Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
A heavy hitting lineup awaited the city of Worcester, Massachusetts on an unseasonably warm October Friday evening. Lines extended from block to block while Spotify playlists provided the before-show entertainment.
First on the ticket: Escape the Fate.
Holy 2009. Escape the Fate brought the, “middle school” out of everyone while these Vegas rockers came out swinging. Opening the set, Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft flexed his finger muscles ripping a solo during the performance of “Just a Memory” off of Hate Me (2015). Cable whips, stick flips and devil horns were on full display. However, like any band that has been around for quite some time knows, there were a lot of dedicated fans present waiting for, “their old stuff.” Que, “This War is Ours (The Guillotine 2)” off of This War is Ours (2008). So much movement. So much nostalgia.
Next up: The Word Alive.
Feeling a bit under the weather, Telle Smith (lead vocalist) showed little to no hinderance opening the evening with their most recent single Misery (2017). The breakdowns these Pheonix natives produced almost put holes through the walls. Even performing through a few technical and health difficulties, the Worcester crowd provided enough backing vocals to leave The Word Alive with a full-hearted appreciation for the cities of Worcester and Boston. Telle took a few moments to express his gratitude for how accommodating the State of Massachusetts has always been. This fueled and ignited the most intense circle pit of the evening while “Trapped” off of Dark Matter (2016) rocked and sent the Arizona boys home with a smile.
Next up: We Came As Romans.
October 20th, 2017 was a special day for the 313 lads. Not only did they return to Worcester, but their most recent album was released earlier that afternoon - Cold LIke War (2017). Speaking of which, “Cold Like War” off of Cold Like War provided a modulated punch to the face as the opening track. Additionally, there was a pleasant surprise-showing of “Glad you Came” off the Pop Goes Punk Volume (2012). In many ways, this caught those attending off guard but in the best way possible. As a going away present, Kyle Pavone (clean vocalist, pianist, synthesist) asked for the crowd’s assistance as he belted the ending verse to “Hope” off of Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be (2011) while being held up by the third row of the pit.
Completing the evening: I Prevail
Welcome to Wrestlemania - I Prevail edition. The stage set up for the Rage On The Stage tour resembled the ghosts of Royal Rumble’s past. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, I Prevail took the stage without Brian Burkheiser (lead vocalist) due to surgical recovery. Nevertheless, they still laid the smackdown on every jabroni in the venue. Apart from performing their most popular tracks like, “Love, Lust & Liars” off of Heart V.S Mind (2014) and “RISE” off of Lifelines (2016), a few special appearances found their way into the ring. One lucky fan was given the chance to be the Boston’s heel against the I Prevail’s babyface - Dylan Bowman (guitarist). In efforts to shut down the heel, an acoustic rendition of “Get Low” by Lil Jon was dedicated to the fan’s mother. Apart from the music itself, I Prevail incorporated a wrestling role play throughout the entire set. This provided an intimate connection with the fans and band members. And with no surprise, “Scars” off of Lifelines (2016) concluded the evening’s festivities with a wall-of-death that nearly tore the floor in half.
If you have the chance to check out one of the remaining Rage On The Stage tour stops, I highly recommend wearing a DX or Stone Cold Steve Austin shirt. You might get the stunner. Can I get a hell yeah?
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