I don’t think there is a better way to spend the last week before I head into yet another marathon training cycle other than back to back show nights, with these two shows also likely being the last of the year for me. As I made my way to The Armory, I was burying the dreaded Sunday Scaries and replacing those thoughts with anticipation. Pierce the Veil was on the docket to headline what was sure to be a fantastic evening of music. The last time I saw this band on a proper headliner was back in 2012 on their Collide With the Sky tour at The Cabooze, and I was pumped to see this band take over The Armory.
Even though I am not a huge fan of bills with more than three bands on them, I was hopeful the opener would help me change my mind. Destroy Boys were up first for the evening for their short and sweet set. Wasting no time getting into their first song of the night “Drink,” the quartet filled The Armory with snappy punk rock vibes and a vibrantly honest stage presence. Destroy Boys had a unique ability to make the big room of The Armory feel like a small GA venue; their energy was palpable and they completely owned the stage, even with their last song being cut from their set. While I’m not sure their music will wind up in my regular listening rotation, if and when Destroy Boys make their way back to the Twin Cities, I’ll definitely be there purely to experience the absolute chaotic joy that was their set for a second time.After a quick set change, the next band of the evening was set to take the stage. Dayseeker also had a set on the shorter side, but the band made the most of the time they had on stage with the crowd. Sonically, it was a departure from the openers of the evening, but that didn’t change the crowd response one bit. During their set, it felt like Dayseeker was orchestrating a cathartic experience not just for the crowd, but also for themselves. The band played a heartfelt set that highlighted both emotive highs and lows, and really showcased their flair of post hardcore. I had been iffy on their music just from briefly listening to their discography, but their live set sold me on them as a band, and I’m sure there were more than a handful in the crowd that had a similar experience. The penultimate band of the evening was supergroup L.S. Dunes, composed of members of Circa Survive, My Chemical Romance, Thursday, and Coheed & Cambria. With the unveiling of the band a little over a year ago and a full length under their belts, my personal anticipation was high to see this supergroup perform. What can be said for certain about L. S. Dunes is that this is an extremely high performing group of individuals; Anthony Green was all over the stage, barely standing in one place for any length of time, with others following suit but staying a little closer to their setups. From the start all the way to the end, L. S. Dunes have 110%, relentlessly powering through their set all the while holding the crowd completely captive to their performance. This was more or less what I expected, but I couldn’t help but become captivated by them either, the band fully living up to the hype. Last but certainly not least, headliners Pierce the Veil took the stage to an astounding wave of screams from the crowd. The band came out swinging, a sprinkling of new songs intertwined with older crowd favorites (including “Caraphernelia,” “Circles,” and “Match into Water” all within the first twenty or so minutes). To say the majority of the crowd was hyped for Pierce The Veil was an understatement; there was barely a moment during their set where most of the crowd wasn’t screaming, and it was accelerated by the band challenging the crowd to be their loudest ever. While the overall production of their set leaned towards the minimal side, their set had several highlights; confetti for multiple songs, the band picking a member of the crowd to go up on stage for “Hold on Till May” AND getting to take home a guitar, an acoustic performance, and plenty of CO2 from above and below to amplify their performance. Pierce the Veil upped the ante and brought a massive amount of energy that seemed to effortlessly work in parallel with the pure insanity brought forth by the crowd.