On this date in history, 2/14/2018, a good friend who had free tickets and a kind heart asked me to accompany her to the Resurrection Tour featuring Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, and Crown The Empire. This concert took place at Old National Centre’s Murat Egyptian Room in downtown Indianapolis. I must confess that I didn’t have too much knowledge of any of the bands’ music going in, which I really enjoyed, as it allowed me to witness all of them with an open mind and ears.

Crown The Empire started the show with an energetic set of basic lightweight metalcore. The audience seemed to enjoy them and they fit in well with the styles of the 2 headlining acts. I grew tired of the lead vocalist’s voice pretty early in their set, but he was on pitch and hit his high notes with ease, so it was just a matter of opinion for my not liking it.

From the very beginning, the production on this show was top notch. Excellent sound for all 3 bands and super lights, too. Asking Alexandria was on one of the Mayhem tours and I remember seeing them and noting that Danny Worsnop is a most excellent vocalist. I discovered that he had left the band a couple of years ago and then returned, apparently rejuvenated. He was in great voice on Valentine’s night, but the band’s lead guitarist, Ben Bruce, had flown back home to England for personal reasons. In addition to missing a key member, the band’s bass player was ill and had to leave the stage for a brief time, forcing them to perform a couple of simple songs with just acoustic guitar and vocals. This little change of plan turned out to be a real highlight for me, and Worsnop was really enjoying the break in the normal routine. Even with their having to perform at less than full strength, Asking Alexandria played a hell of a great rockin’ set. They gained a whole lot of respect from me in rising above their obstacles.

Black Veil Brides rounded out a great concert with an industrial strenght onslaught of prime old school rock and roll showmanship. Inspired by Kiss, Motley Crue, Van Halen, Poison, and any other great high energy live band you care to name, the Brides came out swinging, and never let up on the intensity and enthusiasm. They were all killer and no filler, delivering one song into the next and riding the wave of the delirious energy put out by the predominantly young female audience, who loudly sang along with virtually every anthem the boys threw at them.

The execution was tight and precise, and they never stopped moving for very long, keeping the adrenaline pumping throughout their set.

Andy Biersack had the crowd under his spell from the moment he hit the stage, and the entire band seems intent on keeping that time honored tradition of the big rock show alive and kicking…and that isn’t a bad thing at all, is it?

Hats off to whoever put this tour together, because these 3 bands truly complimented each other’s styles and delivered a great night of music for their demographic crowd, and that is what every working musician strives to do…satisfy their fans and make them dance, sing, sweat and create memories.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 7/15/2012, the 5th installment of the Mayhem Festival made its annual visit to Deer Creek, and my friends and I were part of the metal masses in attendance.

This show featured Slipknot, Slayer, Motörhead, As I Lay Dying, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, Whitechapel, Upon A Burning Body, I The Breather, Dirtfedd, Betraying The Martyrs, Hemlock, and our hometown heroes, the mighty Threat Level.

I am unable to comment on each band, but will do my best to spotlight the bands I enjoyed the most and welcome comments from anyone in attendance who may wish to fill in the blanks and give a review on any of their favorites.

The first band to attract my interest was Upon A Burning Body, but as good as they were, they were absolutely obliterated by Whitechapel, who played a singularly vicious set, raising the brutality bar to the highest echelons of intensity.

Anthrax have long been a favorite of mine, and they appeared to be in fine form on this day, but I was only able to catch 2 or 3 songs before I had to make my way to the stage where my friends in Threat Level were set to detonate the crowd gathered for their crushing performance. The band; comprised of Frank Rapacki on vocals, Troy Welch on guitar, Jason Weaver on bass, and Chad Smith (not THAT Chad Smith) on drums, had won a regional battle of the bands to secure their spot on this show and they made the most of it, impressing the large and boisterous assembly awaiting the band’s powerful blend of groove and thrash metal, topped by Rapacki’s roaring voice. Some fierce pit action accompanied favorites from their Leading The Vicious and A World Beyond Devastation albums.

After a much needed break following Threat Level’s set, I was ready for the trinity of terror comprised of Motörhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. Lemmy and company were a band on my bucket list and they were every bit as wonderful as I expected them to be. Mickey Dee drummed like a man possessed, Phil Campbell provided the guitar carnage, and the immortal Lemmy played the superhuman, jet propulsion bass and rasped out his one of a kind and singularly irreplaceable vocals on a set full of thunderous Motörhead majesty, including  “Ace Of Spades”, and “Overkill”, with its 2 false endings and the furious finale with nothing but truth.

Slayer followed with their diabolical majesty, continuing the onslaught that wouldn’t abate until the concert ended. Dave Lombardo was still in the drum throne at this time, and for my money he is the undisputed king of metal drumming. Jeff Hanneman was absent by this time and Gary Holt from the band Exodus did an admirable job of filling some nearly impossible shoes to fill. Kerry King and Tom Araya did what they have always done, with King hammering the riffs with beastly intent and causing sonic disturbances and eardrum lacerations with his punishing leads, and Araya summoning up that VOICE, the mouthpiece for the Slaytanic war ensemble.

A crushing performance it was…and this left the 9, the masked minions of Mayhem, the circus of the damned known as Slipknot to take us to the finish line as only they can. Joey Jordison was the 3rd and final superpowered drummer I had the joy to witness back to back to back in this amazing display of ferocious multi limb dexterity. Corey Taylor added his voice to the hall of fame duo of Lemmy and Araya, and the rest of the Iowa based madmen did what they do, delivering visual thrills and chills and a whole lot of metallic bombast.

This one may not have been the strongest lineup overall, but it definitely was the one with the strongest 1-2-3 punch to end the show of any of the Mayhem Festivals.

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA The Concert Critic

On This Day in History