Photos by David Rubene
With two 10 out of 10 nights in a row, my streak of amazing shows and being able to ignore my exhaustion was bound to run out. Thankfully, last night was not the night where the streak ended and I was treated to yet another amazing night of music.
The Friday night show was kicked off by local group Names To Faces. I had never heard of this female fronted band prior to last night’s show but was instantly struck by their originality. It was easy to see that each member had a different set of influences that they brought to the table. The four members then took all of those influences and wrapped them up with a raw and energetic bow. Names To Faces’ set didn’t have an extremely polished sound to it but it fit the music perfectly and led to a great set.
The only other local on the show was a favorite of mine- Common Choir. I feel like I just saw these guys and usually that would have me tuning out the band and catching up on Facebook gossip but, like usual, Common Choir had me hooked within the first song. Their energy and power is something that you would expect from a touring band, not a local band. Their clean and concise music is something that many local bands strive to have but not all can do it. Every time I see Common Choir live, they seem to get a little bit better both musically and as far as stage presence is concerned. Expect big big things from this band.
The first of the touring package- To Speak Of Wolves– took over the stage next. The first note that rang out was my first impression of this North Carolina band being that I had never heard them before. The first couple of notes had me completely hooked. Their clean and accurate metalcore sounds were the exact energy booster that I needed to get over the hump of exhaustion I had found myself struggling with. Bassist Seth Webster (formerly of Upon A Burning Body) pleaded the crowd to get closer to the stage and get more involved in the show. Some people in the modest crowd did and some didn’t. I liked the way that the band didn’t let this affect their live show at all. They gave that crowd everything they had and it truly left me impressed.
Following To Speak Of Wolves was Islander– yet another band I hadn’t heard prior to the concert. Islander stood out on the line-up with their unique nu-metal almost rap-rock sound and I loved every second of it. Singer Mikey Carvajal had a very sincere aura about him. He seemed very genuine when he thanked the crowd for coming out to the show and it seemed like he honestly just wanted everyone in the audience to have a good night. Although I’m not typically a fan of the whole nu-metal scene, I loved the uniqueness that Islander seemed to bring to the genre. The background instrumental parts were heavier than some other bands in this genre and definitely had it feeling like more of a metal set than anything else. That being said, Mikey’s vocals definitely had a rap vibe to them that somehow meshed perfectly. I get that that’s the whole point of nu-metal and rap-rock but the way Islander does it seemed completely different than other bands I had heard and I absolutely fell head over heels for it.
Bad Seed Rising was supposed to grace the stage next but they weren’t there. I was a bit bummed if I’m being honest. I caught some of their set last time they were in town and the young, female fronted group had me intrigued. I had yet to figure out if I loved them or hated them and was hoping to pull it together and figure it out last night. I scoured their social media pages and didn’t see them address anything regarding last night’s show. I hope everything is okay with them and hope they do come back soon!
Closing out the night was He Is Legend. I’ve been a fan of these guys for years. Their southern party-metal sound was something I had never heard prior to finding these guys and it’s a sound that I instantly fell in love with. I hadn’t seen this group in about two years and I was due for a good time. That’s exactly what He Is Legend gave me.
Singer Schuylar Croom is the type of guy that is able to light up the darkest room just by walking in. His personality shined as he danced and grooved his way through the headlining set. All of the members are fun to watch when on stage but Schuylar’s awkward dancing seems to always steal the spotlight. The energy radiating off the stage was electric. When watching He Is Legend perform, it’s easy to see that the band members definitely love being on stage and have a passion for the music they are performing. The crowd’s energy mirrored that on the stage as the audience members finally started to push and shove and get the blood moving. The mix of energies made the atmosphere perfect and had me completely forgetting about my exhaustion.
With five full length albums that span their fourteen year career, He Is Legend is one of those bands that has never given up and has truly stayed true to their sound. The band did a great job of mixing new and old songs but honestly, if you weren’t a huge fan of this band, you would’t have been able to tell the difference. I haven’t had a chance to check out their album that came out earlier this year (“Few”) but I could tell after hearing them play some of the songs last night that I am going to love it. When the band played some of their older songs, they were played exactly how I remembered them sounding back when I was in high school fawning over this band. He Is Legend’s set could have gone on for hours on hours and I don’t think I would have gotten bored. What a great live band.
I’ve been living in a world of nostalgia the past couple of days what with seeing Blink-182 and Taking Back Sunday. He Is Legend is a bit of a nostalgic band for me also but the show as a whole had me discovering new music what with the opening acts. My streak of amazing shows is bound to end at some point but it didn’t end last night.