Atreyu w/ Whitechapel, He Is Legend, Tempting Fate, and Santa Cruz | 20th Anniversary Tour | Photos + Review

Atreyu Closes Out Their 20th Anniversary Celebration In Ventura

Venue: The Majestic Ventura Theater in Ventura, CA on 11/20/19

When a band hits a milestone in their career, it’s a big deal. From hitting 1 year as a band, to selling out a show, each of these milestones for bands has sentimental value in their growth. Atreyu hit twenty years of being a band, which is huge considering the many bands in their cohort of metal that have come and gone since they started. While it seemed the band would be done after 2010, the band came back in 2014 stronger than ever, continuing with the momentum they had before and then some! With seven albums under their belt, the band let the fans vote on their setlist, which showcased songs from each record. Atreyu brought along with them an interesting mix of bands. With Whitechapel as direct support bringing the deathcore, He Is Legend bringing their southern influenced Mathcore, Tempting Fate bringing the post hardcore, and Santa Cruz throwing it back with some glam rock to the table, this tour was a blend of bands that were different from one another and kept the show truly interesting. Those of us in attendance at this final date of the tour has a wonderful time!

First up was Santa Cruz from Helsinki, Finland. Opening the show up, the band brought out a flare completely different than any other band on the lineup. Their sound is a mixture of glam metal, heavy metal, hard rock, and has some elements of post hardcore mixed in. As the oddballs on the tour, they really hyped the crowd up with energy, especially frontman and founding member Archie Cruz, who shredded to his’ hearts content center stage and captivated the audience with his vocal abilities reminiscent of hair metal from the 80s. The band’s touring guitarist Joe Perez was on point, shredding both the rhythm and lead parts when he and Archie switched off, with incredible stage presence and lots of hairflipping action. On stage left, you’ll find the band’s bassist Eemi Lamberg, who played his basslines with precision and class, while also giving lots of windmills and high energy. Closing out the band’s lineup is drummer Tuomas Lehtonen, who did backup vocals along with his fast and intense drum playing. Throughout the band’s six-song set, you could feel the energy thriving on the stage. I wasn’t able to meet the band, as they took their merch away shortly after they played, but they slayed their set and executed their performance brilliantly. It was a great way to start out the show!

SETLIST

  1. Changing Of Seasons
  2. Bang Bang (My Worst Enemy)
  3. True Believer
  4. We Are The Ones To Fall
  5. Wasted & Wounded
  6. Aiming High

Up next was Tempting Fate from Los Angeles, CA. This band sits on the borderline of post-hardcore and metalcore, while also blending in some nu metal influences, shown especially in their song “Sik”. As an independent band, they have released two EPs and one full length record, which they incorporated songs from each release into their eight-song set. The band has an interesting dynamic, with brothers Cory Beecher on vocals and Shane Beecher on guitar. Drummer Alex Rivas played the heavy blast beat sections with ease and had a lot of energy behind the kit. Eemi Lamberg from Santa Cruz filled in on bass, providing a lot of energy and bass lines to the band’s set. It was cool for me to see the variety in the band’s sound, with songs like “Filthy” showing their heavier side, and other songs like “A Place Called Home” showing off the band’s hard rock side. I was thoroughly impressed by their set. Tempting Fate is definitely a band to keep your eyes on!

SETLIST

  1. Filthy
  2. Questions
  3. Eminence
  4. 99
  5. Falling To Pieces
  6. I’d Rather Burn
  7. A Place Called Home
  8. Sik

Next to the stage was the all mighty He Is Legend from Wilmington, North Carolina. Starting out as a metalcore band, the band’s sound has progressed throughout the years, becoming more of a fusion between a plethora of sub-genres, most notably being a mixture of hard rock, alternative metal, stoner rock, psychedelic rock, sludge metal, and southern rock. Watching their set and listening to their music takes listeners on a journey, as songs can sometimes mix several of these influences together, creating an album where each song is dynamic and impressive. Vocalist Schuylar Croom is an entertaining person to watch on stage, grooving along with the music as if he is entranced in it. Lead guitarist Adam Tanbouz and rhythm guitarist Andrew Gaultier played their parts with ease and headbanging to their hearts content. Bassist Matty Williams strummed in those deep basslines that hit the spot in the band’s music, while providing tons of hairflips and energy. Jesse Shelley on drums is the final piece to the band’s lineup, holding down the fort and keeping the band on track while playing the drums with precision, even through the many random tempo changes. The band has a total of six albums, four of which they played songs from in their seven-song setlist. Overall, I was blown away by their set and cannot wait to see He Is Legend again in the future.

