Saint Andrew’s Hall is one of the most treasured music venues in Detroit. It once was home to The St. Andrew’s Society which has been around since 1849. Like most of the buildings in Motor City’s downtown, there is a rich and interesting history that goes along with it. These repurposed places carry a rare kind of magic which feeds directly into the pleasant experience attendees have at Saint Andrew’s. It was the perfect spot for one of Modern Metal’s hottest bands to bring their headlining 2022 USA tour last weekend. Jinjer came to town, and they came ready to show off.
Ukraine’s Space of Variations got the evening festivities started. The four piece shimmered with energy and projected their spirited playing in a magnetic way. They have a classic Metalcore sound that meets the progressive side of Modern Metal. Their djent breakdowns coincided nicely with the splashy synths and clean vocals. The venue grew still and quiet as vocalist Dima Kozhuhar opened up about his home country and what they are going through. He shared that families are in bomb shelters and pleaded for everyone to message their loved ones. His conviction and earnestness was moving, and the room roared “Ukraine” as the act took their final bows. Vended was up next and gears slightly shifted from a pretty polished band to one more primal. This youthful bunch came out eager to devour every moment of admiration from the packed house. Their famous fathers in Slipknot could be heard in their raving, yet resolute raucous. Frontman Griffin Taylor had a confidence and charisma that called for attention. Each member was fully present and played bright eyed as the onlookers soaked up their big and ballsy sound. Though young, they commanded the stage. They played a new song called ‘Overall’ and had everyone jumping in the air.
Then an even bigger shift happened. We went from youth to veterans. P.O.D. is one of pioneers of the Nu Metal genre and they came ready to share their riffs. A first time concert goer stood in the front row. She could barely see over the barrier, but her big eyes danced as she hopped around in pure excitement. Her joy was contagious, and everyone became immersed. The band’s groove hit hard and everyone showed up for the dance party. The room moved with these guys as they juggled heavy with hip hop. Frontman Sonny Sandoval said they have been coming to Detroit for over 30 years and many roared with gratitude. The responsive crowd sang and swayed as the band played their hits off their 3x multi-platinum album Satellite (Atlantic). ‘Alive’ and ‘Youth of the Nation’ had everyone, even the people in the balcony up on their feet shouting along. There was a lot of nostalgia in the air but seeing so many young people also singing every lyric was wonderful to witness. Each seasoned player gave off a rare kind of agreeableness and good vibes settled over the fans. Their alternative style boomed with a frenzied sincerity and diverting wildness. A lot of warmth and love was shared as they ended their set. It is always pleasant to see an experienced group still love what they do.
The final act of the evening came out ready and fervid. The crazed crowd convulsed with elation as Jinjer jammed out their first number, ‘Sit Stay Roll Over’. The Ukrainian quartet thundered out their unique sound that jabbed the senses with a furious strength. Frontwoman Tatiana Shmaylyuk unleashed her dynamic vocals with severity and authority. Though her normal level of spunk seemed slightly diminished she still owned that room and every captivated attendee in it. Each member seemed a bit distant, but if anyone had an excuse to be a little adrift, it could be someone who’s country is fighting for their lives. Their playing was still near perfect. Eugene Ulasevich and Roman Ibramkhalilov did a dazzling dance with their fingers as they flew in a flurry over strings. The vibrant tones branded each song with diversity and intelligence. The clarity, harshness of Shmaylyuk’s heavy vocals gave an extreme hue of expertise to the band’s overall sound. Their Metalcore and Tech Metal roots could be heard on numbers they played from their most recent full-length, Wallflowers (Napalm Records). Each number was played with weight, even during their more progressive pieces like, ‘I Speak Astronomy’ and ‘Pisces’. Their heaviness transcends traditional metal and explores new possibilities by dappling in other genres like jazz, reggae, and funk. Their continuous, grandiose groove morphed so that it can give new life and spirit to each track. Shmaylyuk shouted, “Thank you so much for an unforgettable evening” as the show came to an end. Each member beamed as they left the stage which conveyed a clear love to their craft and fans.
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WORDS AND PHOTOS BY RAGIN ROSIE