Volumes with special guests Varials, UnityTX, and Kingsmen | Fall US Tour | 11/20/21 | Photos + Review

Volumes Sell Out Their Hometown Show To Close Out Their Fall Tour

Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA on 11/20/21

Volumes have been a band I have enjoyed for quite some time. Their progressive metalcore sound that verges on deathcore brings in a lot of fans that go absolutely nuts to their music. For their return to the stage, they embarked on a month-long headlining US Tour in support of their new album “Happier?” in 2021 via Fearless Records. They brought along a solid lineup of bands that are quite different in sound but who each bring the energy to the stage, those being Varials, UnityTX, and Kingsmen. This night was a lot of fun and brought a lot of high energy and vibes. 

First up to the stage were Kingsmen from Providence, Rhode Island. Unfortunately, some issues getting in as a photographer prevented me from seeing or photographing a majority of their set. However, I was able to get in and photograph the last song and a half of the set, which I utilized each second of. The band is good ole metalcore, with music in the same vein as bands like Killswitch Engage, Miss May I, and many more. I was very much looking forward to seeing Kingsmen and seeing their 5-song set, most of which came from their 2020 record “Revenge. Forgiveness. Recovery.”, which was released via SharpTone Records. The one song I did get to see and photograph was a cover of Metallica’s “Sad But True,” which they did exceptionally well. The vocalist Tanner was on point with his’ vocals, guitarists Nick and Tim did incredibly on those guitar parts, Adam held it down strong on those bass lines, and drummer Mike slammed those drum parts. I’m sad I could only see and photograph one song, but the band killed it on that cover. I cannot wait to see and photograph them for a longer period of time next time they come out to the west coast. 

SETLIST

  1. Tipping The Scales
  2. Nightmares
  3. Until I Departed
  4. Oppressor
  5. Sad But True (Metallica Cover)

Up next were the Dallas, Texas boys in UnityTX. This band is the perfect blend of metalcore, hardcore, and rap. The band played songs from their two EPs, “Madboy” and “Hellway,” released on Pure Noise Records. Their crowds went wild and even got so violent to the point where multiple crowd members were dragged out of the venue for fighting. Their music goes HARD. What’s unique is the diverse stylings the band has. With vocalist Shaolin at the forefront, the band incorporates many hip hop and rap elements. The band weaved some full-on rap songs into their set, showcasing Shaolin’s stage prowess and rap ability. The instrumentals in the band’s set should definitely be praised as well. Those basslines from Alberto are beefy and heavy. They add a deep groove to the songs that are very much needed. Then you have the guitar tones from Ricky that add a deep emphasis on those breakdowns and get the crowd going wild with those guitar chugs. Closing out the band’s lineup is Jonathan on drums, who slammed the hell out of those drums with precision. The band absolutely blew me away and proved why they are getting as far as they are. I cannot wait to see and photograph them again next time they come to Southern California. 

SETLIST

  1. Agony
  2. Ruckus
  3. Cross Me
  4. 60 Seconds (Wait)
  5. Bang Shit
  6. Hail Mary
  7. Walk With Me

Up next was Varials from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’d best describe their sound as the perfect trifecta of metalcore, hardcore, and deathcore, with some minor nu-metal influences as well. This was my second time seeing and photographing the band, with the first time being back in May of 2019 when they toured in support of Sylar and Cane Hill at this same venue. Since then, the band has gone through some lineup changes, the most notable being the shift of vocalist to Mitchell. Mitchell was previously on guitar and absolutely killed it on his new position in the band. He screams and sings those parts with power and emotion. Mike is still slaying it on bass, adding some serious grit to the rhythm section. James added some grooves to the rhythm section on the guitar, which adds a lot to the band’s sound. The band brought out two touring members to finalize their live set for this tour. Kendrick is in the band BeGotten and played lead guitar on this tour, absolutely slaying those leads while also having incredibly high energy on stage that included two-stepping, windmills, and lots of headbangs. Kevin finalized the band’s lineup on drums, absolutely murdering that kit on stage. They played a 10-song set, playing songs from both of their albums, “In Darkness” and “Pain Again,” along with a couple of songs from their E.P. “Failure//Control.” I always enjoy seeing and photographing these guys and hope to do so again when they come out with All That Remains, Miss May I, and Tallah in Spring of 2022!