SETLIST

  1. White Bat
  2. Burn All Your Rock Records
  3. The Seduction
  4. The Widow of Magnolia
  5. Attack of the Dungeon Witch
  6. Everyone I Know Has Fangs
  7. Boogiewoman

Whitechapel from Knoxville, Tennessee was up next as direct support. Whenever I prepare for a Whitechapel set, I know what to expect: lots of energy, lots of strobing lighting, and those groovy heavy tones that match perfectly with vocalist Phil Bozeman’s deep guttural vocals. Since they released their album “The Valley” earlier in the year, which was released via Metal Blade Records, the band played six-songs from the album, along with three other fan favorite songs, adding up to a nine-song set. Whitechapel has interesting dynamics in their band, with three guitarists: Ben Savage, Alex Wade, and Zach Householder. While Ben technically does a majority of the leads, each guitarist shines during the set, truly adding to the band’s groove metal infused deathcore. Vocalist Phil Boseman really stepped out of the box on the new record, showing off more of his’ vocal abilities in terms of clean vocals, shown in songs “When A Demon Defiles A Witch” and “Hickory Creek”, both of which they played on this tour. I’m also very amused whenever I see Gabe Crisp on stage, as the dude has a really intense presence on that stage, truly jamming out and grooving along while playing those piercing bass tones. The band’s live drummer Alex Rüdinger closes out the current Whitechapel lineup, and he does not disappoint, nailing all of the bands intricate drum patterns. One funny part of the set that stuck out to me was when Phil Boseman said, “We just wrote this next song this morning, so I hope you enjoy it”, and then going on to play the band’s most recognizable song “This Is Exile”. I always love seeing Whitechapel live because they truly have an amazing arsenal of music and it’s cool to see what songs they’re going to pull out of the vault for their sets. Whitechapel never disappoints in concert, and I am looking forward to seeing them again when they come out to Southern California next!

SETLIST

  1. Forgiveness Is Weakness
  2. Brimstone
  3. Black Bear
  4. Third Depth
  5. When A Demon Defiles A Witch
  6. This Is Exile
  7. Hickory Creek
  8. Our Endless War
  9. The Saw Is The Law

Atreyu from Yorba Linda, California was up next to celebrate being together as a band for 20 years. The band’s setlist was voted on by the fans, adding up to a setlist with 20-songs spanning their entire discography, except songs from 2015’s “Long Live”. For the anniversary tour, the band brought an elaborate light show that lit up the whole venue, which made the 1200 capacity venue feel like a stadium show. The band’s lead vocalist Alex Varkatzas was filled with energy, truly utilizing every inch of that stage and engaging fans from every part of the crowd. One thing Atreyu never strays from is their guitar solos, and co-lead guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel truly showcased their abilities throughout the set. Brandon Staller is the member that truly sets Atreyu apart from many other bands, as he plays the technical drum parts while providing the clean vocals for the band. Bassist Marc McKnight is truly a hype man on stage, playing his bass lines while engaging the audience members and headbanging with his epic beard waving around. Since the fans voted on the setlist, it consisted of mainly songs from the band’s earlier albums “The Curse” and “A Death-Grip On Yesterday”, but I was glad to see that fans at least voted on some songs from the band’s later albums. I am truly lucky and happy that I was able to see Atreyu two times in a span of five months. They’re a very entertaining band to see and photograph. I cannot wait to see them again when they come back out here!

