Splice Magazine

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The Psychotherapy Sessions Tour Featuring Mudvayne, Coal Chamber, Gwar, Nonpoint and Butcher Babies hits Tampa

Tampa, Fl. (July 21, 2023)

Fourteen years. Nearly a decade and a half. Yes, it’s been that long since nu-metal stalwarts Mudvayne headlined a tour. After the success the resurgent band had last year on the festival circuit as well as going on the Freaks On Parade tour, the group decided to take the obvious next step and hit the road with their very own tour. Instead of the time honored tradition of going out with a relatively new band looking to get some exposure, they decided to bring along a few extra friends along for the ride. This tour has a stacked lineup featuring Butcher Babies, Nonpoint, GWAR, and Coal Chamber.

With five bands on the bill the show started promptly at five thirty, and kicking the night off was the Los Angeles based band Butcher Babies. Fronted by dual singers Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey the band hit the stage hard. With only a criminally scant thirty minutes to ply their trade there would be no taking things easy. They started the show off with the “Red Thunder”  the first single off of their latest album ‘Til The World’s Blind. Shepherd and Harvey were both whirlwinds of energy working every inch of the stage. Shepherd was especially energetic with jumps off of a riser as well as going out in front of the stage and standing on speakers while headbanging away. Through out the rest of their five song set Harvey and Shepherd would trade singing duties, deftly switching back and forth between growling and clean vocals. They also played “Bottom Of The Bottle” and “It’s Killin’ Time, Baby!” from Eye For An Eye… which was released at the same time as ‘Til The World’s Blind.

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If you are going to follow a high energy band like Butcher Babies, you better have even more energy. Fans of Nonpoint know this band brings it hard. Every. Single. Time. As the band was the product of the south Florida metal scene, this trip to Tampa was a sort of homecoming for the band, and the crowd was filled with diehard fans of theirs. With a career that has spanned over twenty years, you’d think that they might have slowed down a bit,  but when the band hit the stage and launched into their hit song “What A Day” it was clear they are still at the top of their game and pack a potent punch. Lead vocalist Elias Soriano delivered the vocals with power, conviction, and intensity. Guitarists Rasheed Thomas and Jaysin Zeilstra were rapid firing off riff after riff and rarely stopped moving. The rhythm section of drummer Robb Rivera and bassist Adam Woloszyn were locked in tight. Hit songs like “Chaos And Earthquakes” and “Ruthless”  were played with the precision and ferocity that only a band that that is at the top of their game. Nonpoint saved the best for last though. When they ripped into “Bullet With A Name”, the crowd went nuts and was the perfect ending to their set.


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The next performance of the night would be by GWAR. Yes the costumed, bodily fluid spurting , barbaric interplanetary warriors masking as a heavy metal band was coming up next. If there is one band that anyone who calls themselves a metal should see it’s GWAR. With the band dressed in over the top outfits and band member names such as Blothar The Berserker, Pustulus Maximus, Balsac The Jaws Of Death, and Jizmak Da Gusha, you know you are going to be in for a wild experience. The band quickly launched into “Hail, Genocide!”. With the song barely started two members  of the bands crew were on stage a fighting it out with one holding an over-sized chainsaw, and you guessed it, the blood started to flow right out into the audience. During the aptly titled song “Mother Fucking Liar” someone dressed on an over the top caricature costume  of Vladimir Putin. Of course this led to his hands being chopped off and the screaming audience loving every second of them getting sprayed down with fake blood. While their show is chock full of theatrics and a lot of fluids sprayed all over the audience, don’t be fooled by all this. These guys are actually great musicians and know how to rock. Their final song of the night a cover of the ACDC hit song “If You Want Blood” proved that. Of course with a song title like that and a band like GWAR, the audience got exactly that plenty of blood as well as a wildly entertaining performance.

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Much like Mudvayne, Coal Chamber had been on Hiatus for some eight years, but a festival appearance in 2022 cemented their return. As one of the founding bands of the nu metal scene, they were a perfect fit for this tour. When they finally hit the stage  guitarist Miguel Rascon, drummer Mike Cox, and bassist Nadja Peulen started playing the intro to their hit song Loco. Finally lead singer Dez Fafara made it to the stage. With a black band of face paint wrapped around his head and eyes he was visibly thanking the audience while also egging them on. When they finally launched into the song, it was like they hadn’t missed a beat. With plumes of dry ice smoke shooting out of the stage the band delivered the goods on this rhythmic powerful hit song. This performance set the tone for the night. They followed things up quickly with another one of their hit songs “Fiend”.

With Dez signaling to the audience to get a mosh pit going, they of course listened while the band pounded out yet another muscular powerhouse performance. When Dez yelled out to the crowd did anyone find any keys, all their fans knew they would launch into yet another one of their hit songs “Big Truck”. The rest of their set was chock full of their hit songs like “I.O.U. Nothing”, “Oddity”, and “Dark Days”. All were delivered with their powerful hypnotic style. The last song they performed was “Sway”. Unfortunately, someone was injured  in the pit and Dez halted the performance to make sure their fan was attended to. After everything was all Clear they restarted the song and capped off an epic set perfectly.


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Finally it was time for Mudvayne to ply their wares. With a giant curtain covering the stage with Mudvayne’s stylized logo the tension built rapidly in the audience. As great as all the previous bands had been, this was clearly what everyone was here for. When the moment finally came and the curtain dropped, the audience was cheering as Mudvayne kicked off the night with one of their many hit songs “Not Falling”. Lead singer Chad Gray was crouched down on a riser center stage, bassist Ryan Martinie was on one side of the stage , guitarist Greg Tribbett was on the other with drummer Mathew McDonough behind his kit perched up high atop a five step riser and touring guitarist Marcus Rafferty off to the side next to the drum riser. Every member of the band had on some sort of face paint, with Gray looking particularly terrorizing.

With the band back at the top of the heap and headlining, they sounded like they were back full force. Chad gray made frequent trips to the speakers in front of the stage and crouched down to get closer to the audience which everyone loved. Before the band played “A New Game”, Chad gave a speech on why they named the tour the Psychotherapy Sessions Tour. If there is one thing that he can do just as well as sing is whip a crowd with his speeches. He went on to say that some people go to therapists, while some people do this (pointing to the crowd), and that heavy metal music had saved his life and he had dedicated his life to passing this on to his fans.

Hit songs “Death Blooms”, “World So Cold” and “Dull Boy” were all part of a well curated setlist that was put together to thrill all of their fans. It’s not surprising when a band put a cover song or two into their set. But it’s the choice that can be surprising, and when the band launched into the Police hit “King Of Pain” what a surprising choice it was and that they pulled it off so well. They saved arguably their two biggest hit songs for last. First up was “Dig” which had the mosh pit going in high gear. When the song ended, Chad asked the crowd how they were doing and if they were Happy, and they finished out the night with a killer version of the song “Happy?”

With a tour named the Psychotherapy Sessions, and it features the Butcher Babies, Nonpoint, Gwar, Coal Chamber, and Mudvayne, the cost of this ticket is far cheaper than any doctor would charge and is just as effective. One look at every metal head walking out of the venue and there was nothing but smiles on everyone’s face. Metal may not be the cure for everyone, but for its fans, it is the most powerful elixir on the planet, and this tour is the best place to find it.

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Coal Chamber:






Butcher Babies:


MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre: