Alt-Rock Veterans Soul Asylum and Local H Brought Some 90's Nostalgia Feels To The Motor City (Photo Gallery)
Photos by Josh Justice
90's college rockers Soul Asylum brought their Dead Letter Tour with Local H to St. Andrew's Hall in downtown Detroit, Michigan. The month-long tour hits both coast before ending in Austin, Texas on March 20.
Author and Photographer – Ian Urquhart
It is a bittersweet feeling watching each Vans Warped Tour date come and go, for the last time. Fans coming together in celebration. Musicians collaborating with other bands to leave lasting impressions in the cities they made countless memories in while on the road. Tears being shed. Smiles stretching from ear to ear. Clouds of dirt pluming from mosh pits. Water being sprayed into the crowds of sun-kissed fans. Moments that will live on in everyone’s memories until the end.
All this being said, the Massachusetts faithful was amped and ready to throw down at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. The Vans Warped Tour has also been famously known to bring the rain with them while stopping in Massachusetts. To everyone’s surprise, the skies stayed clear for the entire day while the sunburns commenced. Although there were plenty of talented bands to view and review, seven bands made the cut for our review of the last Vans Warped Tour stop in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
As a means to accurately represent each band, a list of quick hits will be mentioned for each set. Time to get down to business.
Saving Vice – If you are looking for a new metalcore band, feast your eyes and ears on Saving Vice. Rocking the Full Sail stage, Saving Vice stirred up the rowdiest crowd you can find at 11:00 AM. With influences ranging from Architects to The Plot in You, Saving Vice provides a head-pounding and emotional journey through their live performances. Recently coming back from their set at iMatter Festival in Albany, NY (playing alongside Underoath and August Burns Red) the Saving Vice train is moving quickly. Be sure to keep a lookout for them in the near future.
Ice Nine Kills – Originating from Massachusetts, the Mansfield, MA Warped Tour stop was considered a homecoming performance for Ice Nine Kills. A strong Friday the 13th vibe was felt on and off the stage before “Communion of the Curse” off of Every Trick in the Book (2015) shook the dirt covered ground. Spencer Charnas (vocalist) also ensures that fans feel included in each Ice Nine Kills set. There were multiple occasions where Spencer would join the crowd for each of his sing-along choruses.
Wage War – The best advice to be given to anyone who wishes to see Wage War for the first time is to buckle yourself in. Hands down, they had the most vicious and physically exhausting mosh pit of the day. Fans were able to view the cloud of dirt kicked up from inside the pit all the way from the water filling stations. The striking harmonies between Briton Bond (lead vocalist) and Cody Quistad’s (guitarist/vocalist) vocals have always been a distinguishable tone that can only be tied to Wage War’s unique vision. And who can’t forget the barbaric nature of Wage War’s breakdowns?
Unearth – When you think of a traditional metal breakdown, Unearth should be the band that pops into your head. With acrobatic jumps and hair whipping verses, Unearth unleashed a can of you-know-what in front of the Massachusetts faithful. Unearth's set did not contain a single back track. This set was very in-your-face and gave the rest of the bands performing that a day a run for their money.
Every Time I Die – It is very possible that each member of Every Time I Die spent more time in the air compared to the time spent physically standing on the stage. By far, Every Time I Die exhausted the most energy during their time in front of the Mansfield fans. Before the set started, you could hear whispers throughout the crowd on how “crazy” an Every Time I Die set is. Those fans were 150% correct. Stretching is certainly recommended before placing yourself inside an ETID mosh pit.
The Amity Affliction – Trekking all the way from Australia, the Xfinity Center helped The Amity Affliction feel as if they never left home. Raw emotion consumes every track written and played by TAA. Fans could be heard belting out each chorus all the way from the Pavilion. “Pittsburgh” off of Let The Ocean Take Me (2014) completed TAA’s set while leaving half of the crowd in tears of ecstatic-heartbreak.
Motionless in White – It always seems to be the case when MIW performs, Halloween arrives early. With a stage decorated with black roses and porcelain angle statues, Motionless in White brought the makeup and breakdowns to melt each and every face looking on. And of course, “Immaculate Misconception” off of Creatures (2010) received the loudest participation.