SETLIST

  1. Romance
  2. Empire of Dirt
  3. I Suffocate
  4. In Darkness
  5. South of One
  6. E.D.A.
  7. Stigmata
  8. Savage
  9. Anything To Numb
  10. The New Damnation

Volumes from Los Angeles, CA, came to the stage next. For the tour’s final date, the Southern California native band came back home to party it up. The band played a great mixture of songs to please old fans and new fans alike. Their progressive metalcore sound that borderlines on deathcore has garnered various fans. Vocalists Myke and Michael do a great job going back and forth on vocals, creating a jab punch in songs like “The Mixture” and “F.X.B.,” and creating incredible dynamics between cleans and screaming on songs like “Bend.” Bassist Raad adds those deep grooves that are ever-present throughout the band’s whole discography. Drummer Nick slams those drums with intricate patterns that create the bassline for the instrumentals to flow effortlessly. Finalizing the band’s live lineup is Mikhael on guitar, who plays those complex guitar parts flawlessly. The band really had a lot to offer in this set. They had the crowd going wild with a dynamic lighting setup to a whopping 17-song set that incorporated songs from their entire discography. Out of all the shows I covered in 2022, this was by far the rowdiest crowd I had the honor of being a part of. Volumes know how to bring the party, and they did not disappoint this time around.

SETLIST

  1. Intro
  2. F.B.X.
  3. The Mixture
  4. Holywater
  5. 91367
  6. Pixelate
  7. Get Enough
  8. Weighted
  9. Bend
  10. Serenity
  11. The Columbian Faction
  12. Edge Of The Earth
  13. Erased
  14. Pieces
  15. Intake
  16. Wormholes

Encore

17. Feels Good

Volumes truly brought it on this final night of their month-long trek on the road. With bands like Varials, UnityTX, and Kingsmen, they truly brought along with them a diverse group of bands that created a dynamic night of music. I’m still sad I couldn’t see and photograph more of Kingsmen’s set, but that will definitely happen next time. 

Volumes | Varials | UnityTX | Kingsmen

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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“Manic” by Wage War | Review

album released October 1, 2021.

A little over two years ago, Wage War dropped their third album, “Pressure,” which was one of my favorite albums that dropped that year. Earlier in 2021, the band has been preparing to follow it up with their newly-released fourth full-length – “Manic.”

“Relapse” kicks things off with riffs reminiscent of Wage War’s metalcore roots, and it brings a standout lyric early on in the record (“I take one step forward, then two steps back, till I run out of time in the hourglass”). The mix of melodic vocals in the verses and choruses with the heavier pre-choruses and the breakdown towards the end showcases a little bit of what listeners can expect from the tracks that follow. Second up is the single “Teeth,” which also displays the juxtaposition between the more melodic aspects of their sound (such as the irresistibly catchy chorus) and the heavier ones (shown through the sections surrounding those choruses). The song is an ode to a friend who stabbed you in the back, explaining that this person is “accepting apologies” but would “never give it” and asking them with brutal honesty, “You only took from me but did you ever care?” 

The title track, “Manic,” is where the album gets a little bit experimental. The band incorporates elements of hip-hop and nu-metal, which immediately reminded me of music from bands like My Enemies & I and Afterlife, and these genres are blended with the aggression that the band is known for. Speaking of which, “High Horse” is up next, and it really hones in on the metalcore influences and the most aggressive parts of their sound, with monstrous riffs and furious vocals all throughout. “Circle The Drain” contains an anthemic and powerful chorus, and the lyrics deliver a crucial message. The song is all about taking accountability and wanting to do the best you can to make this world a better place. The lyric “the hurt begins with me” sums up this theme very well, showing the moment when someone “decides to be a part of the solution,” as the band said on Twitter when explaining the song’s meaning. “Godspeed” brings plenty of solid hooks from start to finish, and similar to some of the other tracks on here, it experiments a bit and mixes some glitchy effects with the harsher instrumentals. The song’s lyrics continue the conversation about cutting out toxic people in your life, as one line declares “and now you’re dead to me.” 

If you’re a fan of the aforementioned heavier aspects of Wage War’s sound, then you’re in for a treat when you hear “Death Roll.” It’s easily the heaviest on the record (aside from “High Horse”), and it seemingly incorporates elements of hardcore as well. In contrast, “Slow Burn” is way more melodic, and it feels reminiscent of “Circle The Drain” and even some of the tracks from “Pressure.” The chorus on here offers some of the strongest books on the entire record, and it’s another really memorable track.