SETLIST

  1. The Time Is Now
  2. Right Side of the Bed
  3. Ain’t Love Grand
  4. Doomsday
  5. My Fork in the Road (Your Knife in My Back)
  6. Ex’s and Oh’s
  7. Our Sick Story (Thus Far)
  8. The Theft
  9. Bleeding Mascara
  10. Demonology and Heartache
  11. The Crimson
  12. Her Portrait in Black
  13. Bleeding Is a Luxury
  14. House of Gold
  15. Becoming the Bull
  16. Falling Down
  17. Blow
  18. Five Vicodin Chased With a Shot of Clarity
  19. Untitled Finale
  20. Lip Gloss and Black

Atreyu has been dominating the rock and metal scenes for two decades and truly went all in on their anniversary tour. Whitechapel, He Is Legend, Tempting Fate, and Santa Cruz all brought it and meshed with Atreyu beautifully to create a wonderful night of music and a beautiful end to this tour! Make sure to check out all of these bands and see them on tour at a city near you!

Atreyu | Whitechapel | He Is Legend | Tempting Fate | Santa Cruz

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Blessthefall & Escape The Fate w/ Islander | This War Is Ours To Witness Tour | Photos + Review

Blessthefall & Escape The Fate Close Out Their “This War Is Ours To Witness” Tour in Southern California

Venue: The Glass House on 10/10/19

When I think of the two albums that influenced my musical taste the most, it would have to be Escape the Fate’s “This War Is Ours” and Blessthefall’s “Witness”. When they announced that both bands would be doing a co-headlining 10-year anniversary tour, where they would each play said albums from start to finish, plus additional songs, I was ecstatic! Along with these two bands was Islander, who is on the same record label as Escape the Fate. This was a stellar tour!

First up was Islander from Greenville, South Carolina. If I could describe Islander’s sound, it would be a mixture of nu metal, alternative metal, and rap metal. I last saw the band in June of 2018 when they were direct support for Butcher Babies & Nonpoint on the Kings & Queens Co-Headlining Tour. This time around, I feel like the band was fully realized. They were off the walls in terms of energy and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their on-stage antics. From vocalist Mikey Carvajal bringing a flatbed cart and riding it across stage, to guitarist Eric Pedersen sitting down mid-song to eat a sandwich, the band is insanely entertaining live and were the perfect way to open this show up. The other two members of this four-piece are keyboardist Chris Carvajal and drummer Michael McClellan. The band was truly entertaining and set the stage for the co-headliners to come.

SETLIST

  1. Lucky Rabbit
  2. Green Slime Man
  3. Counteract
  4. Darkness
  5. Cold Speak
  6. My Friends
  7. Coconut Dracula

The first of the co-headliners was Escape the Fate from Las Vegas, Nevada. Now, before I go on, I must say that I’ve seen this band 10 or 11 times now, so having seen them so many times, I hold their performances to a certain standard. Unfortunately, their performance this night was a bit lower energy than usual, but they still did pretty damn well. This was my second time seeing the band play through “This War Is Ours” in its entirety, as they did a special anniversary show at the Whisky A Go-Go in December. At that show, they brought their own lighting and had some special merch for the event. However, for the full U.S. run, they only used house lighting and used merch from previous album cycles, with limited options of newer merch. As for their stage performance, Craig Mabbitt obviously had the shining stage performance in the band, with touring bassist Erik Jansen coming in at a close second. The rest of the band seemed like they were kind of just going through the motions, and overall, I just wasn’t wowed like I have been seeing their shows in the past. To be fair, the band was under the weather, so taking that into consideration, they played a solid set. The full lineup for Escape the Fate consists of vocalist Craig Mabbitt, guitarists Kevin Thrasher and TJ Bell, drummer Robert Ortiz, and bassist Erik Jansen. The band played a solid set but were upstaged once Blessthefall hit the stage next.

