The first US show by the speed/thrash metal band, At War, in six years with support from Freedom Hawk and Kombat Wombat with a couple of surprises.
Starting the night was Kombat Wombat, a Newport News-based crossover band who released their EP, P.I.T. Party In Terror, on December 22, 2015. Playing a short set, the band fired up the crowd as a circle pit formed with Luis singing with the fans both near the stage and on the floor.
Freedom Hawk, a three-piece rock band from Virginia Beach, introduced their new guitarist Brendan O’Neill, who also plays for The Pestilence Choir. Playing their first Virginia Beach show since September 18, 2015, their set consisted mostly of songs from their June 23, 2015 album, Into Your Mind, including “Blood Red Sky” and “Radar.” Fans banged their head and pumped their fists to the music. Many in the audience came just to see Freedom Hawk and were not disappointed.
At War, the Virginia Beach speed/thrash veterans walked onstage to massive applause from fans from all over the United States and one fan from South America waiting to hear them play again. For some in the audience, it had been over ten years since the last saw At War play. The second surprise of the evening was the addition of Rikki Lee of the Kung Fu Dykes as a second guitar player.
Starting their set with “Conscientious Objector” from Retaliatory Strike, the band played a combination of songs from their first album, Ordered To Kill (1986), and Infidel (2009). It was a set that for many was far too short. Paul talked about the show being more like a family reunion than a concert considering the age difference with the fans who listened to At War over the years. People moshed politely so that older fans didn’t get hurt and the younger fans got their rage on. After a short break the band came back to play “Rapechase” as their encore and end the evening for appreciative fans.