Fit For An Autopsy Concert Review-The Nile Theater Mesa AZ 03-22-23

Concert Review and Photos by Maxwell Williamson

 The Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona was hit hard on March 22, 2023 with a double punch of brutal deathcore music from the co-headline match-up of Fit For An Autopsy and The Arcacia Strain, this is probably the heaviest tour of 2023 thus far!

The sold out crowd flooded the sidewalks of downtown Mesa with fans who were ready for some midweek mayhem at the Nile Theater. The Nile Theater is a venue that’s nearly 100 years of age and a quite unique one at that – with 3 venues under one roof holding shows simultaneously almost nightly every week. Tonight’s main draw was in the main room, a sold out show featuring co-headliners Fit For An Autopsy and The Acacia Strain.

Primitive Man:

Opening up the night was Primitive Man, a three-piece doom metal band from Denver, Colorado. They delivered a short but sweet set of four songs that made for a solid opening performance and set the mood for the musical carnage that was coming down the pike later in the evening.  

 Full Of Hell:

 Next on the bill was Full of Hell, a grindcore ensemble led by vocalist Dylan Walker. They wasted no time raising the energy level to a feverish level in the room. Drummer Dave Bland really stood out by starting each song with a unique drum introduction that led into his fast-paced playing while utilizing every piece of equipment on his kit. An enjoyable energy filled the room, both musically and visually as the band ran all over the stage with an infectious energy and presence that was felt by everyone. The band gave the Nile audience a vicious sixteen song set that was; you guessed it….. Full Of Hell!

 The Acacia Strain:

After the two previously mentioned stellar support acts, it was time for the two main attractions to unleash their madness on this historic Mesa venue. A sold out crowd was jam packed into the venue from the stage front all the way back to the sound board and from side to side in the room – there were a sea of fans who were ready to explode all over the venue in anticipation for the upcoming brutality by Rise Records’ The Acacia Strain. The room was a crazed sweet pit to say the least, and if this show was in August; the paramedics would have been real busy. The entire vibe of the show shifted into high gear for this performance with the fans, fist pumping, screaming out the lyrics and getting their feet moving in the swirling circle pit. The Nile Theater doesn’t usually have a barrier between the stage and the fans, and tonight was no exception as the fans in the front row had their bodies smashed against the front of the stage. You know what this also calls for, stage diving, lots and lots of stage diving!! They were even encouraged by the band as well, despite The Nile Theater’s security staff doing their best to remove fans from the stage before they had a chance to take a dive. At one point, a seemingly irritated Vincent Bennet (vocals), on a number of occasions, went over to tell the security to back off and let the fans have at it. One thing for sure is that The Acacia Strain knows how to work the crowd with plenty of instances where the crowd would help with the lyrics and happily oblige to the calls to “Open up the Pit”.  About half way through the set, singer  Vincent took a few moments to talk to the crowd about the importance of checking in on friends and loved ones, a reminder that mental health is a stigma that many people struggle with in silence. The encouragement to be kind and respectful to one another was met with a loud resounding cheer from the fans who seemed to genuinely appreciate the message. Long time fans of The Acacia Strain were surely pleased with a set list consisting of songs from 6 different albums and the bands’ relentless and non-stop energy. By the time they wrapped things up, the buzz and sentiment in the room was that – we all just witnessed the best show this night had to offer; but that would soon be put to the test.

 Fit For An Autopsy:

FFAA was met with a tremendous roar as they took the stage and went straight into the track, “A Higher Level Of Hate” off their latest album, Oh What The Future Holds that was released on January 14, 2022 via Nuclear Blast Records. These guys sounded phenomenal and they commanded the stage like the seasoned veterans they are! Not one member stood stationary during this performance; it was constant mayhem for sure! They powerwalked the stage from one side, mingling with the crazed fans below who were squished up against the stage; the fans really loved the mayhem! As the set went on, the circle pit was fueled by the double bass drums and heavy guitar riffs that incited the ragingpit as it grew larger and larger with every song like a swelling tornado in an open field.

In between songs lead vocalist Joe Badolato shared with the crowd, that this was a very special show for him. He pointed over to the side of the stage, and introduced his entire family who came out in support to watch him put on a stellar show; how cool is that! He even shared a fun fact about his grandma being a 420 friendly Grandma, and that may have gotten the loudest cheer of the night from the crowd. If you’re not yet familiar with 420 friendly; it simply means that you can enjoy your cannabis without fear of any interference or penalty; not that’s a cool grandma for sure!

After 10 songs of in-your-face deathcore metal from Fit For An Autopsy, it was time to wrap things up. They would end the night with the track, “Far From Heaven” off their latest release, a shredding track that ended this night on a high note.

    If you’re into the heavier shit, and you like to put on your dancing shoes and get a little rowdy in the pit, this is the tour for you. I left the venue feeling that I had just witnessed some pure musical carnage in the best way possible; it was almost therapeutic in a sense. I am definitely looking forward to attending another show at The Nile Theater!  I’ve been to my fair share of venues over the years but something about the aesthetic of this nearly century old building made this show stand-out above the rest.  

If you’re into a brain crushing and heavy show, get out and get into this tour now! You will thank yourself for doing so!