Vans Warped Tour has always been so much more than music. When Warped Tour visited your city, it was a day filled with a sense of community, acceptance and euphoria. Warped Tour provided the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of fans to meet their favorite artists in a relaxed setting isolated from the production setups usually found at headlining shows. There was always an importance being placed on the emotional health and wellbeing of those who came to watch and listen. Warped Tour provided outlets for those who were struggling psychologically and/or emotionally. Those who walked through the gates to Warped Tour were immediately accepted and welcomed with open arms.
Music is the most powerful and universal language on the planet. Music allows people from all over the world to connect in a way that can only be described as intimate. From all of us at Headrush TV, we would like to thank Kevin Lyman and the rest of the Vans Warped Tour staff for providing a one of kind experience to those who love music for the past twenty-five years. We are all truly grateful for the hard work and countless hours that were put towards providing an opportunity for thousands of fans to create memories that will last a lifetime.
RIP Vans Warped Tour. Thank you for everything.
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Bullet for My Valentine, Trivium and Toothgrinder give the Casino Ballroom a war while rocking in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Author and Photographer – Ian Urquhart
Time to get the aloe out in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. The summer sun decided to show up while bringing a metal concert with it. The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom fell home to a Toothgrinder, Triviumand Bullet for My Valentineshow on May 11th, 2018. If you were lucky and early enough, a few fans had the opportunity to greet some of the bands that were cruising the boardwalk before set time. Nevertheless, all of Hampton Beach was ready to rock.
Leading it off, Toothgrindergraced the presence of the Hampton Beach faithful while Justin Matthews (lead vocalist) rocked an impressive, three-piece suit. Owning the stage with energy and excitement, Toothgrindernot only provided a heavy metal experience, but also found ways to become one with the crowd. Quite literally. With stage-dive after stage-dive, Justin Matthews joined the strong & brave who control the mosh pit while belting out songs alongside vocally-gifted fans. “The Shadow” off of The Phantom Amour (2017) initiated the majority of the crowd movement and participation. Overall, Toothgrinderprovided the electricity needed to jump start this metal-induced evening.
Regardless of where Triviumlies on any show line up, you already know what to expect. Incredibly technical drum fills, head-banging guitar riffs and tongue-exposing solos. Triviumcertainly could have been considered the headliner for this event. However, they were asked to play second and just as everyone expected, they did not disappoint. With eight studio albums to choose from, fans heard a wide variety of songs. With Triviumrockers ranging into many different age groups, having a diverse selection of songs helped connect with the hardcore, dedicated fans while also pleasing the newer ones. This was seen during “The Sin and the Sentence” off of The Sin and the Sentence (2017) while the old-school fans thrashed to the “Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr” off of Ascendency (2005). Trivium always does an incredible job connecting with the fans while also providing an entertaining experience. One can only hope that theywill be rocking stages for many years to come.
With Trivium being a hard act to follow, many seemed curious if Bullet for My Valentinedeserved the headlining spot on this tour. Within seconds of their opening song, “Don’t Need You,” it was evident that they were right where they needed to be. A fresh mixture of songs was played during Bullet’s set in order to capture the attention of new fans while pleasing the dedicated fans of the years past. This was also the first time that New Hampshire was given a chance to officially welcome Jason Bowld as Bullet for My Valentine’snew drummer. Which had zero effect on how well excited Bullet’s performance was. The crowd was sent into a frenzy as the intro to “Tears Don’t Fall” off of The Poison (2005) followed by an overwhelming “Let’s Go!” to kick the song in. Concluding the evening involved one of Bullet for My Valentine’sheaviest songs, “Waking the Demon” off of Scream Aim Fire (2008). It’s possible that the Casino Ballroom floor is still shaking form the circle pit that was created during this track.
The Casino Ballroom always provides an incredible experience as a concert goer. Whether you enjoyed some oysters on a seaside dock or played arcade games for a couple hours before heading the venue. Hampton Beach can be home to some incredible concerts. To have the opportunity to see two legendary bands perform back to back is something many will take home with them as a one of a kind experience. Although this tour may be over, Bullet for My Valentine will be hitting the road again this fall to tour their most recent album that will be released this month, Gravity.
Until then, see you next time.