“Never Said Goodbye” is up next, initially driven by acoustic guitar, simpler percussion, and clean vocals before the much bigger choruses crank up the volume of the instrumentals. The lyrics are very clearly all about grief, and lines like “Won’t ever heal cause I’m trying to make sense of a world where you’re not in existence” and “I know you’re home now in a better place, but I’m still searching for the words to say” will easily resonate with those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Second to last is “True Colors,” beginning with a combination of both screams and gritty shouted vocals that lead up to another catchy chorus with some more great hooks, and the riff-driven breakdown will have fans joining the mosh pit if the band plays the song live. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” concludes the record, and it does so very nicely by combining both the more aggressive and more melodic elements heard throughout the album, from the brutally heavy performances in the verses to the soaring vocals in the massive chorus. 

“Manic” shows Wage War staying true to their roots at times, but also shows some additional experimentation, and much like “Pressure,” this record as a whole shows how the band is continuously evolving as songwriters and musicians.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Silverstein with special guests The Plot In You and Can’t Swim | Silverstein 20th Anniversary Tour | 11/19/21 | Photos + Review

Silverstein Sells Out Their 20 Year Celebration In Los Angeles

11/19/21 at The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA

              In March of 2020, Silverstein was set to go out on their 20th Anniversary Tour. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the tour was postponed twice. Finally setting out on tour in November and December of 2021, the band now hit their 21st anniversary as a band. To prepare for just a significant anniversary, the band prepared one of the longest sets I’ve ever seen a band play, and they brought along with them The Plot In You and Can’t Swim for the ride. This lineup made for a night of diverse music that kept fans entertained from start to finish.

              First up was Can’t Swim from Keansburg, New Jersey. I’d best describe the band’s sound in the subgenre known as “easycore.” Easycore is basically the merging of pop-punk and metalcore. Similar bands in sound would be A Day To Remember, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk, and more. The band started with the song “Set The Room Ablaze,” which comes from their newest album, “Change Of Plans,” released in 2021 via Pure Noise Records. This song has a heavy edge, with metalcore-inspired riffs courtesy of Danny Rico and Mike Sanchez. This song also features some raspy screams from guitarist Chris LoPorto. The song’s studio recording features Caleb Shomo from Beartooth, which honestly pushes the song over the edge. This is easily my favorite song from the band and having them open up with it was incredible to witness. The band then went on to play their song “Sometimes You Meet The Right People At The Wrong Time” from their 2018 record “This Too Won’t Pass,” released via Pure Noise Records. This song has an overall pop-punk feel, with the stand-out elements being the drum patterns and overall atmosphere. I focused during this song on drummer Blake Gamel, who was absolutely smashing those drums like crazy. Bassist Greg McDevitt also did a superb job on backup vocals, adding amazing harmonies that pushed the songs to another level. The third song in the set that I captured was their song “Sense of Humor,” which has a very lighthearted feel in the melodies and atmosphere. The song changes up about two-thirds of the way through with a breakdown, adding an extra layer of contrast and depth to the song that kept me jamming while in the photo pit. The band was tight as hell during their set and had incredible energy. They absolutely blew away my expectations. They played a nine-song setlist, playing songs from four of their releases. They’re a fantastic band, and I highly recommend attending their headlining tour in the spring if it comes near you!

SETLIST

  1. Set The Room Ablaze
  2. “Sometimes You Meet The Right Person At The Wrong Time”
  3. Sense Of Humor
  4. Prick
  5. Deliver Us From Evil
  6. Power
  7. My Queen
  8. Your Clothes
  9. Stranger

