It has been a bit since I have been to a metal show. As much as I have loved every single show I’ve been to lately, it felt nice to go back to my roots. Although the bands playing weren’t bands I was dying to see and my typical crew wasn’t in attendance, being at a show like Sunday night’s was a good feeling. It felt like home.
The show started a bit earlier than my friends and I had expected so, unfortunately, we missed King of Tyrus and majority of Near An Open Flame’s set. Per usual, I feel terrible about missing their sets especially since they are locals. My apologies to both of the bands and I promise to catch you both in the future! Our photographer did catch Near An Open Flame’s set, but he is completely unqualified to comment on Metalcore 🙂
The first local I caught, who also happened to be the last local of the night, was Common Choir. This is a band I had been wanting to see for awhile now but always seem to miss their set due to timing. Last night the stars aligned and I was able to catch this band that seems to be gaining speed in the local metal scene. Their music was clean and precise making them feel more like a part of the touring package rather than like a local band. Honestly, if I hadn’t have recognized one of the band members as a friend of a friend, I could have been easily fooled into thinking they were one of the many touring bands. Common Choir’s name seems to be buzzing in the local scene a bit more than other bands and after seeing them last night, I understand why. Expect some big things from this band in the near future!
As the stage was turned over for the next band, you could feel the anticipation in the room grow. It was clear that people were excited to see Currents and, because of the excitement around me, I found myself feeling a bit anxious to see what this band was all about. Currents, like Common Choir, had a super clean sound to them while still keeping it heavy and intense. Every note of the sweeping guitar solos was clear and every single bass drum kick had a place in the music. I was truly impressed by the pure musicianship of this band. Although their music didn’t stick out like a sore thumb from the rest of the night, there was still something different about their sound that made them a stand-out act of the show.
Kublai Khan was the next band to take the stage and the band I was most excited to see of the night. I have been a fan of these guys for awhile now but never had the chance to see them live until last night. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Hailing from Texas, Kublai Khan has a very extreme sound to them. Quite possibly the most extreme and brutal of the night. Even with this sense of power in their music, there is an elegance about them that became apparent when singer Matt Honeycutt addressed the crowd throughout the set. Every time he spoke between songs, he had something to say. There was no crap, no script– he spoke from the heart and you could feel it. Being able to see that side of a band that is so heavy and extreme is humbling in a way and made me feel a true connection to these guys. Even with all of the great music last night, Kublai Khan seemed to be the only touring band that tried to connect with the audience on a deeper level than just “Thank you for coming out.” and because of that, it’s easy for me to say that these guys stole the show along with my heart.
Following Kublai Khan was Upon A Burning Body. The way the energy seemed to skyrocket as these guys started their set pretty much said everything I needed to know about this band. Sure, I have heard of their name and seen their merch around at shows but never really dug into these guys. It was obvious that I was one of the few ones in the audience who wasn’t obsessed with these guys. The crowd was moving more than they had all night and people were screaming along to every single word. Their music had a sense of brutality to it without going over the top. It was extreme, loud and, judging by the crowd’s response after every song, perfect.
Rounding out the night was Ohio based Miss May I. I have seen these guys too many times to count but last night was definitely the most intimate venue I had ever seen them in so I was excited to see what would change. Typically I’m blown away by Miss May I’s live show. It’s full of flashing lights and plumes of smoke that rise from the stage. I think I was hoping that, because the venue was a bit more intimate than their past visits, I would get to see a raw set from them. I was curios to see a set without the smoke and lights, but that’s not how it ended up going at all and, in true Miss May I form, even though the venue was intimate, they still had their smoke and lights going almost overloading the small space.
Even though I felt that their stage was a bit over the top for the space, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the sheer power of this band. Their live show has never failed to impress me and they always sound next to perfect when performing. The way Levi Benton’s unclean vocals combine with Ryan Neff’s clean vocals has never failed to give me chills. Even with the beauty of everything going on musically with this group, there’s a sense of fury and ferocity that can not be ignored. The energy of the band matches that of the audience creating a truly exciting atmosphere. So maybe Miss May I’s set wasn’t exactly what I had wanted from them and I still would love to see them without all of the smoke and lights but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy getting to see them in an intimate setting.
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