By The Thousands was the band that got me out of the house last night. These guys have been making waves in the metal scene not just in the Twin Cities, but across the country. It’s not rare to see the guys at different shows throughout the city. It doesn’t matter how big they get, they still support the scene that made them what they are and I love that about them. It’s always weird when they go on tour. You realize that there are familiar faces missing from shows and it’s almost a bit heartbreaking but last night was their Minnesota stop on their current tour and I wasn’t missing it.
By The Thousands has a very clean sounding brand of progressive metal. Sure, there are a million other bands out there doing the same thing right now but they don’t all sound so clean and that’s why these guys stick out to me so much. The amount of passion they have when performing is another thing that completely got me hooked on them. Although, at times, they are playing super complicated riffs on guitars and can’t look up from the fret board, you can still, without question, feel the passion they have. When you take that clean sound and passion and mix it all up with the fact that these boys are seriously some of the nicest I’ve ever met, you have everything you need to win me over.
Right before By The Thousands played was a band called Circuit of Suns from New York. As much as last night was about celebrating By The Thousands coming home, Circuit of Suns stole the show last night. These guys were intense but not in a brutal sense. Their music was much more chaotic than the rest of what was performed last night and that kept it feeling fresh and new. Mo, the singer, had a very unique way of singing/ screaming/ rapping, I mean, he was doing it all. Behind him, the band was doing everything from breakdowns to power chords and everything in between. Their music had character and, when mixed with the electric energy they were giving up, they turned into an extremely memorable band that I pray I get to see again sooner rather than later.
Headlining the show last night was Aegaeon, a deathcore band from Indiana. While majority of the night was full of metalcore and breakdowns, these guys brought a brand of deathcore that was brutal and amazing. The vocals from Julian were nothing short of terrifying and easily made them the hardest band on last night’s bill. Even though the vocals were damn near impossible to understand, the music was not. Regardless of your thoughts are on deathcore, there’s no denying that these guys know damn well what they’re doing and they’re doing it well.
There were times when I found the growls to be a bit overpowering but the music kept me interested and listening. Behind the drum kit was a bit of a local legend, Matty P. This kid is one of the nicest that you’ll ever meet (I guess I say that about pretty much everyone in this local metal scene, don’t I?). He recently left the Twin Cities to pursue some other opportunities as far as bands go and he has definitely been missed. He, like the members of By The Thousands, was one of those guys that would be at almost every show and always come say hi to you if he saw you. Being able to see him last night was definitely a treat and being able to see him drum again was breathtaking. This kid is a freaking beast behind the drums and seeing him live gives you this sense of energy that is truly indescribable.
Druid was one of the local openers on the show and, if I were you, I would definitely keep my eye on these guys. Like all of the other bands of the night, their music was clean and truly well done. Their live show was energetic and their music sounded unique in a genre that can easily turn into generic. They seemed to be a bit on the young side and that always worries me about up and coming bands but, if these guys can keep on grinding, I truly see them turning into quite the buzz band for the locals scene in the upcoming months.
As if four amazing bands for one night wasn’t enough, there was one other band, Hurricane Joe, who kicked off the night. These guys are a bit of a transplant band who recently moved from Duluth to the Twin Cities. Apparently, I know one of the members as he is my old roommate’s old roommate (yeah, try and word that so it makes sense because I can’t) which instantly got me excited to see them as I hadn’t seen this kid in years. These guys seemed to be the most straight up metal band of the night but that didn’t lower the brutality of their set. With harsh vocals, unrelenting guitar riffs and just an overall busy, yet not distracting, sound, these guys started the night of right and energized the ever-growing crowd for what was to turn into an amazing show.