Up next was The Plot In You Hancock County, Ohio. This was my second time ever seeing The Plot In You, with the first and only other time being back in 2016 when they were headlining their “Happiness In Self Destruction” tour in support of their album they had released the year prior of the same title. The band has made quite the transformation since then. The band was previously a through and through metalcore band. They experimented with more melodic elements in the album “Happiness In Self Destruction” before diving deep into their new sound in 2018’s “Dispose” via Fearless Records. Going more towards a post-hardcore and progressive rock sound, the band has genuinely diversified their more recent records. The band opened with the song “Face Me” from their 2021 record “Swan Song,” also released on Fearless Records. Face Me opens up with a beat, and vocalist Landon Tewers before the full band comes in during the chorus. The band really brought the theatrics, with a gorgeous light show that really brought their performance to the next level. The instrumentals have a truly modern vibe to them. The bass from Ethan Yoder is vibrant and prominent, the guitar is deep and full from Josh Lewis Childress, and the drums are clean and solid from Michael Cooper. The band then went on to their second song, “Fall Again,” which is my favorite track from the new record. This song plays with the band’s heavier elements, bringing in some nu-metal inspiration in the guitar tones and vocalizations. Landon Tewers is truly on fire vocally on this record, showing his vast repertoire and prowess. The band then went on to play their song “Enemy,” which has an r&b feel to it, while still dialing into their post-hardcore sound. I love the new addition of the electronics into the music, as it adds a whole other layer to their sound. The crowd was eating them up, jumping, and singing along to every word. The band played a total of ten songs, spanning from “Swan Song,” “Dispose,” and “Happiness in Self Destruction,” which are three albums that really meld nicely in the band’s current discography and their more modern sound. The Plot In You has truly grown a lot since I last saw them, and I cannot wait to see them again. 

SETLIST

  1. Face Me
  2. Fall Again
  3. Enemy
  4. Not Just Breathing
  5. Time Changes Everything
  6. Paradigm
  7. One Last Time
  8. Too Far Gone
  9. Disposable Fix
  10. Feel Nothing

Silverstein from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, hit the stage next. Hitting two decades for a band in the heavier music genre is a massive milestone for bands in our genre and music in general. It can be easy to burn out and give up, but Silverstein has proven that a band can not only succeed but push themselves further and thrive through perseverance, growth, and rebuilding. For those who somehow have never heard Silverstein, they are that perfect blend of metalcore, post-hardcore, pop-punk, and punk rock. They started out as one of the classic emo bands and have constantly expanded upon their sound to keep previous fans impressed and gain a new, innovative following. For their 20th Anniversary Tour, the band went the whole nine yards, preparing three sets in total. They also brought an extensive amount of colorful and vibrant lighting, timed and themed perfectly to their music. The first set Silverstein played was a greatest hits set, performing songs from their whole discography. They opened with one of their newer singles titled “Bankrupt.” This track is an explosive and heavy track with a deep guitar groove courtesy of Josh Bradford and Paul Marc Rousseau. The crowd went bonkers, with crowd surfing and moshing galore. This track showcases vocalist Shane Told’s intense screams and solid clean vocals. He is a powerhouse vocalist and truly showcased that with this song. The band then went into the song “Massachusetts” from their 2013 album “This Is How The Wind Shifts,” which has a lighter sound compared to “Bankrupt.” Those intricate drum patterns from Paul Koehler are a standout in this song for me. The next song the band went into was “Smashed Into Pieces” from their debut album “When The Broken Is Easily Fixed,” which really has that classic emo and post-hardcore vibe the band founded themselves on. Bassist Billy Hamilton was on point with those harmonies and backup screams on this song, and that deep bass grove really helped push it over. The band then went into songs like “Bad Habits,” “It’s Over,” “Infinite,” and “The Afterglow.” The band even did a massive melody of songs, which included “The Artist,” “Sacrifice,” “I Am The Arsonist,” “The Continual Condition,” “My Disaster,” “Vices,” “Je Me Souviens,” and “Broken Stars.” After a short interlude, Shane Told came out to do an acoustic set while a few members joined during a song or two. The acoustic set consisted of “Rescue You,” “Untitled” by Social Distortion, “Red Light Pledge,” and “Where Are You,” all of which once again showcased how diverse and strong Shane Told’s vocals are all these years later. The band came on for their third set just a minute later to play their second album, “Discovering The Waterfront,” in its entirety. Songs like “My Heroine” and “Call It Karma” were standouts on the album for me, so to hear them live, along with the rest of the songs, was absolutely incredible. The band gave us a special treat for their encore to top it all off. As a final song, the band played “Bleeds No More” from their debut album. However, they changed things up, putting Shane Told on bass and having Billy Hamilton absolutely demolish those vocals. He was on fire, and Shane was plunking away at those chunky bass notes. This song finished off their set on such a high note. Silverstein again proves why they are a staple in their cohort, and I cannot wait to see them again in the new year. 

