On the way to cover my last show of the year, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia as I pulled into the parking lot of The Garage for what promised to be an excellent night of local metal and metalcore talent, as this was the same venue where I first saw Villain of the Story earlier this summer. I remember being hooked on the band right from the start of their set then, even more hooked after photographing their opening set on Warped Tour later in the summer, and expected this show to be no different. There was a definite buzz in the air amongst the crowded line outside of the venue waiting to get in that intensified as the line was corralled inside.
The first band of the evening was local three piece rock band A Moment In Time. Supporting the release of their new EP “The Trials,” the band set the tone for the rest of the night, playing fast paced rock from the beginning to the end of their set. For playing one of the shorter sets of the show, A Moment In Time only slowed down in between songs, keeping the energy high throughout their set both through their music and through the crowd.
The next band on the bill was Minneapolis based metal band Soulkeeper. Described as a violent and emotional metal band, the four piece definitely lived up to that description during their set, with all four members fueling their performance with passionate aggression. From the moment the band stepped foot on the stage, they brought the emotional and aggressive energy with them, making both their set and performance stand out from the rest of the bands.
While not an act local to Minnesota, the up and coming metalcore band Glass Houses were the direct support of the evening. Hailing from Fargo, North Dakota, the quintet are no strangers to the Minnesota music scene. After releasing their debut album “Wellspring,” the band has made a few stops in Minnesota over the course of the year. As this was my first time seeing the band perform live, I only had a vague idea of what I was in for, and I left their set far from disappointed. The band stormed the stage, playing with an unparalleled and unrelenting force for the better part of thirty minutes, getting the crowd ready for the last set of the night.
Finishing their short December tour by closing out the year at The Garage, headliners Villain of the Story were met with an ecstatic welcome from every member of the crowd as they took the stage. After seeing this band twice before tonight, I thought I had an idea of what to expect and I was blown away with how much this group has improved over the course of the year. Villain of the Story performed as a tight-knit, cohesive unit through and through, utilizing the energy from the crowd to feed into their charismatic stage presence, leaving me and everyone else in the crowd excited for their next hometown show.