Memphis May Fire brought the Madness to The Skyway


Wednesday night’s show started off with Bad Seed Rising from Maryland. These kids were the youngest and most unknown group of the night and they knew it. Singer Francheska Pastor asked the crowd to raise their hand if they had heard of Bad Seed Rising prior to the show. Nobody moved. Then she asked the crowd who had never heard of them before and everyone’s hand shot into the air. So maybe these guys were unknown to the crowd before the show but that quickly changed. This young group (I mean, these guys can’t be older than 20) took the stage with the same power and ferocity as the groups to come up after them. They had a sense of professionalism that is typically lost on younger groups and that had me sold.

The Color Morale is the band that played next and, even though I’m not a die hard fan of theirs, I felt like part of The Color Morale family during their set. Singer Garrett Rapp put it best when he yelled to the crowd, “You are The Color Morale!” I would be lying if I said I didn’t get chills and didn’t feel my heart flutter a bit with those words. The thing I love about The Color Morale is their positive aura. Everything about this band is everything that got me into the metal scene to begin with. No matter how big they ever got, ever are or ever will be, they can still be spotted at the merch tables after every single set until people stop talking to them. I’ve met the guys before and, when talking to them, you get this sense that they truly care. Last night, as I watched fans approach the members, my heart was warmed by the fact that multiple times I heard the band acknowledge fans by first name. They remembered the kids from previous meetings and never forgot their stories. Being able to watch a band act this way with fans is truly one of my favorite things on the planet.

The Color Morale’s music is one of those things that, when you hear it, you know who it is within just a couple of notes. Garrett’s way of screaming, singing, and just talking in rhythm is distinctive and, in a scene full of bands doing pretty much the same thing, it’s refreshing and has me hooked. Being able to see them live and the energy they bring to the table just makes them stand out more in an over-saturated scene. Even with the positive aura they have and all of the positivity that Garrett speaks, there is no lack of power and brutality in their presence. When they play a song it feels like you are getting punched in the gut but, when it’s done and Garrett starts thanking the crowd for the support, it’s like they are giving you a sucker to make up for the gut punch they just delivered. It blends the two best things about the metal scene perfectly… love and brutality.

As I was still reveling in the raw power of The Color Morale’s set, Blessthefall took the stage and I was instantly transported back to my angsty teenage years. These guys really haven’t changed much since they started back in the early 2000’s. They have an accessible brand of metalcore music that the young crowd found just as heavy and brutal as I found The Color Morale. They have a niche audience and I’m about fifteen years too old to understand it all. It was clear that the crowd did understand it and they erupted into a sweaty mess that didn’t falter throughout the set. When singer Beau Bokan would jump down to the barrier that separated crowd and stage, you could see the push in the audience to get closer to the heartthrob singer.

Finishing off the night was Memphis May Fire. I feel like these guys have a bit of a bad rep in the metal world. They’re too popular, too emotional… whatever your preconceived notion of these guys is… forget it. To be honest, I was one of those haters when walking into the show last night. I figured I knew what I was getting into when it came to Memphis May Fire’s set but I was quickly proven wrong.

Memphis May Fire took the stage with enough power and ferocity to make me take a step back and question all of my opinions on this band. Matty Mullins, the singer, had this feeling of being a super down to earth guy but wasn’t vocal about it like The Color Morale was. He didn’t really say much in between songs but he just gave off this very “real” vibe. I believed him when he said that MMF loves Minneapolis so much that they wanted to shoot a music video during last night’s set. Every thank you he said felt like it was truly coming from the heart and, even though I had been drinking the haterade when it came to this band prior to last night, that all changed in the matter of a couple of songs.

As I mentioned, MMF decided to shoot a music video during the set on Wednesday. Matty jumped down into the crowd with a cameraman and asked the audience members to try and just respect their space but also go crazy. As I tried to imagine what this would look like, the crowd started to spin around Matty and I quickly lost the frontman in the swirl of people. I’ve been in live music videos before and, if you love the band, it can be a life changing experience. Last night didn’t change my life but being able to watch so many people get so close to a band that they truly love was more than enough to make that image get stuck in my head.

MMF played through their set and through, what seemed to be their whole discography. With five full length albums out there, these guys had more than enough material to fill multiple hours of music. Although they obviously couldn’t play it all, they seemed to do a great job of reading the audience’s mind and playing all of the songs that the fans wanted to hear. Even with their new album “This Light I Hold” which just came out last October, the band didn’t neglect their older songs dating back to 2009. They were able to reach every fan in the audience whether it was someone who just knew the new album or someone who had been tracking this band since their beginnings.

I walked into the show Wednesday night without very high expectations. I felt like I knew what I was going to get. I knew it was going to be good, great, fine… whatever, but didn’t expect much more. I was proven wrong within the first act. Those are the best nights.