SETLIST

  1. Bankrupt
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Smashed Into Pieces
  4. Bad Habits
  5. The Artist/ Sacrifice / I Am The Arsonist / The Continual Condition / My Disaster / Vices / Je Me Souviens / Broken Stars
  6. It’s Over
  7. Infinite
  8. The Afterglow
  9. Replace You
  10. Untitled (Social Distortion Cover)
  11. Red Light Pledge
  12. Where Are You
  13. Your Sword Versus My Dagger
  14. Smile In Your Sleep
  15. The Ides Of March
  16. Fist Wrapped In Blood
  17. Discovering The Waterfront
  18. Defend You
  19. My Heroine
  20. Always And Never
  21. Already Dead
  22. The Hours Back
  23. Call It Karma

ENCORE

24. Bleeds No More

Silverstein really went above and beyond for their 20th-anniversary tour. I am beyond grateful I could see and photograph them again, along with The Plot In You and Can’t Swim. All three bands played amazing sets and made the crowd go NUTS. Give some love to all of these bands and go see them live when they hit cities near you!

Silverstein | The Plot In You | Can’t Swim

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |

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Grayscale’s “The Umbra Tour” 2021 ft Young Culture, girlfriends and Cemetery Sun

Pop punk. One of the most up-for-interpretation genres. You have a million pop punk bands, and not one of them will ever sound the same. It’s a genre that fits a wide definition, which makes so called ‘ pop punk ‘ shows a wonderful mixed basket of bands. Grayscale’s Umbra tour gave a show that had something for everyone. I made my way to Easton, PA, for one of the most amazing nights I’ve had in a long time.

I was immediately given an amazing welcome by the band Young Culture. Not only were they outstanding people, who were appreciative of every fan and photographer alike, but their music was some of the best I have heard in years. Their set was, in the best way, a throwback for me. I remember the Golden Era of pop punk bands from 2015-2017. Young Culture’s amazing sound fits right in with the likes of Neck Deep, The Story So Far, and State Champs. The entire band appeared to be having the time of their life, which helped the crowd get rowdy. The entire building danced, laughed, and sang along together. Good vibes are an understatement when it comes to Young Culture. 

Cemetery Sun was this beautiful experience that reminds me of bands like Badflower and Nothing, Nowhere. While it wasn’t exactly music to crowdsurf to, the entire crowd was mesmerized by this unique take on the genre. Along with the music getting the crowd ready for the night, every member of the band was a fantastic performer. This usually isn’t my type of band, but I was blown away by the dedication to their set, and fans. A friend I attended the show with was a first time listener, and he had nothing but good things to say. “ These are my favorite types of bands, and to be able to see one reach out to a broader audience was very exciting to me.”

My best way of describing the band Girlfriends is as if the most famous people you knew made music. Their sound is big, exciting, and sounds familiar even if you haven’t heard it. They blended a chart topping pop sound with a punk edge that makes the most mainstream and obscure listeners alike happy. Once again, a band full of unbelievably kind people. That’s the one thing I can stress about this tour. Every single artist on it is grateful, kind, and willing to connect with other people. It’s refreshing to see these connections after being away from each other for so long. 

The last time I had seen Grayscale before 2021 was way back when in 2017. Adornment was one of my favorite albums of all time, and they solidified themselves as one of my favorite bands with the release of Nella Vita. Umbra was a release I had looked forward to since they announced it, and it was everything I wanted. With emotional, beautiful composition, and vibe you can’t help but dance to, Umbra is easily my album of the year. I was excited to see how that translated to a live show, and I was not let down. For a band who’s music isn’t exactly rowdy, Grayscale can move a crowd like no one I’ve ever see. Crowdsurfers we’re flying through the air during songs I wouldn’t think would be appropriate, but it all made sense in the end. The entire band sounds almost as perfect as they do on record while playing live. I cannot stress Colin Walsh’s vocal talent enough, but it was beyond perfect during a live show. They played their entire new album in full, playing their most popular older hits as the encore. They were an absolute delight to talk to after the show, and absolutely one of my favorite bands I’ve ever taken photos of. 

Every band on this bill is incredible, and they show their passion every night when they play.