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Nothing but metal could be felt in the air around Worcester, Massachusetts on April 20th, 2018. Home to many metal and rock concerts, the Worcester Palladium was set to host the New England Hardcore and Metal Music Festival of 2018. Bands stretched across the United States met in Worcester, MA to celebrate the awesomeness of what is metal music. Clear skies, warm sun, loud music and smiles all around could be seen and felt. Let’s break down the breakdowns.
Although the festival included over thirty hardcore and/or metal bands, Headrush TV was fortunate to cover a handful of talented groups. Let’s begin.
Epicenter – Straight out of Boston, the Epicenterfocuses mainly on their technicality when performing. A strong progressive, thrash metal vibe was given off throughout their performance. One neat detail about this band is that their drummer, Zak King, took over the lead vocals for Epicenter. Very innovative band with a lot to offer.
Sentinels – Traveling from their home state of New Jersey, Sentinels got everyone moving. A strong Born of Osiris influence could be heard in their performance. Both Thomas Cardone and Chris Dombrowski (guitarists) timed their progressive melodies with the kick drum of Dave Rucki, perfectly. A fundamentally driven, Progressive Metal band is hard to come by now-a-days, but these guys brought the heavy.
Noxii Arena – Led by Andrew Shea (lead vocalist), Noxii Arenamost definitely represented the Rhode Island heavy metal community. With hints of Whitechapel and Unearth being heard throughout their set, Noxii Arena looked to have felt right at home at the Palladium. Heavy. Fast. Technical. Noxii Arenagot the job done and got the Massachusetts faithful talking. If you have a chance to catch a Noxii Arena set, it is highly recommended you do so.
Barbarian – Also originating from Rhode Island, Barbarian brought a unique vision to their post-hardcore jams. With Mike Carp leading the vocals, Barbarian continued the onslaught of what was being made of the Worcester Palladium. There was a bit of a change when it comes to sound with this group. Hints of Beartooth as well as Memphis May Fire could be hear throughout their set. A pleasant surprise with no one complaining.
Deathamphetamine – Heading about fifteen minutes north of Massachusetts, the Nashua, NH boys of Deathamphetamineeasily stole the show on the upstairs stage of the Palladium. Observing the crowd, Deathamphetamine had the most fans and shirts scattered amongst the spectators. Additionally, their Groove Metal vibe took everyone for a wild ride. This sound was a bit different from the other bands performing. However, this change of pace really sat in with the Worcester faithful. A strong Lamb of God influence was felt throughout the set, as well.
Within the Ruins – With regards to the Main Stage performers of the Palladium, Within the Ruins definitely won the hearts of those watching/moshing. This night was a bittersweet event with it being Tim Goergen’s (lead vocalist) last show as the lead man to Within the Ruins. After a wild run, Tim hung up the microphone while passing it along to Steve Tinnon. Speaking of which, Within the Ruins’ fans were given a taste of Steve’s talents as he was able to sing during Within the Ruin’s last song. This was a heavy hitting performance. If given the chance, catch the Within The Ruinsfellas on tour.
Delain – Charlotte Wessels. Nothing more needs to be said. Lzzy Hale, who? Delain’s gothic rock vibe while being instrumentally influenced with symphonic metal, threw everyone for a whirlwind. With a decade of performing under their belts, Delain certainly knew how to work the crowd. It was a breath of fresh air being able to see such a dominate and strong, female vocalist representing the metal genre so genuinely. There were some whispers amongst the fans mentioning how Delain “sort of sounds like Arch Enemy.” Such a comparison would make sense. In summary, go see Delain if and when possible.
It is always reassuring to see so many people gather in one location to support a scene that gets criticized more than others. To show that there are thousands of people willing to travel and celebrate hardcore and metal music. With so many talented musicians expressing their love and devotion to their craft, it is only fitting to represent each band to their fullest. Having this annual festival speaks volumes to those who wish to keep the hardcore and metal scene alive and thriving.
Until next year and until the next metal/hardcore show, cheers my friends.
Our Last Night came home to New England with I The Mighty, Don Broco and Jule Vera at the Worcester Palladium
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
There is always something special about a homecoming show. Family comes to visit. Old and new friends spread the word throughout their communities. Memories begin to accumulate of shows from the past. It could be assumed that this is what Our Last Night was going through before their show at the Worcester Palladium on March 24th, 2018. But before we get to the final act, there were some impressive performances put on beforehand.
