Erra & Northlane w/ Currents and Crystal Lake | Neon Alien Tour | Photos + Review

Erra and Northlane Invade Anaheim, CA and Bring Forth The Neon Alien Tour

Venue: Chain Reaction on 9/14/19

When this insane tour was announced, I was thoroughly excited. I am a big fan of Erra as a band, with their style mixing progressive metal with metalcore and post hardcore, which is why I am similarly a fan of Northlane. Knowing these two bands would be co-headlining was nuts. Supporting these two bands were Currents and Crystal lake, two amazing bands who also slay it on stage. This show ranked as one of the best I’ve been to this year so far.

First up was Crystal Lake from Tokyo, Japan. The best way I could describe Crystal Lake is progressive metalcore mixed with metalcore and nu-metal. Although their albums sometimes have clean vocals, the band played a heavier set for this tour. They played seven songs in their 25-minute set, 5 of which came from their newest album “Helix”, which was released in 2019 via SharpTone Records. I have had the opportunity to see Crystal Lake twice this year and they were absolutely insane both times. Their stage energy is absolutely nuts, with vocalist Ryo Kinoshita full on running and jumping into the crowd. The rest of this five-piece consists of guitarists Yudai Miyamoto and Shinya Hori, drummer Gaku Taura, and bassist Bitoku Sakamoto. Major props to Gaku for holding down the fort on drums and playing some of the fastest drum parts I’ve ever heard, which is especially showcased in the band’s song Aeon. Crystal Lake delivers a truly stellar performance each time I see them and sound even better live than on record.

SETLIST

  1. Hail to the Fire
  2. Six Feet Under
  3. Machina
  4. Helix
  5. Aeon
  6. Lost In Forever
  7. Apollo

Next up was Currents from Connecticut. The best way I could describe Currents is a mixture of metalcore and progressive metal. But their sound is diverse enough for them to even tour with a few deathcore lineups in the past as well. This was my fourth time seeing these guys and they certainly did not disappoint. The band played a mixture of songs from their 2017 release “The Place I Feel Safest” and their 2018 release “I Let The Devil In EP”, which were both released via SharpTone Records. The band played a total of 6-songs, showcasing the diversity in their sound. With more melodic songs like Weathered, to heavier songs like Apnea and In Despair, Currents proved just how much of a force they are in the scene as an up and coming band. This five-piece consists of vocalist Brian Wille, lead guitarist Chris Wiseman, bassist Christian Pulgarin, rhythm guitarist Ryan Castaldi, and drummer Matt Young. This band has grown a lot in the short two-year span since I first saw them, and I cannot wait to see them again next time they come out here!

SETLIST

  1. Into Despair
  2. Apnea
  3. The Rope
  4. Withered
  5. Forever Marked
  6. Night Terrors

Next up was the first of the two co-headliners, that being Erra from Birmingham, Alabama. This band has been one of my favorites since I heard their 2016 album “Drift”, which was released via Sumerian Records. For their co-headliner, the band had programmed lighting for the first time and prepared a mixed set that showcased a lot of songs from 2018’s “Neon” and 2016’s “Drift”, as well as showcasing a couple songs from the band’s older records and even played their newest single “Eye of God”. They put together a truly incredible set, with songs rooted in deep emotion and issues ranging from depression, loss, and mourning. Erra has a deep part of my heart, as they were the first band that shared one of my photos back in the day before I even considered doing this for a living. It meant the world to me and to this day I am forever grateful for this band to give me the motivation to continue forth. Erra’s stage presence is dynamic, with intricate and dynamic lighting matching the complex guitar parts and rhythm patterns the band is very well known for. JT Cavey is the ultimate frontman, engaging the crowd with his intense vocal abilities you can tell are rooted in the deep emotions of the songs. The rest of this five-piece consists of guitarist and clean vocalist Jesse Cash, guitarist Sean Price, drummer Alex Ballew, and bassist Conor Hesse. Their set was incredible, but insanely hot in the room; So hot in fact that vocalist JT had to run off the stage midset to catch his’ breath due to the intense heat. Erra made this show truly surreal for me, and I highly recommend listening to their music and seeing them at a show near you!