Photos + review by Emily Sulkowski

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We Came As Romans ft The Devil Wears Prada, Dayseeker, and Hollow Front | To Plant A Seed 10 Year Anniversary Tour | 10/20/21 | Photos + Review

We Came As Romans Plant A Seed At A Sold Out Los Angeles Show

Venue: The Regent

Date: 10/20/21

We Came As Romans announced their 10 Year Anniversary Tour for their debut album “To Plant A Seed” in late 2019. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, the tour was postponed not once but twice. At last, the band could embark on the long-awaited anniversary tour, a year and a half after it was initially scheduled for. Along with the band came support from The Devil Wears Prada, Dayseeker, and Hollow Front. This stacked lineup brought the heavy, the emotional, and the nostalgia to a sold-out crowd that had awaited this night for a long while.

Up first was Hollow Front Grand Rapids, Michigan. The band is on the border between metalcore and post-hardcore, with some ambient backing tracks that bring in the progressive metal influences. The band opened their set with the opening track from their 2020 release “Loose Threads” titled “Afflicted,” which the band released independently. This song is melodic and comes out the gate, showcasing Tyler Tate’s harsh, growled vocals. The dude truly owns every inch of that stage. The band then went on to the title track from their newest album, “Loose Threads,” which really showcased guitarist and vocalist Dakota Alvarez’s vocal abilities and had a slower vibe to it. Devin Attard, one of the rising drummers in the metal scene, was headbanging and smashing the hell out of the drums in the back. The band then went on to play Vegabond, also from their newest album. This is one of the heavier tracks on the record and goes deep into the downtune with deep bass tones from bassist Brandon Rummler. In total, the band played seven songs and really started the show out perfectly. The crowd was still warming up and coming in, but they definitely got the pit warmed up for the bands to come. I cannot wait to see and photograph the Hollow Front boys again next year!

SETLIST

  1. Afflicted
  2. Loose Threads
  3. Vagabond
  4. Wearing Thin
  5. Don’t Fall Asleep
  6. Left Behind
  7. Treading Water

Up next was the incredible Dayseeker from Orange County, CA. Dayseeker is another band that borders between metalcore and post-hardcore, with a lot of progressive metal influences in their instrumentalization and the ambiance that is felt throughout their music. For their setlist on this tour, the band played songs all from their newest album, “Sleeptalk,” released in 2019 via Spinefarm Records. The interlude “The Embers Glow” played as the band came on stage, leading into their first song, “The Color Black,” one of the heavier songs on that new album. The song showcases vocalist Rory Rodriguez’s vocals in the forefront, with him mixing between cleans and screaming. This new album is very emotional, speaking about alcoholism, loss, eating disorders, and more. Rory really poured his heart into these vocals, and you can tell with how much emotion he has on stage. One thing that is apparent throughout Dayseeker’s music is the intricate chord progression and fluidity, which are courtesy of the band’s guitarist Gino Sgambelluri and bassist Ramone Valerio, who really add a lot of complex parts to the instrumentals. The band then moved on to their second song, that being “Gates of Ivory.” This is another of the heavier songs on the album. Still, it does such a great job as the rest, with a good yin and yang between the heavy and the melodic with those beautiful instrumentals and Rory’s vocals. The third song in the set was “Crooked Soul,” which has some of the heaviest instrumentals of the record, paired with Rory’s more melodic vocals, creating a beautiful pairing in the song. Drummer Zac Mayfield, the drummer for bands Oh, Sleeper, and Noble, filled in for this tour, truly holding down the fort on the drums. But during the fourth song in the set, “Burial Plot,” the band’s drummer Mike Karle swapped in and finished the set with the band. It was fantastic to see him there slaying as always. The band, in total, had seven songs in their set, six if you don’t include the interlude intro. Dayseeker is always a joy to see and photograph. Keep an eye out on them, as they have many more things in their arsenal to come!