First Up: Jule Vera
Although this group may not fit in with the rest of the Rock community, their presence in the Alternative music world is well known. Backed by a blissful piano, Ansley Newman (lead vocalist) displayed her wide vocal range while the rest of her bandmates followed suit. Songs like “Scarlet Letter” off of Friendly Enemies (2015) and “Bad Company” off of Waiting On The Sun (2017) were soft enough to set the mood to “chill”. On the other hand, they were also upbeat enough to get the floor jumping in harmony. Overall, Jule Vera was a wonderful band to listen to as well as a great opening act to initiate the evening’s festivities.
Second Up: Don Broco
Like many European artists and bands, when traveling abroad and performing in different counties, you probably never know what you’re going to see or expect. That being the case, bringing nothing but 100% to the stage is almost required. Which is exactly what Don Broco did. A Bedford, North London party was brought across the pond to the Worcester, Massachusetts. A Don Broco performance is a mixture of cowbells and poppy riffs while also throwing a wall of death in the mix. Rob Damiani (lead vocalist) had everyone in the crowd take of their shirts and swing them around their heads in a “European” fashion during the performance of “T-Shirt Song” off of Technology (2018). This set was a wild and unexpected experience if you have not seen Don Broco perform live before. Also, kudos to Simon Delaney (lead guitarist) for practically swinging his legs up and over his head while rocking out – which did NOT look easy.
Third Up: I The Mighty
If only Jule Vera and I The Mighty went on tour together, they would be a match made in heaven. The progressive/indie/alternative vibe that was being projected from the stage was strongly apparent. Simply put, the most popular songs played by the San Francisco natives were “Speak to Me” off of Satori (2013) and “Where the Mind Wants to Go” off of Where the Mind Wants to Go/ Where You Let it Go (2017). Something special about I the Mighty was that their songs were easily relatable. The lyrics behind each track passionately resonated to those listening in some way. Which was the feel that many fans were receiving during their set. Some attendees were getting emotional while singing alongside their concert neighbor. This is a talented group with the ability to do big things with their creative, collective minds.
Last but not least: Our Last Night
Appropriately timed, Our Last Night waited until ACDC’s “Back in Black” finished playing over the PA before taking the stage. According to Trevor Wentworth (lead vocalist), this performance was the largest of their career. What a feeling that must have been. To be playing at the same venue they spent so much time at as kids watching other bands live out their dream. Originating from southern New Hampshire, families of the band and crew huddled on the stage to watch their loved ones be embraced by their home crowd.
What a show. Our Last Night took a concert and turned it into an evening full of surprises and cooperation. How might this be the case? By having the pit attendees carry Woody Woodrow (bassist) from the stage all the way to the bar and back. During which, Woody took a shot of Jägermeister and brought back five Miller Lights for the rest of the fellas on stage. Which was executed perfectly. However, one thing for sure is that Our Last Night provided a wide variety of tempos, breakdowns, singalongs and melodies during their set. Heavier riffs were heard during “Ivory Tower” off of Selective Hearing (2017) while cell phones lit the venue during the ever popular “Sunrise” off of Oak Island (2013). Another aspect of Our Last Night that has been received overwhelming well is their ability to cover pop songs and turn them into their own metal renditions. Example of this was seen during their performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” So far, almost every show has been sold out for Our Last Night on their Selective Hearing Tour.
Seeing bands return home to where they started is always a heartwarming experience to witness. To see their hard work payoff right in front of their eyes. And quite honestly, not too many New Hampshire bands can say they sold out the Palladium.
Overall, incredibly satisfying and exciting evening filled with passionate musicians.
Until next time,
15 years in the making – A Day To Remember, Papa Roach, Falling in Reverse and The Devil Wears Prada rock the Tsongas Arena
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Normally on a Thursday night, the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts is home UMass River Hawks. However, there was metal to be played. First up, The Devil Wears Prada.
