Trinity of Terror Tour 2022

April 16, 2022 | The Fillmore Philadelphia, PA

I’m starting this review with the obvious, I am very very lucky. Post covid life for photographers has been pure insanity. I’ve been denied more shows this year than any other in my 4 years of shooting shows. So being able to shoot such a monumental tour for the metal scene, I am beyond grateful. Obviously, this tour was absolutely a treat for me to shoot. I had more fun than ever, made tons of new friends, and was brought back to my days as a teenager with angst in my heart and eyeliner smudged on my face. Let’s recap one of the best nights of my emo kid life. 

Lilith Czar was definitely the artist most unfamiliar to me. I definitely had to jam her album in my two hour car ride, but despite how amazing it was, nothing beat seeing her perform in person. Apart from being stunningly beautiful, she was absolutely radiant on the stage. She was meant to be up there. Despite not bringing any rowdiness to the crowd, everyone was entranced watching her. Her entire band was outstanding, the rock music blended with witchy charm, making everyone in the crowd feel like they could conquer the world. I am definitely looking forward to some of the tour bills she is on in the coming months, as I am eager to see her perform again.  

Every elder-emo knows Black Veil Brides. The scene veterans still absolutely rule even after almost a decade. I found myself singing along to songs I forgot I knew every word to. The band was a very important part of my life and where I am now, as they were my introduction to the scene. And it’s always amazing to see the opener making the crowd wound up. While their music isn’t quite the same as the metalcore that makes people ready to mosh, the fans still made sure to keep the crowd moving. I cannot stress the overwhelming talent of both Jake and Jinxx, arguably the best guitarists in the scene to this day, CC and his outstanding drumming, and of course, the frontman of legend, Andy. Years later, and they still put on one of the best shows to watch live. 

At this point in my professional career, my love of Ice Nine Kills is no secret. And I can’t bring into words how much I absolutely adore this band. So I’ll let my friend’s words sum it up. I took him to his first Ice Nine Show this year, and as soon as we left the venue, he looks at me and says, “ When you said horror metal, I was expecting The Misfits, and you just showed me fucking Rammstein.” And he’s right. Ice Nine is always larger than life. I had a good laugh with a fellow photographer, who had never shot the band before. She expressed how she’s never seen such an insane act in front of her. And I agree. They are forever unmatched in the energy, presence, and entertainment value. The somewhat tame crowd came alive and almost feral as the first chords rang out through the Fillmore. Ricky and Joe are both incredible support vocally for the always outstanding Spencer. Chris is a magician on guitar, and Patrick’s bone shaking drumming is the perfect bow on top of the absolute gift of a show the band always provides. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting the days until I get to see them again. 

I was raised in the 570. Motionless in White are something of hometown heroes for me and many others. Philadelphia always ends up being a welcome home show for them, and that usually makes it the craziest show you will ever attend. Even down a man on stage, Motionless in White will never disappoint. I have to give huge credit to their photographer Bryce, as he created one of the most beautiful stage shows I’ve ever seen with LED screens and visuals. It was a treat to be able to take photos of it. I’ve been following Motionless around for years, and they quite literally just get better every time I see them. They have an amazing, natural way of making the entire crowd feel like they’re hanging out with their best friends. They also have a way of making a crowd go feral, and that’s sometimes a photographer’s nightmare. But dodging crowd surfers is worth seeing an entire room of people like me have an amazing time at a concert. Their setlist was packed full of heavy hitters that even the most casual of fans could scream along to. The entire band are outstanding performers, and you can see the joy in their faces while they do so. 

This tour was a really special thing for me, and a lot of people. I truthfully don’t think I will ever have this much fun at a show again. I’m always grateful I get to work with such amazing artists, and am beyond thankful for all the amazing photographers I met that night. I will always be chasing nights like this night I had in Philadelphia. 

  Photos + review courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

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Thoughtz & Prayerz Across America Tour 2022

March 30, 2022, Denver, CO

After announcing their first ever headlining tour, Heart Attack Man set out in early March with Covey, Arm’s Length, and Blood Root. They played at HQ in Denver, Colorado on March 30th, 2022. The bands arrived early to play rounds of cornhole at the venue with the fans before entering the venue. 

