December 3, 2014 Asking Alexandria open tour Rialto Theatre Tucson, AZ 11-28-14 w/ Blessthefall, Upon a Burning Body, & The Family Ruin
Having already accomplished a great deal in 2014, with extensive touring and a main stage spot on Rock Star Energy Drinks Mayhem Festival, the UK’s Asking Alexandria are looking to close out the year on a high note announcing plans for a headlining winter tour with support from Blessthefall, Chelsea Grin, Upon a Burning Body, and The Family Ruin. Calling it The Moving On Tour, Asking Alexandria commenced the month long journey on Black Friday, November 28th, at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Arizona. Although Chelsea Grin was not available for the opening night of the tour, each band was ready to put on an intense show for fans.
The evening kicked off a little after 6:30 PM featuring a couple of Tucson’s favorite local bands. Up second was A Fall to Break, an Arizona based Hard Rock/Metal band that had a slight Sevendust/Linkin Park sound to them. Together since 2010, this band has shared the stage with some of Hard Rock’s elite including Lacuna Coil, Korn, and Sevendust. As a hard-working, head-banging, independent band, they really set the stage for the evening and stood out boldly. Their latest album Calluna Vulgaris is out now.
Directly following, York, UK’s The Family Ruin took the stage right around 8:00 PM. Consisting of Johnny Mennell (vocals), Craig Robinson (guitar/vocals), James Langley (guitar), Josh Adamson (bass), and Dom White (drums), The Family Ruin is a an electrifying band. Mixing tones of Alternative Rock with Metal, they delivered some face-melting riffs, thick grooves, and rich harmonies. Performing songs off their debut album, Dearly Departed, they certainly knew how to amp up the crowd with tracks like “Let’s Go” and “Bringing Out Your Dead.” The Family Ruin may be fresh to some listeners’ ears but they certainly proved they belong on the same stage with the others on the tour, purely dominating in the time they were given. Be sure to show up early; do not miss a chance to witness their performance.
Next to the stage was Texas’ Upon a Burning Body. Recently getting off tour with Whitechapel, the band wasted no time returning to the road and they brought a brutal, unrelenting array of aggression and sheer ferocity. Led by the fire-breathing vocals of Danny Leal, the guitar work of Ruben Alvarez and Sal Dominguez provided the right groove to have this audience in a frenzy. Upon a Burning Body meant business and shredded through some killer tracks like “Pledge Your Allegiance,” “Texas Blood Money,” and “Middle Finger to the World,” to name a few. Their vision of music was highly matched to their non-stop heart pounding style that left the crowd gasping for air. Their latest album, The World Is My Enemy Now, is out now and after completing this final run of 2014; Upon a Burning Body will be back co-headlining tour with Veil of Maya in January.
Shortly after the pounding the audience received from the opening acts, it was time for Arizona natives Blessthefall. Certainly a band which has grown since their formation in 2003, they do not show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Completing a sensational tour with Chiodos this past summer, Blessthefall continue their support of 2013’s Hollow Bodies. Exciting for the band and the audience, that the tour kick off in their home state, there was a sense of anticipation flowing through the air that was about to boil over.
Vocalist Beau Bokan came out proclaiming, “If you came to party, can I get a hell yeah!” There was no question this was going to be a crazy set as they began with “Exodus.” As everyone in the crowd was already jumping up on their feet, Bokan stood on barricades to get up close and personal with the fans. It felt as if the crowd was covered in a shroud of exhilaration, making them even more excited to be there. Going on to cover songs such as “Hollow Bodies,” “What’s Left of Me,” and “Déjà vu,” there were crowd surfers coming to the front of the stage in full force, but that was not enough. Bokan instructed the crowd, on his command, “When I tell you, I want to see all of you motherfuckers surf to the front of the stage and give me a high five.” With that, waves of Hardcore fans began throwing over body after body to the waiting arms of Bokan and security. After “Bottomfeeder” and “Promised Ones” Bokan still wanted more, so as fans bouncing around in circles waiting for his command, he instructed them to divide themselves into two halves. Watching from above the stage, it was easy to realize that only meant one thing, wall of death. In a matter of seconds, both sides of the room were running at each other, leading into one huge mosh pit consisting of about half of the audience. As their set completed, everyone agreed Blessthefall delivered one incredible performance.
The time had arrived for main attraction Asking Alexandria to take over Rialto Theater. The moment the dark, menacing synths from opener “Don’t Pray For Me” came lurking out of the speakers, the audience immediately bursts out cheering and clapping. With guitarist/vocalist Ben Bruce, drummer James Cassels, guitarist Cameron Liddell, and bassist Sam Bettley staring into the sea of people, last on stage was lead singer Danny Worsnop. With his microphone stand dressed in an American flag, Worsnop held it tight as he walked around singing passionately. Although the crowd was up for this band, one might think how much energy did they have left after the assault of the opening acts; during the last performance, how much more did this crowd have in them. Answering the call, the room continued to swell with adrenaline thanks to Asking Alexandria’s enthusiastic delivery as they went on with “Run Free,” “A Lesson Never Learned,” and “Breathless.” As Bruce and Liddell delivered some boisterous fretwork, which could be considered more on the Metal side of spectrum than it on the Core side, tracks like “To the Stage” blistered. Cassells also convinces with some formidable drumming that he manages to keep up throughout the entire show, and Bettley provides some solid bass playing while remaining a quiet presence on stage, but one can tell from his smirk that he was visibly enjoying himself.
Breaking in between for the spoken word “Dedication,” the audience listened carefully before the band came right back out for “Someone, Somewhere.” While the focus of the set was on their 2013 album From Death to Destiny with other intense songs like “Moving On,” Asking Alexandria also offered older pieces such as “A Prophecy” and “Not the American Average,” before closing the set with “The Final Episode (Let’s Change the Channel).”
Leaving the audience shouting and with coordinated clapping, wanting even more, the band responded with an insane three song encore including “Killing You” and “The Death of Me.” Saving the best for last with “Poison,” a rampageous maelstrom of brutality saw Worsnop putting on his best vocal performance with guttural lows, shrieking highs, and raspy falsettos. Even with this fantastic display, the stakes were raised even higher when the audience carried the final chorus while Worsnop triumphantly heaved his mic stand into the air, letting the American flag dance in between the lights and from the emotion coming pouring. It was a glorious end to a great performance, and the beginning of one hell of a tour ahead.