Regardless of where TDWP plays, havoc and sore necks are reoccurring themes when showing up to one of their shows. Setting the tone was necessary for the remaining artists to play that evening. Lead by Mike Hranica (vocalist) and all his hair, The Devil Wears Prada broke the metal-ice to get the blood pumping. Popular tracks like, “Worldwide” off of Transit Blues (2016) and “Danger Wildman” off of With Roots Above and Branches Below (2009) left people off their feet, signing along and bulldozing those to their left and right. The Devil Wears Prada is certainly talented enough to have a headlining tour, themselves. When it happens, it’ll be madness.
Next up, Falling in Reverse. Chatter throughout the crowd indicated some resentment towards Ronnie Radke (lead vocalist) after his legal accusations in 2017 (that’s for another article). Although many have their own opinion, at the end of the day, they put on an energetic set. For starters, Ronnie is beyond expressive on stage while performing. This may be the appeal to the Falling in Reverse crowd.
Although the genre is a bit different compared to The Devil Wears Prada and A Day to Remember, it gave the evening a sense of variety. Many of their songs were a bit upbeat and almost “poppy.” In the same breath, you could also sense a hip-hop vibe when they performed “Alone” off of Fashionably Late (2013). Having those varying tempos made the performance by Falling in Reverse to feel more dynamic. Overall, this was a well-rounded set with lots of light, energy and voices.
Hop of your time machine. Next stop – the high school years. Papa Roach came up next and they were not messing around. Throughout the duration of Papa Roach’s set, you saw: a mosh pit, a circle pit, a wall of death, everyone jumping at the same time, injuries, laughs, smiles and SO much nostalgia. Lead by Jacoby Shaddix (lead vocalist), the Papa Roach faithful blew the doors off the previous Baltimore show (said Jacoby). Newer singles including “Born for Greatness” off of Crooked Teeth (2017) and “Falling Apart” off of F.E.A.R (2015) set them apart from what they previously have recorded. But to address the elephant in the Tsongas Arena, everyone wanted to chant, “CUT MY LIFE INTO PIECES. THIS IS MY LAST RESORT,” at the top of their lungs. Once everyone had a chance to sing along to “Scars” off of Getting Away with Murder (2004) and “Last Resort” off of Infest (2000), a little piece of everyone listening felt more complete than they did before.
With fifteen years recording, touring, on the road, rocking and moshing, A Day to Remember took over the stage. Straight out the gate, “Sticks and Bricks” off of What Separates Me and You (2011) caused an eruption of CO2 cannons, confetti and screaming voices. A Day to Remember concerts are not just concerts. They are parties. Large beach balls get thrown into the crowd. Fans were told (asked) to participate in a competition which involves surfing on the body of another fan crowd surfing themselves. Large LED screens displayed Sonic the Hedgehog while “You be tails and I’ll be Sonic” off of What Separates Me and You (2011) rocked the house. There were themes for every song. And who can’t resist belting along to “If It Means a lot to You” off of Homesick (2009) with your best friend or significant other next to you.
But don’t let all of these party favors distract you from A Day to Remember’s ability to bring the heavy. Classic example of these can and will always be found in “2nd Sucks” off of What Separates Me and You (2011). With the overwhelming surge of voices screaming, “YOU’RE AFRAID,” Jeremy McKinnon (lead vocals) corralled the entire city of Lowell to sing and mosh. It was also normal to see bass guitars be slung across the stage in replace of, say, a football.
Fifteen years down and hopefully many more to come for A Day to Remember, Papa Roach, Falling in Reverse and The Devil Wears Prada. Rock on.
Until next time.
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Before lines started to accumulate, everyone knew this show would be special. Special in a sense that the amount of passion pouring off the stage could very well overtake the volume pumping out of the speakers. Gathered at the Worcester Palladium on February 18th, 2018, were three, talented and emotionally driven bands. Bands who spoke about the overwhelming sadness being felt by those spread across the globe. War. Bloodshed. Self-centered politicians. Death. Loss. Greif. You name it. But one thing was certain, music brought everyone together on this evening.
Counterparts were first to bring the angst to the limelight. As a general rule of thumb, you do not want to get on Counterparts’ bad side. They will write a song about you. They will orchestrate a breakdown about you. They will let the crowd know how much you hurt them in order to awaken the beasts within them. There was so much passion being exuberated by every member of this band throughout the entire set. Guitar flips by Blake Hardman (guitarist) and chord whips from Brendan Murphy (lead vocalist) were key to Counterparts’ performance. Showcasing their most recent album You’re Not You Anymore (2017), “Thieves” sent the pit into a frenzy. So much technicality was found in this track. It truly displayed the talent in this group.
