I arrived just in time to see blessthefall hit the stage, and it’s obvious they love their jobs. Throwing gallons of sweat-energy into the eyes of the thankful crowd, the vocalist offered up the rules to his favorite game, “Stage Dives and High Fives”, wherein the goal is to reach the stage, and the prize is to slap palms with a shirtless tattooed sweaty dude with a microphone. Logically, a substantial majority of the winners were neon-haired and female, revealing the true winner of his own game. He followed up with a mention of their new record which he assures is much better when enjoyed naked.
Emmure came out swinging with the audible equivalent of a 40oz in one fist, and brass knuckles in the other. Some of the more fragile winners from the last set were mysteriously absent for this set. The guys played well and put their backs into it, but I’m afraid I was left without any truly memorable moments to write about.
We Came As Romans run a tight ship: they were musically precise, stage volume was kept low for in-ear monitoring and the front-of-house mix was clear and strong, the guitar tech was always three steps ahead of every instrument change, and the lighting was right out of a venue twice the size. The guys ran and jumped around the stage so efficiently I began to wonder if their movements were choreographed; confidently running up and down the drum riser stairs forwards and backwards, they fed more energy into the packed house than both of the previous bands combined. There was only one piece missing – and I hope I was reading them wrong – but they seemed to forget about each other for most of the show. Band relationships can be tricky, and maybe it was just a bad day, but it appeared from the outside like each member of the band was in his own bubble, focused on delivering his best performance, but remaining disconnected from his brothers on stage. Perhaps this is the cost of being part of such a well oiled machine.