This has been a light week for me show-wise but pretty insane as far as my personal life goes. I won’t get into details of what all has been going on but, I assure you, it’s all good things– actually, amazing things. Long story short, even though I didn’t have many shows this week, it was a good week but I knew I was due for the feeling of live music pumping through my veins (whether I wanted to be at a show or not) and, thankfully, I got that on Saturday night.
I’ll be honest– my head wasn’t in the show as I made my way to the Skyway Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. I just wasn’t feeling it but, again, I knew that my mental health needed a show even though things are going so well. I settled into a good spot and waited for the show to start. All I knew about the show was the headliner and I honestly hadn’t thought of this particular headliner in over ten years so I was trying to be cautiously optimistic about what the show may be like while trying not to let the fact that I had somewhere else my heart wanted to be get in the way. Thankfully, Bangkok bred Defying Decay was the first band to take the stage and, well…
Vocalist Blake Bedsaul explained why he calls their fans “Equals” and, although cheesy, I truly adored it. I mean, I feel like it doesn’t need an explanation as to why they call their fans “Equals” but just hearing the words he chose to describe it was truly touching.
I don’t even know where to begin with this band. The second they took the stage, my jaw hit the ground. This seven-piece acted more like a headliner of a giant arena tour than the opener of a more mid-size venue tour. Even though the members of this band look like straight-up children, they brought a sense of professionalism to the stage along with their flawless sound to the speakers. While standing there and watching them on Saturday night, I had so much to say but I fear that as I sit to write this on Sunday morning, I find myself completely at a loss of words. I just can not put this band’s energy into words or the way they changed my entire outlook on the show within just the first few notes of their all-too-quick thirty-minute set. The stage was super crowded what with this being a five-band line-up yet Defying Decay used every open space of stage that they could find including climbing on top of the speaker stacks on either side of the stage. It was this constant energy and powerful sound that really got the crowd going to the point where there was a respectable pit going by the end of their set. The band thanked the audience up and down telling us that it was the first time they got a mosh pit without having to ask for it but, honestly, I find that hard to believe. I didn’t know who Defying Decay was or where they came from prior to their set on Saturday but this band absolutely has my attention and I expect them to be headlining an epic tour the next time they come through. Although starting the night off with such a powerful and epic performance was a great way to get the night started, the other bands had a high bar to reach and I, unfortunately, don’t feel like any of them met that bar. That being said, the rest were all great in their own way.
Saul had the tough job of following Defying Decay, they did their best. Their sound was just a bit more mature and a little less chaotic which made it a bit of a stark transition but I loved the sense of family that Saul brought to the stage and audience. Vocalist Blake Bedsaul explained why he calls their fans “Equals” and, although cheesy, I truly adored it. I mean, I feel like it doesn’t need an explanation as to why they call their fans “Equals” but just hearing the words he chose to describe it was truly touching. There was an undeniable sense of admiration that not only radiated from the stage to the audience but vice versa. Saul’s music was just a bit more radio-rock based for my personal preference but, again, it was impossible to ignore this band due to their positive and genuine energy.
I fell off of Atreyu band years ago. It’s not that they ever did me wrong or that their music just wasn’t for me anymore but I feel like their 2002 album ‘Suicide Notes and butterfly Kisses’ just could not be matched so I sadly stopped following them.
Following Saul was Tetrarch who instantly brought a more metal styled vibe to the stage and absolutely got the audience moving a bit more chaotically. Formed by guitarist Diamond Rowe and vocalist/ guitarist Josh Fore, this Atlanta-born band has a cult like following that I’ve never quite understood but, after watching the blast through their set on Saturday night, I get it. The blend of genres that is showcased in Tetrarch’s sound is perfect. Not only do they have their own unique sound but the balance of all of the elements in this band’s music is just beyond perfect. Tetrarch’s set flew by and I was so lost in their incredible show of power and angst that I was a bit disappointed as they wrapped up their set and cleared the stage to make way for Crown the Empire.
It has been some time since I’ve had the honor of catching Crown the Empire live but I was so happy that nothing has really changed since that time. As soon as they took the stage, the band reminded me why they have always been a bit of a stand-out on all of the line-ups I’ve seen them on. Vocalist Andrew “Andy Leo” Rockhold has this way of connecting with everyone in an audience. I’m honestly not sure how he does it or how to put it into words but the feeling was felt throughout their forty-minute performance on Saturday night. From the first note of “In Another Life” and until the final chord of “Machines”, Crown the Empire had me and the rest of the audience in the palm of their hand. The icing on the cake of their powerful set was when they brought Diamond from Tetrarch up to join them on “Dancing with the Dead”. Not only was the sound perfect but just seeing the strong sense of family that has clearly formed on this tour really highlighted Crown the Empire’s set.
I want to stress– everyone that graced the stage at The Lyric Room at The Skyway Theatre was great and so full of heart and passion.
I’ll be honest, by the time Atreyu (the headliner) took the stage, my feet were hurting and my head was back in the clouds but I was excited to see this band that I used to worship back in the day. Full disclosure, I fell off of this band years ago. It’s not that they ever did me wrong or that their music just wasn’t for me anymore but I feel like their 2002 album ‘Suicide Notes and butterfly Kisses’ just could not be matched so I sadly stopped following them. That being said, just knowing that this band is still out there and doing their thing made me happy. Unlike Crown the Empire who really hasn’t changed much since the last time I saw them, everything has changed with Atreyu. Their overall sound and style seemed to have taken a big shift. Although still an absolutely solid band, I feel like the shift they made just wasn’t for me and I found myself a bit bummed with their performance musically. I don’t mean that they sounded bad, because they didn’t, but it just wasn’t the band that I fell in love with back in 2002.
Although this band seems to have done a complete one-eighty stylistically, one thing that hasn’t changed is their undeniable stage presence and the connection they have with their fans. As I watched them power through their seventeen song set, I realized that this is why I was meant to be at this show on Saturday night even though my head was not all there. That sense of family that you get from shows and that energy and power that radiates from stages and speakers– there’s just no replacement for those things.
Overall the show on Saturday was solid but the way Defying Decay got the night started made it tough for anyone else to keep up. I want to stress– everyone that graced the stage at The Lyric Room at The Skyway Theatre was great and so full of heart and passion.
Smell-O-Meter: A few whiffs of weed
Average Age of the Crowd: 24
Crowd Surfers: 11 Counted But There Were Probably More
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter: 8 out of 10
Stage Divers: None
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around: $7.56
Broken Bones: None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air: A few bodies; A few drinks
Fights: None Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security: 0
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember):
Defying Decay: 0
Crown the Empire: 4
Atreyu: 2 (but it was way back in the day)
Celebrity Sightings: None
Overall Score: 7 out of 10
Show on Deck: The Acacia Strain