Plain and simple, a Stick To Your Guns show is an energetic, exciting and pulse pounding experience (just watch out for the ridiculous amount of crowd-surfers potentially kicking you in the face). One could assume that this band spends more time in the air than standing on stage. Chris Rawson (guitarist) and Jesse Barnett (lead vocals) have famously been known to get their jump on while rocking. Although Stick To Your Guns played many crowd favorites such as “Amber” off of The Hope Division (2010) and “Against Them All” off of Diamond (2012), they had a stronger message to convey. Jesse passionately addressed the Worcester crowd to speak about human values. About how these values make you unique and unlike anyone else. How this concept is much more accepting to those who don’t fit in or feel as if they will never fit in. To remember that no matter what you do in life, you only have one to live. This monologue transitioned beautifully into “We Still Believe” off of Diamond (2012). Bands such as Stick To Your Guns do the metal community justice. They provide a moral compass that many choose to follow. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Stay metal.
It’s hard to back up such a powerful and emotional performance given by Stick To Your Guns. However, this is why Architects, Stick To Your Guns and Counterparts tour together. They all have stories to tell and messages to pass forward. This is exactly what Architects achieved.
Loss and grief rarely disappear. People begin to accept their altered reality in a positive and beneficial way. This is done in order to continue on their paths in life to achieve happiness. One could assume this is what Dan Searle (drummer) and the rest of Architects do every day to make their late guitarist proud – Tom Searle. Tom passed away in August of 2016 due to cancer. The record All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2016) was said to be dedicated to Tom and the rest of Tom’s family. This heavy weight traveled to the Palladium while Architects took the stage. Fans showed their support to the band with Tom Searle posters and chants. Nevertheless, the show must go on. Architects showed incredible precision in every song they performed. Timing was spot on. Not a note was missed. Sam Carter (vocalist) took a few moments to express his deep appreciation for all those who have stuck with Architects through everything that has transpired. Sam spoke about the last time they played at the Palladium and how, maybe, there were 50 people. They played in front of over one thousand fans on this evening.
Their most recent single Doomsday (2017) seemed to offer a sense of acceptance to all the fans who expressed grief for Tom alongside Architects. Other songs such as “Gone With The Wind, A Match Made in Heaven and Memeto Mori,” off of All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2017) also carried a message to show how special Tom was (and is) to this band. How his music is still living and carrying on. This performance was much more than lights, sound and instruments. In a way, any Architects concert is a tribute to anyone who has lost a loved one or dear friend. How it’s possible to push forward when the tide is against you.
This evening was special and most likely meant a lot to many people. Tom would have been proud.
Until next time.
August Burns Red, Born of Osiris, Erra and Ocean Grove bring the house down at the Worcester Palladium
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
The first guitars and amps to be tuned and warmed up belonged to the gentlemen from the down-under. Ocean Grove – an Australian band from Melbourne introduced a style of music that could remind one of a Linking Park feel. Specifically, the use of voice modulation and scratch-table effects. An effect board was used throughout the set by Luke Holmes (lead vocals) to nail the electronic additions to his performance. Ocean Grove provided a wide range of creativity in their songs. These weren’t your typical breakdown-blasting and hair-whipping rockers. In a way, they gave off a P.O.D. vibe with their heavy hitting choruses accompanied by their hip-hop feeling bridges. Ocean Grove certainly blended well with the rest of the bands on The Phantom Anthem tour. If this band isn’t on your list of “need to see,” be sure to add them.
It would be interesting to know how many times JT Cavey (lead vocals) from Erra has gotten mistaken for Jake Luhrs (lead vocals) from August Burns Red. Both have golden pipes and impressive beards. But this is beside the point. Erra proclaimed the stage theirs after Ocean Grove. The technicality displayed during their set was truly inspirational. Jesse Cashe might be from another universe with the amount of talent this human being possesses. The ability to effortlessly sweep pick while nailing his high octaves is nothing short of incredible. But this is how Erra has made their name over the years. By being so technically orchestrated, their performances speak for themselves. They certainly did not fall short on this evening. “Seven” off of Impulse (2011) also ripped off all of Palladium’s floorboards.