SETLIST

  1. We Won’t Back Down
  2. On To The Next One
  3. Ashley
  4. Something
  5. The Flood
  6. Let It Go
  7. You Are So Beautiful
  8. This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)
  9. 10 Miles Wide
  10. Harder Than You Know
  11. It’s Just Me
  12. Do You Love Me
  13. Empire
  14. Broken Heart
  15. Gorgeous Nightmare
  16. One For The Money

Finally came Blessthefall from Phoenix, Arizona. Now of the two co-headliners, Blessthefall was by far more prepared and slayed the stage hard. The band brought a lot of lighting and special anniversary tour merch, which was what I’d expect from a 10-year anniversary tour for such an iconic album in the band’s discography. The band was extremely high energy, which is very consistent of the band. Just like Escape the Fate, I have seen them 10 or 11 times, and they always find a way to blow me away. Hearing the album that helped me get into metalcore being played in its entirety was absolutely mind blowing. Along with them playing the full “Witness” album, the band played 5 other songs, 3 of which came from 2018’s “Hard Feelings” and 2 from 2013’s “Hollow Bodies”. The band’s additional setlist was perfect and made their set truly one of the best I’ve ever seen them play live. Vocalist Beau Boken is always a joy to capture live, as he is so lively and is great at controlling the crowd. Guitarists Eric Lambert and Elliot Gruenberg were very lively and slayed those guitar parts. Bassist and screaming vocalist Jared Warth absolutely demolished the stage with his strong vocals and basslines. Touring drummer Conor White held down the fort and played previous drummer Matt Traynor’s parts to a t, while incorporating perfectly timed drum fills. Blessthefall stood out on this tour and ended the night by smashing out an amazing set.

SETLIST

  1. 2.0
  2. What’s Left Of Me
  3. To Hell and Back
  4. God Wears Gucci
  5. Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted
  6. Witness
  7. Last Ones Left
  8. Five Ninety
  9. We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead
  10. Skinwalkers
  11. You Deserve Nothing And I Hope You Get Less
  12. Stay Still
  13. Wishful Sinking
  14. Cutthroat
  15. Hollow Bodies
  16. You Wear A Crown But You Are No King

ENCORE

17. Sleepless In Phoenix

The This War Is Ours To Witness Tour was a truly special night with two influential bands celebrating the 10-year anniversaries of some of the most impactful albums of the late 2000s. I am truly grateful that I was able to attend and witness this beautiful celebratory concert.

Blessthefall | Escape The Fate | Islander

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Papa Roach w/ Asking Alexandria and Bad Wolves | Who Do You Trust? USA Tour | Photos + Review

Papa Roach Trusts Hollywood To Close Out Their Who Do You Trust USA Tour

Venue: Hollywood Palladium on 8/31/19

Papa Roach has been a consistent band I have listened to throughout the years. Their song “Last Resort” is a staple in the Nu Metal genre and is iconic. When I saw the lineup for their “Who Do You Trust?” USA tour, I was thrilled. Asking Alexandria was the very first band I ever saw live back in 2011, and Bad Wolves’ debut 2018 album “Disobey” absolutely slays, so I knew this would be an amazing night.

First up was Bad Wolves from Los Angeles, CA. Before they even got on stage, the crowd was roaring as Josh Brolin, an actor best known by his’ recent role as Thanos in the Avengers franchise, came out to announce the band. When the band hit the stage, they were immediately on fire. The band opened with their song Learn To Live, which shows off their progressive metalcore roots, with djent style guitar riffs courtesy of guitarists Chris Cain and Doc Coyle, as well as a mixture of clean vocals and screams courtesy of vocalist Tommy Vext. But at the root of djent is the deep bass tones courtesy of Kyle Konkiel and odd time signatures courtesy of drummer John Boecklin. The band played a set that mixed their heavier riffy songs, with more radio rock friendly songs. The band played a total of 8 songs, finishing with their chart topping cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie”, which they raised $250,000 towards the family of the late Dolores O’Riordan, who died on her way to record her vocal part on their cover. Their performance was filled with such vibrant energy. I was completely blown away by their performance, and they blew my expectations out of the water.

