September 19, 2014 A Day To Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, Chiodos, & Motionless in White rattle Albany, NY 9-8-14
The Parks & Devastation Tour hit the Washington Ave Armory in Albany, NY Monday September 8th for what is arguably the biggest tour from the heavy music genre to hit Albany in 2014. Proving to be an exciting lineup, A Day to Remember headlined the evening with support from Bring Me the Horizon, Chiodos, and Motionless in White. In anticipation, fans wearing their support on their chests, in form of their favorite band t-shirt, lined the streets of Albany hours before doors opened in hopes of getting as close to the barricade as possible for what was set to be an absolutely unforgettable evening.
Ready to get the evening going on a high note, Motionless in White took the stage first to an amped-up crowd. Theatrically appealing, they came out with faces painted and energy at a maximum, ready to give fans everything they hoped for and more. Starting off with their song “Immaculate Misconception” from their 2011 album Creatures, they also played “Abigail” from that album later in the evening. Raising the noise level a few notches, lead vocalist Chris Motionless announced the next song would be the single and title track from their new Reincarnate. Certainly a hit with the audience, Motionless In White’s third studio album could possibly be their biggest to date. They closed out the set with the ever popular “A-M-E-R-I-C-A” off of their 2012 release Infamous which really got the crowd off their feet and passionately screaming along with every line. Do not miss this ever progressngn adrenaline rush of a band mixing fun and thoughtful lyrics together.
Taking the stage second was Chiodos, ready to live up to their name of spectacular live performance. The group has had a lot going for them with the recent departure of drummer Derrick Frost, bassist Matt Goddard, and subsequent additions of drummer Thomas Pridgen, formerly of The Mars Volta, and bassist Joe Troy (RX Bandits) respectively. Along with the few changes, they also had to drop off of the last few days of their co-headlining tour The Crowd Surf America Tour with Blessthefall due to medical concerns for guitarist Thomas Erak. Despite all of current challenges the group has faced, they took the stage without missing a beat. Their energy and stage presence did not falter for a second and they had the crowd engaged from their entrance all the way through the last note of their final song. They mixed up their set list a bit more on this tour including staple songs, “3AM” and “Ole Fishlips is Dead Now” off of their most recent release Devil. Surprising fans with crowd favorite, “Baby, You Wouldn’t Last a Minute in the Creek” had fans screaming their hearts out from start to finish. It seems as though nothing will slow Chiodos down as they look toward the future.
The ground began to vibrate as the entrancing music of UK’s Bring Me the Horizon began. That swell of emotion certainly continued to grow until it felt as though the entire building was shaking when they kicked off their set with “Shadow Moses”. Becoming a signature live song for the group since its release on the Alternative Press Album of the Year Sempiternal (2013), it is quite popular because the end of the song gives fans a chance to scream, “THIS IS SEMPITERNAL” angrily alongside vocalist Oliver Sykes. Bring Me the Horizon is a band that can command an audience with an explosive show all the way through, which they most certainly did. With raw emotion painted on Sykes face during “Go to Hell, For Heaven’s Sake” seemed to draw the crowd in even further to the intense grasp of the band’s clutches.
As the set moved on they even played ”Alligator Blood” from their 2010 release There Is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let’s Keep it a Secret., which was a nice treat for fans. Sykes continued to engage the crowd by pausing midway through “Chelsea Smile” to direct the entire arena to sit down and wait for his command to jump with all of the energy they had left. Equally as exhilarating, the ever emotional track “Can You Feel My Heart” brought cell phones out across the venue as fans videotaped the song emphatically singing the words, “I’m scared to get close and I hate being alone. I long for that feeling to not feel at all. The higher I get the lower I’ll sink. I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.” The display was bone chilling as it seemed, even if just for a second, the troubles of the crowd and those in the band were united. Closing out the set was the heavy hitting, very angry favorite “Antivist” bringing the energy of the building to an entirely new level as everyone seemed to be screaming as loud as they possibly could along to every single word. Having to cancel their sold out show in Albany last winter due to snow, Bring Me the Horizon certainly made up for it with this blistering performance.
Stage setup and presentation seems to be a big feature for A Day to Remember as they typically pick a theme for the tour and stick with it throughout. This year, for Parks & Devastation, everything from the name, to the tour poster, to the stage setup to their entrance music matched seamlessly. Lining the stage was rocks where risers would typically be, for the band to climb on, along with a backdrop resembled Mount Rushmore with the faces being those of frontman Jeremy McKinnon, guitarists Kevin Skaff and Neil Westfall, bassist Joshua Woodward, and drummer Alex Shelnutt. Interestingly enough the backdrop did in fact change to coincide appropriately with the mood of each song throughout the set.
They kicked off their set with the high energy song “The Downfall of Us All” that always seems to encourage a massive sing-along with the audience. When MiKinnon screamed “FIGHT!” to start off “2nd Sucks”, the entire crowd appeared to leave their feet and take the moshing to the next level with more crowd surfers than there appeared to be all night, as well as the start of a massive circle pit. Other heavy favorites in the set list included “Violence (Enough is Enough” and “Dead and Buried” off of their self- released album Common Courtesy and “You Be Tails, I’ll be Sonic” off of the 2010 release What Separates Me From You. Then the infamous hamster ball came out as “Homesick” started and MiKinnon took a brief trip across the top of the crowd running around before returning to the stage to sing his part. Fittingly they closed their set with the fan favorite “All I Want”, which had every fan in the building cheering at the height of exhaustion.
The group had barely exited the stage when the “A Day to Remember” as well as “ADTR” chants started to call them back. After a few minutes of calling and cheering, MiKinnon and Skaff returned by themselves to the stage. Although it was clear which song they had returned to play, the pair joked about what was coming. Skaff even joked about a cover of Metallica’s “Battery” which got a massive cheer from the crowd to the point McKinnon told Skaff to go ahead since he is a walking jukebox and can play just about anything on the guitar, but Skaff declined. Cheers erupted from the hushed crowd when McKinnon announced they would be playing, “If It Means A Lot to You”. They followed with “All Signs Point to Lauderdale” and closed out the evening with “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle”. All of the energy left in the crowd was exerted during the last song as fans gave all they had to crowd surf one more time and get into a pit to enjoy the last of the show. The lyrics, “I’ll rip that scandalous bitch in two” seemed to be the final excretion of energy as the arena joined McKinnon in screaming it as loud as they possible could.
The Parks & Devastation Tour is a must see show for anyone who enjoys heavy emotion music, as it is one that attendees will not forget for months to come. This is likely one of the tours that will stand out among others for years to come. Each band gave it their all and left everything on the stage while successfully encouraging the fans to do the same.