Wait. who’s up next? Born of Osiris? Time to party.
The breakdown, djent and double-bass gods have spoken. All must go see a Born of Osiris set. If you decide to partake in this experience, you’ll hear a fulfilling synthesizer, shredding guitar fills, and double kick-drum beats for days. And just for kicks, David DaRocha (bassist) and Lee McKinney (guitarist) cut off all the tuning heads to their instruments. Why? No one knows... but it’s awesomely unique. What’s also awesomely unique is how well all of these instrumental progressions blend so well together. Vibes of Children of Bodom could be felt with the finish guitar style and synth combination taking over. Every now and then, you can also hear a dash of death metal with Jashka Raatikainen’s (drummer) blast beats. Not a soul in sight was seen stationary while Born of Osiris was on stage. Be ready to move, jump and headbang when seeing these boys live.
With a flaming “U” lingering above Matthew Greiner’s (drummer) set, August Burns Red greeted the New England (anti-Philadelphia) crowd with the intro music to “King of Sorrow” off of Phantom Anthem (2017) bellowing into the Palladium walls. Jake Luhrs (vocalist) has this indescribable ability to sound like three vocalists performing at the same time while on stage. The amount of practice and precision Jake puts into his craft is visibly noticed during ABR’s live sets. JB Brubaker (guitarist) and Brent Rambler (guitarist) effortlessly demonstrate their ability to play in sync with each other while Matt Greiner hits seven cymbals at once with ease (joking… but it seriously sounds like he hits at least four cymbals with one swoop of his drum stick). One unique detail of an August Burns Red concert is that you can go from a thrashing breakdown to a salsa dance within moments of each other. An example of this was seen during performance of “Provision” off of Rescue and Restore (2013).
Although the Phantom Anthem Tour has come to its completion, keep all of these bands on your radar (if you haven’t already). The next time you’re in town when these groups are performing, you have to go!
Until next time.
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
The only thing in bloom on a February evening in Worcester, Massachusetts was found at the Palladium theater. Neck Deep, Seaway, Speak Low If You Speak Love and Creeper parked their buses, unloaded the trailers and tuned up their instruments for an evening of Pop Punk.
This evening was full of surprises. Normally, the first band to play has a decent following (hopefully). It could be worse while it could also be better. This was not the case for Creeper. Starting off the evening, these Southampton rockers brought the weather with them. Black Rain, to be exact. For a moment, you could have thought the concert was headlined by this group with all the voices echoing from the stands. As an international band visiting the United States, I would only imagine this made their performance even more special. Popular hits like “Black Rain” and “Hiding with Boys” off of Eternity, in Your Arms (2017) really got the crowd interacting with lead vocalist, Will Gould.
Initiate surprise number two of the evening: Speak Low If You Speak Love. An Emotional Indie Rock band playing with Pop Punk bands? Something didn’t make sense there. Lead vocalist, Ryan Scott Graham, even mentioned that they played a small art club in Massachusetts in front of, “maybe 6 people” prior to the Worcester show. But these Pop Punk fans are another breed. No matter what the genre, expect crowd surfing and circle pits for any band on the lineup. Which is exactly what Speak Low If You Speak Love received. It was such an odd but moving sight to be hearing an acoustic guitar strum along to the sound of security guards catching fans surfing over the barrier. It was obvious that this show, specifically, meant a lot to them. It almost seemed as if they’ve never received a reaction to their music like that before. It was a pleasure witnessing such a memorable moment for a group of dedicated musicians.
With the calmness of Speak Low If You Speak Love’s set coming to a close, it was time for Seaway to pump the energy back up. The Pop Punk atmosphere had made its way to the stage while lead vocalist, Ryan Locke was locking it in.in The pit jumped around to “Best Mistake” off of Color Blind (2015) and “Shy Guys” off of Hoser (2015). To keep the surprise train chugging along, Fil Thorpe-Evans – Neck Deep’s Bassist, came out to the stage for a one song, bass-player substitution. You spontaneously felt a beach, summer vibe while listening to Seaway’s choruses. Seaway embodied a comforting concert experience as the show was almost stopped twice to ensure a fallen fan’s safety.
