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Review: Biohazard, Baroeg Rotterdam

The last time i saw Biohazard was in 1993 at the Dynamo festival. That was shortly after the Urban Discipline album which also was their breakthrough in Holland as far as i know. I missed them at Dynamo 1995 and a friend told me they also played the Waldrock festival in 1997, i remember seeing Rammstein and Megadeth that year but i seriously cannot remember seeing Biohazard there, so in my mind the last time i saw Biohazard was about 19 years ago.

A few months ago Biohazard played the Netherlands as co-headliner for the Persistence tour with Suicidal Tendencies in the 013, so i was a bit surprised to hear they played the much much smaller Baroeg venue (about 400 people max.) but since the Baroeg is only 30 minutes away from where i live i wasn’t complaining.

As the past three weeks consisted of two visits to the Baroeg already, two weeks ago for Jex Thoth and last week for Esoteric and Ophis i didn’t really feel like checking out the support act, My City Burning, and apparently my friends thought the same as we all arrived at the same time at the venue. Upon entering i was worried that it would be too crowded, something that Baroeg was known for in the past. Selling out the venue, and then selling a bit more tickets so you can’t move and can’t breathe. But the fact that My City Burning just finished their set when we entered was the reason that it was very crowded near the entrance as a lot of people went outside for some fresh air. It turned out to be crowded, but you still had space to move, walk and most importantly, breathe.

I didn’t bring my camera so i only have some crappy phone pictures.

After a brief soundcheck Biohazard took the stage and they started with a new song from their Reborn in Defiance album that came out a couple of weeks ago. I must say i was pleasantly surprised by their new album as it has a bit of the old spark again after a couple of (in my opinion) mediocre albums. The new songs also turned out to be fitting in the setlist rather well. The audience had to warm up a little to the new song, but once the second song started there already was a rather enthusiastic pit. The rest of the setlist had such classics as Five Blocks to the Subway, Failed Territory, Wrong Side of the Tracks, Urban Discipline, Black and White and Red All Over, Punishment, Down for Life, Shades of Grey and Hold My Own which were all received with great enthusiasm by the audience (myself included).

(video by Eugenie Verbiest)

The absence of Evan was obvious, but the ‘new’ guy, Scott Roberts, is an adequate replacement. Although he kind of lacks the stage presence that Evan had there wasn’t much difference to the sound in my opinion. The rest of the band was as enthusiastic as when i saw them play the Dynamo in 1993 ( not that my memory is that great, but i recently saw footage from that gig again ) which is admirable as they have been going since 1987. During the gig they took their time for some guy who was getting married and had his bachelor party that night, obviously a bit intoxicated he took the stage and sang Black and White and Red All Over.

The gig lasted a little over an hour and there was no encore, which was a bit surprising. They ended with a Beastie Boys track to honor MCA. Biohazard won’t be as relevant as they were in the 90’s anymore, but they are still a more than enjoyable live band. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to see them live.


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