August 13, 2015 I Prevail Make Them Sweat at Amityville Music Hall Amityville, NY 7-26-15 w/ The Animal In Me, Fit For Rivals, & Dangerkids
Relatively a new band to the Post-Hardcore scene, I Prevail has made their presence known over the past year. Formed in Michigan in 2013, consisting of Brian Burkheiser (clean vocals), Eric Vanlerberghe (screamed vocals), Steve Menoian (lead guitar), Lee Runestad (drums), as well as touring members Dylan Bowman (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Tony Camposeo (bass guitar), I Prevail broke into the mainstream with their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” Released on YouTube December 1, 2014, the cover sparked attention and landed them at #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #23 on US Mainstream Rock Songs chart. Just almost a month into the new year, I Prevail released their EP Heart Vs. Mind featuring singles “Love, Lust, and Liars” and “The Enemy.”
With the excitement fresh, on June 10, 2015, the band announced their Summer Crossroads Tour to kick off July 9th in Lakewood, Ohio and returning to their home state on August 22nd in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With a string of dates spanning from coast to coast, I Prevail had the company of four equally talented and unique bands in Dangerkids, Fit For Rivals, Dayseeker, and The Animal In Me on all dates. On Sunday July 26th, as the big Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival was taking place on the beach, this smaller, but equally brutal event rolled into the Amityville Music Hall in Amityville, New York. Proving there was room for another Metal show on Long Island the same night, before the doors were open, the line of concert goers was down the street, waiting to let loose and have a fun time.
Orange, California’s Dayseeker was the first scheduled to play, but do to a automobile malfunction,were unable to make it to the venue. Slated next on the bill, and opening up the show, was Bay Area, California’s The Animal In Me. Formed in 2011, in 2013 they have released their Instincts EP and one album entitled Who’s Laughing Now. Amped up and ready to go, the band was excited to showcase songs off their sophomore album, Words & Actions, scheduled for release just two dates after the show. As they took their places on stage, Vocalist Shane Gould approached the audience stating how “he and the band love when the crowd gets close and sweaty enough that they can smell the good times,” to which the crowd had no problem obliging. Featuring a two vocalist attack of Gould and Laura Vierra, they rocked out tracks like “I Created a Monster” and “Toy Soldiers” where the two polar opposite singers complemented each perfectly. Daniel Flores pounded the bass guitar, the tone was set as they tore up the stage. Playing songs from their latest release, as well as older material, the set ended with Gould climbing out into the audience, being held up for their final song. Be on the lookout for new cover videos and original releases from this band as the pure aggression and energy of their sound is sure to grab ears.
Formed in 2008, from Jacksonville, Florida, and fresh of the Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock tour, Fit For Rivals consist of Vocalist Renee Phoenix, Guitarist/Keyboardist Thomas Amason, Lead Guitarist Rufino Lomboy, Bassist Eli Clark, and Drummer Dorman Pantfoeder. Their debut album from 2009 entitled Steady Damage is now followed up by newly release Ep Sugar and a soon to be released album, Freak Machine. As they softly approached the stage, as almost hiding, it was a different story when the lights went out and the music started. As if they intended to take the crowd by surprise, they launched into an energetic, in-your-face set with total control. Playing songs from their EP Sugar, including single “Freak Machine” and “Lights That Shine,” many in attendance were sure to compare singer Renee Phoenix to Joan Jett vocally, with an eerily similar stage presence. Mixing in older songs like “Crash,” Fit For Rivals showed Long Islanders hard-edged Rock with catchy riffs and memorable vocal hooks that no one could resist but move to. Excited to show off their new cuts and sounding extremely tight, they proved to be an enjoyable band devoted to their fans as, before they left the stage, they shook and slapped hands with as many as they could. Those unfamiliar with the band need to check them out and see just how energizing this band really is.
As direct support for the night, the band that calls themselves Dangerkids were next in line. Excited to be on the road again, after a successful run on Vans Warp Tour last Summer, Tyler Smyth (emcee,vocals), Alex Asch (guitar), Katie Cole (drums), Andy Bane (vocals), and Jake Bonham (bass) were eager to see familiar faces and make new friends. Releasing their well-received debut album Collapse in 2013 via Rise Records, Dangerkids combine a unique blend of Rap, Metal, and Electronica for their own style that works exceptionally well.
So excited to perform, before the band could get onto the stage, Bonham was already jumping around and told the audience how awesome they were. When the band joined Bonham on the platform, the bouncing from them and the audience was non-stop as they kicked off with “Kill Everything.” Proving to be the crowd favorite, the band contained another powerhouse vocal duo with Smyth and Bane taking charge during songs like “Countdown” as they showed how well their sound flows without any hiccups. Not giving the audience a break, the amazing rhythm section of Bonham and Cole kept the beat going for “We’re All In Danger,” “Paper Thin,” and “Blacklist.” Further enticing the crowd were songs like “Hostage” and “Waking Up,” all off their 2013 Rise Records debut, Collapse. Cole was a monster on drums and sewing it all together was Asch. Closing out the set with an encore of “Light Escapes” had all hungry for more as they cheered in appreciation for Dangerkids. This band shows they could care less how large or small a stage is, just give them their instruments and they will tear the audience apart, and that is what makes them stand out boldly.
The Amityville Music Hall was now drenched in the heat and sweat of the night when headliners I Prevail were ready to begin their set. Recently getting off a successful tour supporting Amaranthe, I Prevail showed no signs of exhaustion, and seemed inspired to have the headlining tour to call all their own. Without further ado, the vocal duo of Burkheiser and Vanlerberghe came out screaming, opening with the single “Enemy.” Hyping the crowd up, everyone instantly started jumping, moshing, and creating total havoc during EP title track, “Heart Vs. Mind,” “Face your Demons,” and “Deceivers.” About halfway thru their set, the drums of Runestad was driving the band so hard that he broke his kick pedal. While waiting to get a new pedal, entertaining the crowd, the band broke out into a sing-a-long, which believe it or not, was a tune from Disney’s 2013 blockbuster Frozen. With laughs abound, when they were done, the band stated, “Now that is sure to go viral.” With a new pedal in place, they got back to business and continued the onslaught with their popular rendition of “Blank Space,” “Crossroads,” and another single, “Love, Lust, & Liars.” Having the room at the height of exhaustion, “Chicken Tenders” closed the amazing set with the audience throughly satisfied with the adrenaline pumping performance.
The Amityville Music Hall is no way near the size of Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, but everybody at the quaint venue was just as sweaty and tired. On top of that, the lineup of this Summer’s Crossroads tour came together perfectly with a mix of bands all with bright futures and distinctive qualities to stand out in the modern Rock/Metal scene. Keeping themselves busy, I Prevail will be on the road again alongside Crown The Empire and Hollywood Undead beginning September 8th in Dallas, Texas. Having witnessed such an amazing lineup of bands for this Summer tour, concert goers filed out into the streets surely talking of the experience and, perhaps in years to come, will have something to talk about when they tell friends they saw The Animal in Me, Fit For Rivals, Dangerkids, and I Prevail all on the same bill.