With the NFL Superbowl occurring the night after their set, it was only fitting for Neck Deep to accommodate the New England crowd. As the white canvas fell to reveal the stage, Ben Barlow was seen rocking a Randy Moss – New England Patriots jersey. Incredible. This provided additional fuel to the adrenaline fire of what was the Worcester Palladium. Everyone knew every single word to every song played by Neck Deep that evening. It was a sight to see. One aspect of Neck Deep’s performance that spoke volumes was their ability to incorporate the other bands into their set. You see this occasionally with headlining bands. It’s special when it happens. As an example, Ken Taylor from Seaway joined the Neck Deep boys in “Don’t Wait” off of The Peace and the Panic (2017). Sam Carter, vocalist for the Architects was the original artist who was featured on this track. Additionally, Hannah Greenwood, keyboard player, was brought back to stage in order to cameo in “A Part of Me” off of Rain in July (2012). These collaborations really allow the fans to grow a deeper appreciation for artists who respect other artists who are just as talented.
This tour is filled with go-lucky, positive and nostalgic feels. If there is a stop on this tour coming to a city near you, I highly suggest you check it out. Even if you don’t know the music, this is a show that anyone can have fun at.
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Doors opened the Worcester Palladium at 5:45 PM. At 5:15 PM, a five-block line patiently waited to gain entrance to an anticipated night of metal. This was to be expected with Trivium and Arch Enemy co-headlining the evening’s festivities. However, before these metal vets took the stage, a few other bands wanted to make their presence known.
First to the stage: Fit For An Autopsy.
As the first band to initiate the evening’s events, Fit For An Autopsy opened the metal flood gates as well as the pit. There were no secretes about these New Jersey natives. They came to slay. Initiate: Death Metal. Featuring one of their heaviest hits “Absolute Hope Absolute Hell” off Absolute Hope Absolute Hell (2015), Worcester was given a loud wake up call to get moving, sweating, jumping and screaming. It worked. Warm-up: complete.
Next on the bill: While She Sleeps.
While far away from home, the Sheffield boys brought everything but the kitchen sink to Massachusetts. Lead by their intensely dedicated vocalist, Lawrence Taylor, gravity seemed to be non-existent. Guitar flips. Stage dives and drum leaps are what could be found during a While She Sleeps set. Persevering through microphone difficulties, nothing stopped the UK metal-heads from melting faces. What drove the crowd into a circling frenzy was their banger “Brainwashed” off of Brainwashed (2015). Coming off a recent headlining tour across-the-pond, it’s clear to see why people are drinking the While She Sleeps kool-aid.
Soon to follow: Trivium.
“Trivium! Trivium! Trivium!”
The crowd could have been heard from Lansdowne Street. A switch was flipped. The Palladium’s energy thickened as Matt Heafy, lead vocalist/guitarist, and the rest of the Florida rockers opened a Trivium can of whoop-ass while performing their newest single “The Sin and Sentence” off of The Sin and Sentence (2017). Conceptualizing the fact that hundreds of fans were witnessing legends was heavy enough; let alone Trivium’s breakdowns. “Like Light to the Flies” off of Ascendancy (2005) has easily been one of the most recognizable Trivium tracks to have been recorded. This being said… the general admission floor almost split in half when this record ripped the stage. Even the photographers couldn’t help but to sing along. And what better way to end a set than to have hundreds of headbangers jump in synchronous. Heroes get remembered, Trivium never dies.
In Conclusion: Arch Enemy.
After co-headliner number one stepped behind the curtain, surely there wasn’t enough energy for another hour-long set...
Goodness gracious did Arch Enemy deliver. With one of the most distinct, impressive and unique voices, Alissa White-Gluz, lead vocalist, made her presence known. Accompanied by two guitar-shredding pros, Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis, there was still fuel in the Worcester tank to bring it up a notch. “War Eternal” off of War Eternal (2014) triggered a floor wide mosh-pit our mothers and fathers would have been proud of. No one remained still. Absolute chaos. Even with broken in-ear-monitors, these Swedes knew what it took to perform and follow up bands like Fit For An Autopsy, While She Sleeps and Trivium. If you are contemplating going to an Arch Enemy show in the near future..
.. Do it!
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