SETLIST

  1. The Embers Glow (Interlude/Intro)
  2. The Color Black
  3. Gates Of Ivory
  4. Crooked Soul
  5. Burial Plot
  6. Drunk
  7. Sleeptalk

Up next was the all mighty The Devil Wears Prada from Dayton, Ohio. The Devil Wears Prada has become one of the most consistent bands within the metalcore genre throughout their career, releasing seven full-length albums and two EPs. The band played a career-spanning set for their direct support slot, playing songs from almost all of their releases. They opened up the set with “Nightfall,” the opening track from “ZII,” released in 2021 via Solid State Records. This song is one of the heaviest songs the band has released in years, bringing the band to an elevated version of the heaviness they were known for in their earlier days as a band. Vocalist Mike Hranica is on full display for a majority of the song, with his mid and high range screams piercing through the heaviness. The song has a slowdown section for the cleans, which are provided by guitarist and clean vocalist Jeremy DePoyster. The band then went on to play “Outnumbered” from the “Zombie EP.” This EP stands the test of time as one of the band’s most popular releases with its sheer heaviness. The crowd went nuts, with lots of moshing and crowd surfing. During this song, bassist Mason Nagy had incredible energy, flailing and headbanging to his’ heart’s content. Keyboardist Jonathan Gering really brings a lot to this song, adding the needed synths and backing that amp up the song to new levels. The third song in the band’s set was “Born To Lose” from the album “Dead Throne.” Coming hot off the release of Zombie EP in 2010, this 2011 record saw the band continuing off the momentum they built thus far, combining the sound of their previous works with their new, more mature sound. Born To Lose is one of the highlighted tracks from this album. I was honed in on guitarist Kyle Sipress, who absolutely slayed it on those lead guitar parts, as well as drummer Giuseppe Capolupo, who is an absolute machine on those beats. I was, unfortunately, unable to get any photos of Kyle or Giuseppe, as we photographers were kicked out of the photo pit a song early due to the crowdsurfing. However, I was still able to enjoy the band’s incredible set from the crowd, where they played ten songs in total, ranging from most of their discography. This band always plays a flawless set, and I was thoroughly impressed with what they showcased to us. I cannot wait to see and photograph these guys once again in the new year!

SETLIST

  1. Nightfall
  2. Outnumbered
  3. Born To Lose
  4. Chemical
  5. Lines of Your Hands
  6. Forlorn
  7. Sacrifice
  8. Mammoth
  9. Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?
  10. Danger: Wildman

Finally, We Came As Romans from Troy, Michigan, came to the stage. For the 10th anniversary of “To Plant A Seed,” the band played the album in its entirety. However, they didn’t necessarily play it in order. The band played the entirety of the album but mixed in fan-favorite songs from the band’s discography. Before the band came on stage, they had a beautiful video playing on their LED screens about how impactful this album was on their careers and onto them as individuals. The band opened up with the title track “To Plant A Seed.” The stage exploded with CO2 cannons and an extensive lighting setup brought by the band. Vocalist Dave Stephens came right out the gate screaming those vocals and really controlling the crowd. What was remarkable was seeing the dynamic between Dave and bassist and backup vocalist Andy Glass. This was my first time seeing the band after the passing of the band’s founding clean vocalist Kyle Pavone. I was curious to see how the vocal duties would be split up. Andy took over, doing some of the screaming vocals, while Dave did the clean vocal parts. The band changed keys to fit Dave’s voice, and the new arrangements sounded absolutely incredible. The second song the band played was “Broken Statues.” During this song, I focused on guitarist Joshua Moore, who really holds it down on those lead guitar parts and instrumental melody. I have been a fan of his guitar playing for years, and to finally photograph it live was a dream come true. It was also so cool to see drummer David Puckett absolutely slay those drums. Formerly in the band For Today, David is quite established in the metal scene and has a range in his’ drum playing. Just hearing his’ playing on these songs that inspired me so much as a young kid was amazing. For their third song, the band played “We Are The Reasons.” I focused during this song on rhythm guitarist Lou Cotton, who truly grooved along with the rhythm section and held it down. It was amazing to finally hear songs like “Intensions” and “Roads That Don’t End and Views That Never Cease” played live since I saw them back in 2012 for the first time. It was also incredible to hear the band’s newest song, “Black Hole,” performed live, along with fan-favorite songs like “Hope,” “Tracing Back Roots,” and “Wasted Age,” among others. This is a band that has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. They were one of the first bands I got into in the scene. I remember getting this We Came As Romans gray shirt at Hot Topic back in 2011 and just being in awe. Little did I know that it would start quite the collection of metal shirts to come. We Came As Romans demolished that stage and performed a fantastic nineteen-song set, really planting their seed into The Regent in Los Angeles, California, on this Wednesday night!