SETLIST

  1. Irreversible
  2. Dreamcatcher
  3. Ghost of Nothing
  4. Drift
  5. Orchid
  6. Luminesce
  7. Eye of God
  8. Breach
  9. Monolith
  10. Dementia
  11. Hybrid Earth
  12. Skyline

Finally, Northlane from Sydney, Australia came to the stage. This five-piece is best described as a mixture between progressive metal, metalcore, and nu-metal. This was the band’s first time touring North America since their tour with Architects (UK) in 2016, and they surely did not disappoint this time around. Their setlist mostly consisted of songs from their newest album “Alien” which was released in 2019 via UNFD Records, as well as songs from their 2017 album “Mesmer”, their 2015 album “Node”, as well as a couple of songs from their first two albums “Singularity” and “Discoveries”. The band came out swinging with “Talking Heads”. From the moment they hit the stage, the crowd was going nuts, with the entire crowd turning into a mosh pit with the addition of crowdsurfers galore. The heat that had been accumulating in the room rose even further during their set. Being practically a sauna in the room, the band continued on with their 13-song set, which blew me away. They are musically talented, and their stage presence was stellar as well. Using the same lighting set up as Erra, the programmed lighting worked perfectly to convey the atmosphere of the songs. This five-piece consists of vocalist Marcus Bridge, guitarist and programmer Jonathon Deiley, guitarist Josh Smith, drummer Nic Petterson, and bassist Brendon Padjasek. Northlane put on a stellar set and closed out the night of performances brilliantly.

SETLIST

  1. Talking Heads
  2. Intuition
  3. Details Matter
  4. Obelisk
  5. Rot
  6. Bloodline
  7. 4D
  8. Freefall
  9. Vultures
  10. Eclipse
  11. Citizen

ENCORE

  1. Dispossession
  2. Quantum Flux

The Neon Alien Tour was amazing from the moment Crystal Lake entered the stage to the moment Northlane finished their set. This mixture of bands was honestly perfect and kept the night of music flowing amazingly. Erra especially put on an amazing set and was the highlight of the night for me. Make sure to check out each of these bands out when they play a city near you!

Northlane | Erra | Currents | Crystal Lake

Photos + Review Courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Free Throw ft Chris Farren, Youth Fountain & Macseal | Fall 2019 Tour

I’ve heard a lot about Free Throw over the past couple of years through the albums they’ve released and tours they’ve been apart of, but really became a fan of them this year when they released their third album, “What’s Past Is Prologue.” The band began a headlining tour in support of this record, with support from Chris Farren, Youth Fountain and Macseal, which I attended the Denver date of.

Macseal kicked off the night. The emo/alternative quartet played songs that spanned their discography as a band so far, from playing “Cats” and “5:45 AM (Not Fun)” from their 2015 self-titled debut EP, to “Harry” and “Next To You” from their 2017 release “Yeah, No, I Know,” and “Golden Hour” and “Sure, Thing Shelly” (which was a great choice to open the set with) from their most recent EP to date, 2018’s “Map It Out.” Their set also included music from their upcoming debut LP, “Super Enthusiast,” – the lead single “Always Hazy,” and another new song from the record. Macseal put on a very fun and energetic set and started off the show very well.

Speaking of energy, that’s easily a word I’d use to describe the set from the next band, Youth Fountain. The Canadian pop punk band played several songs from their recently released debut album, “Letters To Our Former Selves,” an album that has also quickly become one of my favorites of this year so far. I love the band’s more emotional and slightly aggressive take on pop punk, and that all shows even more through their incredible live show. From the set opener (Rose Coloured Glass) to the song that not only closed out their set, but also closes out their album (“Blooms”) and the many songs in between (“Letters To Our Former Selves,” “Complacent,” “Worried,” “Moody,” “Deadlocked,” and “Grinding Teeth”), the crowd was singing and shouting along with them, bringing as much energy and passion as the band did throughout the entire set.

 

Next up was Chris Farren, who’s been releasing music under his own name for a few years now. He opened with the very catchy “Search 4 Me,” one of two singles that he’s released so far from his upcoming record, “Born Hot.” (The other single of the two is “Surrender,” which he played later on in the set). He also played a lot of previous material, including the singles “Where U Are” and “The Way That I Love U Has Changed,” and three songs from his sophomore album “Can’t Die” – “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Human Being,” and “Say You Want Me.”