SETLIST

  1. Learn To Live
  2. No Masters
  3. Remember When
  4. Better The Devil
  5. I’ll Be There
  6. Hear Me Now
  7. Officer Down
  8. Zombie

Up next was Asking Alexandria from North Yorkshire, England. Coming on right after Bad Wolves with how tight and energetic they are would be tough for any band to do. For old fans of the band, hoping to hear the heavy metalcore stylings Asking Alexandria was once known for, unfortunately you will not be getting that here. I too have been a fan since their origins with a more metalcore and post-hardcore base, but the band has certainly transitioned to a more radio rock sound and style. They came out of the gate with their new single “The Violence”, which is pretty solid. While all of the other members were wearing normal attire, vocalist Danny Worsnop came out in a beige plaid suit and sun glasses, which definitely felt off. Besides that, the band played a variety of songs, most of which came from their 2017 self titled album “Asking Alexandria”, which was released via Sumerian Records. The only earlier song from the first two albums that the band played was “Someone Somewhere”, which they for some reason decided to play acoustically. The band relied on a lot of pyrotechnics to get through the performance, and while they were entertaining, they distracted from the actual set. The rest of the band consists of guitarists Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell, bassist Sam Bettley, and drummer James Cassells. Overall, they put on a solid set, however, compared to when I saw them back in 2011, they lacked the heart and emotion I once saw them provide on stage.

SETLIST

  1. The Violence
  2. Into The Fire
  3. Where Did It Go?
  4. Run Free
  5. The Death Of Me
  6. Vultures
  7. Someone, Somewhere
  8. Moving On
  9. Eve
  10. When The Lights Come On
  11. Alone In A Room

Finally, Papa Roach from Vacaville, CA. Playing a sold out show in their hometown state on the second to last day of tour, this legendary band came to slay. For this tour, they prepared a whopping 19-song set that showcased songs from their whole discography. Vocalist Jacoby Shaddix is the ultimate showman, truly utilizing every inch of that stage. Behind the band was a huge LED screen that had many images and lyrics popping up, making the performance so tight and feeling like a full-on spectacle. The rest of the fourpiece consists of lead guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance, and drummer Tony Palermo. The band has so much heart and you could feel such positive energy radiating from the stage. In between the songs, Shaddix expressed how important it is to keep music alive, and really thanked people for supporting. It was truly awesome to see a band who’s been doing this for quite some time still be so humble and kind. And of course, the band’s encore “Last Resort”, got the crowd going nuts, with crowd surfers, circle pits, and crowd participation galore. Papa Roach was incredibly high energy, and chose a setlist that flowed beautifully. They proved that they indeed trusted Hollywood to be one of the last shows to close out the tour, and the crowds reactions definitely proved why. Papa Roach put on an incredible set, and I cannot wait to see them again!

SETLIST

  1. Who Do You Trust?
  2. Getting Away With Murder
  3. Broken Home
  4. Help
  5. Elevate
  6. Gravity
  7. Song 2 (Blur Cover)
  8. Drum Solo
  9. …To Be Loved
  10. Blood Brothers
  11. She Loves Me Not
  12. Come Around
  13. Forever
  14. Scars
  15. Between Angels and Insects
  16. Renegade Music
  17. Born For Greatness

ENCORE

  1. Last Resort

The “Who Do You Trust” tour was an amazing experience filled with a mixture of Metalcore, Radio Rock, and Nu-Metal. Papa Roach put together such a dynamic show and truly proved why they are still on top of the game after 26 years of being a band! They deliver and slay on stage!

Papa Roach | Asking Alexandria | Bad Wolves

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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New Years Day w/ Diamante and Savage After Midnight | Unbreakable Tour | Photos + Review

New Years Day Proves They’re Unbreakable at Chain Reaction

Venue: Chain Reaction on 6/14/19

New Years Day has been a consistent band in my daily listening since I first saw them in 2011 at the Vans Warped Tour. I’ve since seen them over 10 times, so I’ve seen New Years Day plenty of times with their many changes. With the release of their 3rd full length album “Unbreakable”, they embarked on an album release tour with support from Diamante and Savage After Midnight. Rivals also hopped on the tour at a later date, replacing Diamante, but my date had Diamante and Savage After Midnight. Overall, this was a solid show and the bands showcased their talents all around.

The first band up was Savage After Midnight from Memphis, TN. The best way I can describe Savage After Midnight would be a mixture of post-hardcore, hard rock, and nu-metal. I was thoroughly impressed by their high energy and stage presence. This five-piece consists of vocalist Shi Eubank, guitarist Jeremiah Lipscomb, bassist Landon Fox, DJ and vocalist James Thomas, and drummer Zack Pate. The band played a 6-song set, 5 of which came from their debut EP released in 2019 via RED Records titled “11:59 EP”, and then they did an Alanis Morissette cover of “You Oughta Know”. They got the crowd going wild, and truly impressed me.