SETLIST

  1. To Plant A Seed
  2. Broken Statues
  3. We Are The Reasons
  4. Beliefs
  5. Dreams
  6. To Move On Is To Grow
  7. Wasted Age
  8. Lost In The Moment
  9. Hope
  10. Tracing Back Roots
  11. Black Hole
  12. Intensions
  13. Roads That Don’t End and Views That Never Cease
  14. Searching, Seeking, Reaching, Always
  15. I Will Not Reap Destruction
  16. An Ever-Growing Wonder

ENCORE

17. Promise Me

18. Cold Like War

19. Darkbloom

The “To Plant A Seed 10 Year Anniversary Tour” was a long time coming and something I’ve had on my calendar a total of 4 different times now. I am just so happy that the bands, the management, and the venue worked hard to make it happen. We Came As Romans is an essential band in my personal musical journey, so to see the album that brought them into my life played in its entirety was a dream come true. Shout out to The Devil Wears Prada, Dayseeker, and Hollow Front for truly bringing your A-Game and bringing some incredible music to Los Angeles. Truly one of the best shows I’ve had the honor of covering this year.

We Came As Romans | The Devil Wears Prada | Dayseeker | Hollow Front

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Thrice ft Self Help Family & Touche Amore

October 20, 2021 || Denver, CO

Self Help Family

Touche Amore

Thrice

Photos courtesy of Jess Kelly | Instagram | Twitter

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Saving Vice @ Broken Land Fest

Photographer Shay’s favorite things about Broken Land Fest

1. The venue itself is cool. Not sure if you’ve been there before but it’s my first time. When you step it there is a big open space that’s where the main stage is, to your right was another stage next to the kitchen, to your left is the bar, when you walk out to the back there is the garden stage which is literally outside in the garden.

2. Tattoos – flash tattoos, music and tattoos make for a great festivals. Don’t drink and get them though, lol

3. Art show, they had some performances with hula hoops and strippers. I saw this because this was at the time I was outside at the garden stage.

4. Very friendly environment, really good vibes everywhere.

5. Breakdowns, a lot of the kids from the long island hardcore music scene were in attendance, pretty sure for Bodysnatcher, and they live for breakdowns. It’s so nice to see everyone two stepping in unison to breakdowns!

6. Fusion of different music, you had old school rap like Scarhead ( bitches and cocaine, that’s what stood out after every song lol) , then you had new rap like Quija macc and then hardcore metal mixed in, it was great. And of course, Saving Vice got the attention of everyone, very high energy and the two vocals really works for them.

Photos + list above by Shay

Self proclaimed Metalhead from NYC, Phil shared a few words about his favorite sets of the day, ” Dropout Kings because of their fusion with Trap and Metalcore! I thought they were super sick! Bodysnatcher because they are one of the best downtempo bands out right now, absolute heavy madness. Skarhead because they are one of the best mid 90s NYHC bands and the best legacy act Broken Land Festival got. Honorable mentions also go to Left to Suffer, Yakmob, Saving Vice, Dishonest Escape and Awake at Last.”

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Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Yet tour hits New York City!

Let’s go back to 2002 – you wake up for school, turn on MTV (back when they actually played music) and see the video for New Found Glory’s “My Friends Over You.” This was how I first came across the band. At the time, I had no idea what the song was and had never heard of them up until that point, but my twelve-year-old self was blown away and I instantly became hooked on their music. Fast forward over twenty years later, and New Found Glory is still at it and going stronger than ever. They have done many Warped Tour runs alongside different genres of bands, and in early 2019, they released a trailer with fellow pop-punk band Simple Plan announcing a tour called “Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Yet.” I was super excited and bought tickets right away.

A few months later, a huge pandemic hit us and stopped bands from touring at all. The tour was cancelled and rebooked a few times over the next year or so, but even with line up changes it was set to continue no matter what. Finally the day came. It was a nice, breezy, and cool day in New York City, and the fact that the venue was up on top of a building overlooking Brooklyn made the show that much more special. The tour now consisted of LOLO (a pop/pop punk artist based out of Toronto), as well as Hot Mulligan and the infamous Less Than Jake.

The show started out a little lighter with LOLO, who has a poppy sound, but mixes some pop punk in there as well.