Starting off the night were the Nashville, TN locals, Blood Root. The lights were dark and blue, setting an intimate vibe as the fans were still filling inside of the venue. Playing songs off their most recent EP Crux, they played “O.H.E.” with meaningful lyrics and a soft vibe. Picking up the tempo a bit more, they played “Self-Medicating on a Weekday” the fans were more captured by the music. As the set went on, more fans arrived and was clear that the music from Blood Root was enjoyable and relaxing. 

Setlist: 

  1. O.H.E. 
  2. Self-Medicate
  3. Start A Fire
  4. Teeth 
  5. Tether
  6. Your Girl 
  7. Conversations 

Next up was Arm’s Length from Ontatio. I haven’t listened to them before but was presently surprised with their set that night. The tempo picked up more during their set with “Safer Skin” and the fans moved more and sang along. They played more songs off of their recent EP from last year, “Everything Nice,” with a mix of between emo and pop-punk, the wistful guitar interplays and poetic pretensions. Finishing off their set, they surprised the crowd with playing a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Mine.” 

Setlist: 

  1. Object Permanence 
  2. Safer Skin
  3. No Sleep/Blank Slate/Eve
  4. Gallows Humor
  5. Watercolour 
  6. Garamond 
  7. Mine (Taylor Swift cover)

Would you believe it if I said that Covey has over 1.4 million followers on TikTok? Neither would have I if I hadn’t looked it up myself. It’s not everyday that you see bands promoting themselves on social media in a way that benefits them in the best ways possible. Covey came out and played the most interesting set I’ve seen, and in a good way. They played “Sam Jam” which started off slow and melodic but was taken off guard at the end when fans were singing “F*ck that guy, I hope he’s dead.” At one point, I remember him chanting something about teeth and looking around as others were just as confused as I was. During the last song, they had everyone get on the stage with them singing along and dancing as they finished their set. 

The infamous Heart Attack Man was next and was most excited to see them as they’re one of my favorite bands these days. I heard and saw pictures on twitter of Eric coming out into the crowd on a tricycle and doing tricks before getting on stage and that was just the case.  It wouldn’t be right if they started off the set without playing “Puke” to get the energy up even higher. People were pushing, singing, and even two stepping. They played songs off their latest EP “Thoughtz & Prayerz” hence the name of the tour. After a few songs in, Eric asked if anyone had a birthday that night in the crowd and sadly there were none, but that didn’t stop them from playing “Old Enough 2 Die.” I was hoping they would play older songs from “Fake Blood” and they did. I caught myself singing along as they played “Crisis Actor,” probably one of my favorite songs off that album. The crowd was wild the entire night, with people crowd surfing left and right and even Eric himself as well. Finishing off the night, they ended with “Leap Year” as more people ended up on stage with them to jump into the crowd and sing into the microphone with them. 

Setlist: 

  1. Puke
  2. Low Hanging Fruit
  3. Sugar Coated 
  4. Out for Blood
  5. Old Enough 2 Die
  6. Boring
  7. Crisis Actor
  8. Blood Orange Sun
  9. Life Sucks
  10. Cool 2 Me 
  11. Thoughtz & Prayerz 
  12. Blood Blister
  13. Rats in a Bucket
  14. Cut My Losses 
  15. Fake Blood
  16. Bitch Black 
  17. Leap Year

Photos + Review courtesy of Jess Kelly | Instagram | Twitter

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August Burns Red featuring Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames | Leveler 10 Year Anniversary Tour | 12/8/21 | Photos + Review

August Burns Red Brings The Belasco To A New Level On Their Leveler Anniversary Tour

Venue: The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA

Date: 12/8/21

August Burns Red has been a leading band in the metalcore genre for quite some time. The band solidified themselves with their sophomore album “Messengers.” They garnered a large following from then on, constantly innovating in their song structure and musicality. For the tenth anniversary of their fourth album, “Leveler,” the band re-recorded the album in its entirety, bringing on special guests and changing the tunings of the songs from then on. In celebration of this, they embarked on a 10th-anniversary tour supporting the album, which they played in its entirety. Unfortunately, a few of the crew and band members caught COVID-19 on the run of dates in October due to the pandemic, forcing the band to postpone about a week’s worth of dates to December. Regardless, I am beyond stoked I got to cover this date for August Burns Red, along with the incredible lineup of Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames. 