Closing out the night was Free Throw. Throughout their hour long set, they played eleven songs, also spanning from throughout their entire discography, including a handful of tracks from “What’s Past Is Prologue” (“The Corner’s Dilemma,” “Tail Whip, Struggle,” “You Don’t Say That” and the title track), as well as some older favorites, such as “Better Have Burn Heal” and “Randy, I Am The Liquor” from their sophomore album “Bear Your Mind,” and “Tongue Tied,” “Two Beers In,” and “Good Job, Champ,” from their debut LP, “These Days Are Gone.” With each song they played, the band brought so much energy and so much emotion, putting on a great live show overall.

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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2019 © The Camera Affect

Farewell Winters w/ special guest Groot

 

Photos courtesy of Linette Wainwright | Twitter & Instagram  

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Knotfest Roadshow 2019

Slipknot |Volbeat | Gojira | Behemoth

Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Rajchart Instagram

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Miss May I & The Word Alive celebrate 10 Year Anniversary of “Monument” & “Deceiver” ft Afterlife, Rozu, & Thousand Below | Photos + Review

In the summer of 2010, two of some of the biggest bands in the metalcore and post-hardcore scene released what could arguably be some of the most important albums in their careers. Miss May I released their sophomore record “Monument” on August 16th, and exactly two weeks later, The Word Alive dropped their debut album “Deciever.” With the ten-year anniversary of both of these albums almost right around the corner, both bands embarked on a co-headlining North American tour to celebrate the occasion, bringing along Afterlife and Thousand Below to support them, as well as having some up-and-coming bands from certain areas open up their local date of the tour. 

Opening up the night was Denver-based metalcore band Rozu. Though their set was only twenty minutes, they put everything into their performance and put on a really good show. They played the four singles that they have out currently (“Dissolve,” “Divide,” “Faceless,” and “Anchor”), as well as an unreleased track called “Rue.”. The band’s metalcore sound showed through the energy and aggression found throughout their live set, and their performance overall really impressed me. 

Next up was Florida-based band Afterlife. The band dropped their debut LP “Breaking Point” back in January of this year, and primarily included songs from that in their setlist: “PSA,” “Throat,” “Broken Home,” “New Rage,” and “Giving Back The Pain.” However, they still made room in their set for an older track, which was “Vicious Cycle,” the title track from their debut EP of the same name. The band mixes elements from various types of rock, and particularly alternative rock and nu-metal, and that blend of influences showed really well through their set and the songs they chose for it. 

The third band on the bill was Thousand Below. The band opened the set with their latest single “Chemical,” which is one of the most melodic (and in my personal opinion, one of the catchiest) tracks that they’ve released so far. They followed that up with two more of my favorite songs of theirs, debut single “Sinking Me” and “The Love You Let Too Close,” the title track from their debut album that came out last year. The remainder of the set was filled with a few more songs from that album: “Vein,” which is one of the band’s most aggressive tracks and one that really got the crowd moving, “No Place Like You” and “Tradition.” The band has always stood out to me in the post-hardcore genre and their live performance was further proof of that. 

Second to last was The Word Alive, who began the set by playing their album “Deceiver” from start to finish in honor of the anniversary. This album in particular is one of their much more aggressive records, but also has plenty of powerful and memorable choruses and some meaningful lyrics, so as much as their set had the crowd moshing and surfing, it had them singing along for the hour long set. After those ten songs were finished, the band played some of their more recent tracks – “Trapped,” the lead single off of their 2016 album “Dark Matter,” “Misery,” a single that was released on its own awhile after the album dropped, and “Why Am I Like This?,” which is a song from their latest album “Violent Noise” and one of my personal favorites of theirs. 

Closing out the night was Miss May I, who played not only all the songs found on Monument when it first dropped, but also the tracks found on the deluxe reissue. After that, they concluded their set with three different songs that spanned from their entire discography: “Hey Mister” from “At Heart,” “Forgive and Forget” and “Shadows Inside,” the title track from their most recent release. They easily played one of the heaviest sets of the night, with people moshing and crowd surfing almost instantly, and put so much energy into their performance as well. 

This tour was my first time seeing all of these bands, and I loved it. Everyone on the lineup put on a great performance, and this tour was a great way to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of two important albums for this genre of music.

7/30/2019 – Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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2019 © The Camera Affect

 

Vans Warped Tour veteran Juliet Simms performs on the tour stage one last time.

Photos courtesy of Linette Wainwright | Twitter & Instagram  

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Vigil Of War rock the stage at Vans Warped Tour 2019

 

Photos courtesy of Linette Wainwright | Twitter & Instagram  

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