SETLIST

  1. Unleash
  2. King
  3. You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette cover)
  4. Overrated
  5. Heartless Machine
  6. 10 Feet Tall

Next up was Diamante from Hollywood, CA. Named after vocalist Diamante Bovelli, the band is best described as good ole fashioned hard anthem rock. Each of the 10-songs they played had beautiful anthem choruses and heavy instrumentals. 9 of the songs they played came from her 2018 album “Coming In Hot” which was released via Eleven Seven Records. Diamante’s band members consist of guitarists Jacob Stibbie and Dre Imura, bassist Matthew Denis, and drummer Harley DeWinter. They honestly had the most energy of the entire night, even more than New Years Day. That raw energy they exude truly drives their whole performance. If you like anthem driven hard rock, you definitely need to check out Diamante!

SETLIST

  1. Kind of Love
  2. Bite Your Kiss
  3. Haunted
  4. Sleepwalking
  5. Blackheart
  6. I’m Sorry/Lo Siento
  7. Sound of Us
  8. Coming In Hot
  9. Hear Me Now
  10. War Cry

Finally, New Years Day from Anaheim, CA came to the stage! This was New Years Day’s 2nd Headlining Tour and they came prepared with a 12-song set with songs from each of their releases. I’d say New Years Day’s sound is a mixture of Post-Hardcore, Hard Rock, Industrial Metal, and Nu-Metal. The band has gone through a lot of changes, especially in the member category. The current lineup consists of vocalist Ash Costello, guitarists Nikki Misery and Austin Ingerman, and bassist Frankie Sil. The band tried some new things on this tour, including all of the members except for Ash playing an entire song in the crowd. They even had some of the founding members come out and play the final song with the band “Angel Eyes”. It was surreal to see members I haven’t seen in a while on stage again. While they had all of these cool things happening, I will say it felt a bit formulaic compared to previous New Years Day performances. It felt very rehearsed and lacked that raw energy they’ve had in the past. But, overall, I was still impressed by their set and am proud of how far they have come since I first saw them at Vans Warped Tour in 2011.

SETLIST

  1. Come For Me
  2. Kill or Be Killed
  3. Gangsta (Kehlani cover)
  4. Skeletons
  5. Let Me Down
  6. Scream
  7. Epidemic
  8. Fucking Hostile (Pantera Cover)
  9. Shut Up
  10. Defame Me
  11. Death of the Party

ENCORE

  1. Angel Eyes

All in all, the Unbreakable Tour was a solid night of hella good music and amazing stage presence.

New Years Day | Diamante | Savage After Midnight

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Sylar w/ Cane Hill, Varials, and Bloodline | Seasons Tour 2019 | Photos + Review

Sylar Changes the Seasons at Chain Reaction

Venue: Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA | 5/26/19

Sylar has been a very important band to me since I got into them in 2016. Their distinct sound that mixes together nu-metal, metalcore, post-hardcore, and rap metal has helped them stand out in a music scene that can sometimes be filled to the brim with soundalike bands. With their newest release “Seasons”, Sylar hit new ground, going a bit more personal, which received critical acclaim.  After several years of touring as the supporting act for many tours, Sylar finally embarked on a full 2-month U.S. Tour, with supporting acts Cane Hill, Varials, and Bloodline. With a stacked lineup at one of my all-time favorite venues, I knew this would be a fun show.

The first band up was Bloodline from Dallas, Texas. Bloodline has been on my radar for quite some time. This fourpiece band is a perfect mix of metalcore and hardcore, with some sweet melodies and slamming breakdowns. The members of the band consist of vocalist Joseph Todd, drummer and backup vocalist Matt Dierkes, bassist Jake Jones, and guitarist and clean vocalist Titus Kirby. They had very high energy from the start of their set to the end, and truly kicked the show off with a force. I was thoroughly blown away. Their newest release “Better View” came out in March of 2019 via Stay Sick Recordings and truly shows off the band’s wide range and variety from song to song! I cannot wait to see them next time they come out to California!