Up first was Like Moths To Flames from Columbus, Ohio. This is a band that I first got into in 2012 when I saw them on the “Scream It Like You Mean It Tour” alongside bands like Attack Attack!, We Came As Romans, and more. The band is the perfect middle ground between metalcore and post-hardcore. Since the last time I photographed and saw them back in 2018, the band found their new label at UNFD, where they dropped their fifth album “No Eternity In Gold” in 2020, along with their new EP “Pure Like Porcelain” in 2021. The band really strengthened their sound on these new releases. Chris Roetter’s vocals were showcased to the highest power on these releases, truly showing off his vocal prowess. Their single “Habitual Decline” in particular pops off like no other, both live and on record, showing off Chris’ cleans and screaming. Guitarists Zach Pishney and Jeremy Smith flourish on these releases as well, really bringing the instrumentals to new levels. I started feeling the band incorporating some elements of progressive metal on some songs, which, as many will tell you, is my favorite subgenre of metal personally. Unfortunately, bassist Aaron Evans was unable to make the rescheduled dates for whatever reason, which was my first time seeing the band without him. He has an entertaining stage presence that was sorely missed for me, but Chris Roetter was on top of that crowd, really getting people hyped like no other. Roman Garcia closed out the band’s live lineup on drums, who absolutely smashed through those drum parts with precision. The band played six songs that night, playing songs from their first album to the newest EP. Like Moths To Flames is always an incredible band to see live, and I cannot wait to hopefully see and photograph them on their upcoming co-headliner with Polaris in March – April! 

SETLIST

  1. The Worst In Me
  2. Habitual Decline
  3. I Solemnly Swear
  4. Preservation Of Hate
  5. The Anatomy Of Evil
  6. Bury Your Pain

ERRA from Birmingham, Alabama, was up next. The last time I saw these progressive metalcore boys was in 2019, when they did a co-headlining tour with Northlane. The band has since released its critically acclaimed self-titled album via UNFD in 2021, which helped the band garner even more fans and streams galore. The band opened their set with the song “Gungrave,” which has some heavy riffage from guitarists Jesse Cash and Sean Price, the vocal stylings from JT Cavey, the deep bass grooves from Conor Hesse, and the intricate drum patterns from Alex Ballew. The song has that iconic yin and yang in vocals between Jesse’s cleans and JT’s screams. The band then went on to play their heaviest song from the self-titled album “Scorpion Hymn.” JT’s vocal prowess is on full display here, truly showing off his range. From lots of mids, screeching highs, and deep gutturals, JT is truly a powerhouse, and this song showcases all of his abilities in one. The instrumental structure of this song is much darker than many of their other songs, making this song a standout on the record as a whole. In contrast, the following song the band played is “Divisionary,” which is much brighter in sound compared to “Scorpion Hymn.” Jesse’s vocals are the song’s focal point, but those contrasting parts with JT’s screaming help give the song layers and momentum. The intricate guitar patterns really stand out to me in this song, along with a thick prominent bass tone in the latter half of the song, which gives Conor his’ moment to shine. The band played a total of 8 songs throughout the set, showcasing the band’s newest album and songs from previous releases. I was thoroughly excited to hear how these new songs translated live, and they definitely did not disappoint. I cannot wait to see and photograph these guys again on their spring tour as they support Beartooth, Silverstein, and The Devil Wears Prada!

SETLIST

  1. Gungrave
  2. Scorpion Hymn
  3. Divisionary
  4. Eye of God
  5. Irreversible
  6. Breach
  7. Vanish Canvas
  8. Snowblood

