly never misses. They remain at their peak performing capabilities and keep pumping out fantastic albums. Totem their latest album is further proof of their lasting legacy.
1. Back To The Primitive
2. No Hope No Fear
6. Filth Upon Filth
13. Refuse/Resist (Sepultura)
14. Wasting Away (Nailbomb)
16. Scouring The Vile
18. Eye For An Eye