Last night was the first time I felt the heat of a concert and to say it made me smile from ear to ear would be an understatement. The temperatures are rising outside, the snow turning to rain and people are so ready to just have some sunlight and warmth (even if that warmth is only 30 degrees but, hey, we will take it). Things were rowdy in the nearly sold out Cabooze for last night’s All That Remains show which made it warm to begin with but there was something comforting about the moment I found myself on the edge of a major circle pit and could feel the heat as people ran past me. A small thing, yes, and I’m sure there have been many a circle pit this winter that I just avoided due to my old age and exhaustion (aka seasonal depression) but last night was when it finally hit me. Summer is coming people and metal shows are going to get hotter and smellier and I, for one, can not freaking wait.
Getting the night started was local band Villain of the Story. Unfortunately, the venue hosting this show is notorious for not opening doors on time yet still starting the show on time meaning instead of being able to watch them absolutely kill it, I was stuck in line out in the rain surely getting my first case of strep for the year. By the time I got in and weaved through the already packed venue, I was able to catch just two songs but those songs definitely packed a punch. Our photographer suffered the same fate. Having seen these guys before, I wasn’t surprised but it has been awhile since I’ve caught them and to see how much they have grown definitely had me impressed. I can’t wait to catch them again and actually catch more than just a song or two.
First of the touring package was local band Sleep Signals. These guys have been lighting up my radar for years now but last night was my first chance to finally see them live. Powering through some of the worst sound issues I’ve seen at a concert lately, Sleep Signals got the crowd in the perfect mood for the rest of their night. Although their music may lean towards the radio side of things a bit too much for me, their show was on point and I definitely get the allure. The fact that this unsigned band has made a big enough impression to open such a giant tour across the country is definitely impressive and the fact that they claim the Twin Cities as home makes me (and the rest of this scene) beyond honored.
Escape The Fate took the stage next and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised to see them (full disclosure, I really had no clue who all was on this bill– I blame exhaustion). I honestly didn’t know these guys were still around after loosing their controversial vocalist Ronnie Radke to other creative endeavors in 2008 but was pleasantly surprised when they took the stage with a whole new sound but the same sense of power I remember them having back in the day. Sets seemed to move fast and as soon as I got okay with the idea of watching this band without Ronnie at the helm, they were loading off stage and making room for the next act. That being said, I may have to take some time today and dig into some of the new music from Escape the Fate. I was thoroughly impressed.
Up next was the main reason for my excitement over last night’s show- Attila. Having seen these guys multiple times now, I can tell you without hesitation that they are one of the most entertaining and brutal live bands on the touring track right now. Their music may be a bit of a joke and beyond offensive, misogynistic and is down right annoying at time but that’s kind of the point. I blame most of my obsession with this band on singer Chris “Fronz” Fronzak and his ability to piss off an entire scene of people while still selling records and keeping his merch flying off the shelf. His I don’t give a fuck attitude is something I admire and it was definitely reigning supreme last night. Attila’s set was full of both old and new music and a whole lot of falls in the pit. At one point, the band had a circle pit stretching the length of The Cabooze (which, with poles in the middle and a very awkward layout made it beyond impressive). I may not like the words that he says and definitely found some of his comments between songs offensive (although he seemed to be on better behavior that I have seen him in the past) but there’s no denying the power behind Attila’s live show and it’s that power and strength that will keep me coming back time after time.
Closing out the heavy and brutal night of music was the almighty All That Remains. Since the late 1990’s, ATR has been one of the bands that has bridged the gap between metalcore and radio rock. Although their music is clearly intense and aggressive (and their live show matches that) there’s still this appeal to the masses with their sound. Like the other bands performing last night, I have seen these guys before but their energy on stage never fails to impressive me. Vocalist Philip Labonte was relentless as the growled at the crowd and got the already tired from moshing audience to the brink of exhaustion. Even though people were clearly loosing steam, everyone seemed to be finding their fourth and fifth winds just to make it through ATR’s extensive fourteen song set. Even with such a powerful and stacked line-up, ATR easily proved why they are the headliners of this tour.
Yes, there’s still snow on the ground and I haven’t put away my boots and coat for the season yet but last night was a glimpse into the heat that this summer is going to bring. I truly can’t wait for a season full of metal shows like last night’s.