Up next was Fit For A King from Dallas, TX. This was my fifth time seeing these metalcore greats, and they once again did not disappoint. Since I saw them in November 2019, the band dropped their sixth album in 2020 titled “The Path” on Solid State Records. It was met with critical acclaim and became the band’s most successful release to date streaming-wise. The band opened the set with the song “Stockholm,” which is a heavy banger to open the set with. This is one of the heavier songs from “The Path,” with Ryan Kirby’s iconic gutturals and lower toned vocals, the deep bass grooves from Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary, those chuggy guitars from Daniel Gailey and Bobby Lynge, and the fast and tight drums from Jared Easterling. This was Fit For A King’s first tour as a five-piece since 2013, with Bobby returning to the live stage for the tour. This was also the last run of shows with drummer and founding member Jared Easterling, who announced his departure prior to the tour. The band then went on to play the song “Locked (In My Head),” which was one of the leading singles from the new album. Locked definitely has a more post-hardcore vibe, reminiscent of the bands from the early-mid 2000s while still having a modern edge. Tuck and Ryan do an incredible job going back and forth on those clean vocals, really providing an emotion-driven melodic song to the mix that helped push the band’s boundaries in terms of what can be expected going forward. Continuing this momentum, the band then played “Breaking The Mirror,” which is all about overcoming past failures and pushing forward. The band really brought it to the next level with this new record, and the crowd was eating it up, with lots of crowd surfing and moshing galore. The band played a total of 11-songs, most of which came from “The Path” and “Dark Skies” and one song from “Deathgrip.” The band has really strengthened their core sound while still broadening out on what is possible. I cannot wait to see and photograph them on their “Dark Path Tour” in the spring as they headline the US with Silent Planet, Hollow Front, and AVOID supporting them. It will be an incredible time, and I cannot wait to see these metalcore boys again!

SETLIST

  1. Stockholm
  2. Locked (In My Head)
  3. Breaking The Mirror
  4. When Everything Means Nothing
  5. Annihilation
  6. The Price Of Agony
  7. Deathgrip
  8. Backbreaker
  9. The Path
  10. Tower Of Pain
  11. God Of Fire

August Burns Red from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, came up next to the stage. The band came out swinging with the brand new opening track from the Leveler re-recording “X,” a wholly instrumental track. Bassist Dustin Davidson came out front and center, plucking those deep bass notes. Guitarists Brent Rambler and JT Brubaker played these gorgeous melodic guitar riffs that created a sing-along melody that would go into the next track. Due to personal issues, vocalist Jake Luhrs could not play the rescheduled dates. Due to this, Michael Felker from the metalcore band Convictions came in to do vocals for the band. Michael came out swinging on the song “Empire,” a fast-paced and riff-heavy metalcore track. One thing that is in the forefront of all of August Burns Red’s songs is the drum playing from the impressive Matt Greiner, who is truly on point with every beat he makes. The song “Empire” is jampacked with all of the elements that have helped August Burns Red solidify their sound: progressive and intricate guitar and drum patterns, sing-along sections, breakdowns, guitar solos, and uplifting vocals. The band then went on to play “Internal Cannon,” which was the song that got me into August Burns Red back in the day. The song features Matt K. Heafy from Trivium on the studio re-recording, which really added another layer to the song. The incredible dynamics in this song make it apparent why it is a fan favorite. August Burns Red’s metalcore style creates the melody using the instrumentals, as about 99% of the vocals are screaming in their music. Internal Cannon also has this slow-down section that incorporates some influences from jazz and blues that really help give some serious contrast to the song. The band then went on to play “Leveler” in its entirety, then came back to play a few newer songs and even an instrumental cover of “Carol of the Bells,” since the show was near the holiday time, totaling in at a whopping 18-songs in their setlist. August Burns Red never disappoints, and I cannot wait to see and photograph them again on their tour going on now with Killswitch Engage and Light The Torch! August Burns Red is genuinely an incredible band!

SETLIST

  1. X
  2. Empire
  3. Internal Cannon
  4. Divisions
  5. Cutting The Ties
  6. Pangaea
  7. Carpe Diem
  8. 40 Nights
  9. Salt & Light
  10. Poor Millionaire
  11. 1/16/2011
  12. Boys Of Fall
  13. Leveler
  14. Drum Solo

ENCORE

15. Bloodletter

16. Defender

17. Carol of the Bells (Mykola Leontovych cover)

18. White Washed

The Leveler 10th anniversary tour was a celebration of a truly incredible album from one of the leading metalcore bands in the genre, August Burns Red. Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames were the perfect bands to support August Burns Red on this tour! Make sure to see all of these fantastic bands on their upcoming tours if they come to a city near you!

August Burns Red | Fit For A King | ERRA | Like Moths To Flames

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.