In the metalcore genre, there is certainly not a shortage to the selection for one’s playlist. Separating themselves from other metalcore bands, The Devil Wears Prada seems to break free from the trend. The “No Sun/No Moon” tour packed the Skyway Theatre on 11/3 with a great line-up and destroying sets. Supported by Veil Of Maya, Silent Planet, and Thousand Below, The Devil Wears Prada played with pride and gratitude for their reigning spot on the tour.
New to the touring scene, Thousand Below kicked off the night. After having a successful album release earlier this month, the San Diego band have been receiving the well deserved attention left and right with positive reviews. Their energy and sound was an instant hit with the crowd that arrived early.
Next up was Silent Planet. These personable and humble musicians put on a great set. Frontman Garrett Russell ended up on the pit wall several times and performed many songs while leaning into the crowd. This drew a huge response from the crowded venue and definitely set the tone for Veil of Maya and The Devil Wears Prada.
After a brief stage change, Veil of Maya hit the stage … and hit it they did! The moment they hit the stage until their set was complete, the crowd was treated to a heavy, raw, highly energetic set. Their music is rather catchy, with a barrage of djent style breakdowns, melodious choruses, intricate guitar overlays and superb drumming. But what captivated me more than any of that was their professionalism on stage. The quartet launched into their set, loud and fast, like a rocket lifting off before us. Guitarist Marc Okubo’s fast, technical playing drove the sound, his left hand rapidly walking up and down the fret board like a spider chasing invisible prey. Hard-hitting, triggered drumming by Sam Applebaum and Danny Hauser’s rhythmic bass held the song together, maintain the tempo which would stop and start unpredictably, in a technique well known to artists in the genre as syncopated rhythms. This is one of the signatures of this style of music, separating it from other types of metal music which predictably maintain the same tempo throughout the songs, perfect for head banging. Vocalist Lukas Magyar used his own body as an instrument, his vocals ranging from deep, guttural growls, to cleaner notes of higher pitch. Magyar delivered extraordinary stage presence as well and made the venue feel like a packed arena of fans. Diehard hardcore fans moved about to their heart’s content, opening up the pit for the whole set, thus adding to the solid vibe of Veil of Maya’s great set.
A flurry of activity ensued as the crew got ready for the headlining band, The Devil Wears Prada. As the lights dropped and some brief into music played, I took my position in the photo pit. However, what happened next, was completely mindblowing. I was unprepared for the disorienting mix of a total absence of light as the scene went dark which was just as quickly replaced with a torrent of strobes, stage level lights, and the house lamps blinding either the crowd or the performers in time to the rapid-fire blast beats.
Honestly, it was a little hard to pay complete attention to the band’s performance because pit wall started to rattle with the crowds huge enthusiasm. As always, I had to keep a constant eye on the ever fluctuating mosh pit that grew and wavered continually in from of the stage. The darkness/strobe lit/darkness/ strobe lit effect made it challenging to gauge when and in which direction bodies might be moving, which was both exhilarating and slightly terrifying at the same time.
TDWP played through a monster of punishing songs. The crowd response was completely overwhelming as the band rolled through favorites like “Sassafras”, “Forever Decay”, “Planet A” and “Dez Moines”. The highlights for me was the crowd cheered a mantra of “One more song!” until TDMP came returned to play their most well-known song “Mammoth”.
As I made my way out of the Skyway Theatre, along with the masses of millennials who dominated the crowd, it was great to reflect on how the metal scene overall continues to grow and push the limits of possibility.