Some bands live for performing on stage, finding comfort on the road as they tour from stage to stage, stage to state. That has never been more pronounced than with Scranton, PA based Metal band Motionless In White, who have seemingly been on every major tour over the past four years. Continuing their ever-evolving sound, in 2014 they unleashed their third studio record, Reincarnate, to much critical acclaim. Now in 2015 they return to the road with the headlining tour dubbed Beyond The Barricade Tour alongside New Years Day, For Today, and Ice Nine Kills. Kicking off the tour on March 20th, the band arrived on Saturday the 28th at Irving Plaza in New York City, where a sold out crowd of loyal fans rushed through the venue’s doors ready for an evening of four vastly different bands to rattle their cages.
Round one of the brawl kicked off with Boston, MA band Ice Nine Kills. With three full-length studio albums released, Ice Nine Kills opened up the floor with their single “Connect the Cuts,” followed by songs that included “A Reptile’s Dysfunction,” “Let’s Bury The Hatchet…In Your Head,” “Me, Myself, and Hyde,” and “The Fastest Way to a Girl’s Heart Is Through Her Ribcage.” Intense and energetic, Ice Nine Kills closed their set with “The Coffin Is Moving” from their 2014 album The Predator Becomes the Prey, capping off a great start to the night. They will be headlining their own U.S. tour, set to take off April 30th at Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ, so keep a look out for them.
Round two came with Southern California’s New Years Day. Formed in 2005, New Years Day currently have two full length albums and their latest EP, Epidemic, which was released on November 8, 2014. No stranger to touring themselves, they will be a part of Vans Warped Tour for the second time in 2015, as well as Download Festival. New Years Day took the stage with lead singer Ash Costello, most recognized by her signature half red, half black colored hair and Gothic style, leading the way with an impressive presence. Opening with their single, titled “Other Side,” the band did not need to do much to get fans hurling themselves over the crowd to reach the front of the stage. Appearing as if they had risen from the dead, guitarist Nikki Misery, bassist Tyler Burgess, and drummer Nick Rossi filled in the space behind Costello as she belted out an emotional display of vocals. Concluded their set with “Angel Eyes,” featuring Chris Motionless himself reprising his vocals on the track, and “Defame Me,” New Years Day put on an excellent show. Having recently inked a world-wide deal with Another Century Records, the band is set to release a brand new full-length album later this year.
Round three of the match came with Iowa natives For Today. Since 2008 this Metalcore band has released five full-length albums, including their most recent, Fight the Silence. Completing a highly successful run in 2014 headlining the Fight the Silence Tour, For Today found a perfect fit as direct support for Motionless in White in early 2015. Opening the floodgates with new song “Break the Cycle,” the band certainly provided a jolt of aggression that the crowd welcomed with open arms. Lead singer Mattie Montgomery’s deep guttural vocals brought hands flying up in the air for surf support and security on high guard as the band went into songs like “Foundation,” “Seraphim,” and fan-favorite “Pariah.” Accompanied by the lead guitar work and clean vocals of Ryan Leitru, bass of Brandon Leitru, drumming of David Puckett, and heavy guitar work of Sam Penner, For Today were a cohesive unit until set closer “Fearless.” Grateful for the audience’s enthusiasm, Montgomery and company put on one heck of a show that had everyone’s hearts pounding. Be sure to check them out as they join the festival stages at the New England Metal Fest on Sunday April 19th at The Palladium in Worcester, MA.
The final bout of the night was left to heavyweights Motionless in White. Standing incredibly strong since their foundation in 2005, Motionless In White are an act which stand out in an over-saturated genre. When asked about his approach to creating, Motionless told CrypticRock “I have always found solace in writing about things that I felt very deeply about and towards. Thankfully I have this band to do it and I have never really held back from writing anything that I wanted to write and, basically, people seem to appreciate that. It is good to be recognized for that.” This is a band that proves they can mix with many others, including touring with the likes of HIM or Asking Alexandria. Having reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart and selling approximately 31,000 copies in the U.S. with Reincarnate, Motionless In White have proven to be a band that dedicate themselves to their music and undying fan base.
During their first proper headlining tour for the new record, Motionless In White were ready to explode at Irving Plaza. Staying true to their lust for all things Horror, bassist Devin “Ghost” Sola entered stage left with a ghastly Leatherface mask, slaughter smock, and chainsaw to ignite the performance. Offering a large selection of new tracks, leading off with the industry tingling “Death March,” they went into single “Reincarnate,” followed by “Generation Lost.” The mixture of Josh Balz’s synth with Ricky “Horror” Oslon and Ryan Sitkowski’s guitar work behind Motionless’s haunting vocals had an army of sweat-drenched moshers letting loose. Going into the speedy “Puppets 3 (The Grand Finale),” touring drummer Vinny Mauro did a fantastic job of pounding the skins before older favorite “Creatures.” The band steadily delivered a phenomenal and intoxicating Horror-themed performance that conjured a constant wave of fans crowd surfing their way to the stage, with arms outstretched, inches away from the claw-like fingers of Motionless. Keeping the venom flowing, hate-anthem “America” came before the emotion-driven “Everybody’s Selling Cocaine,” and an unprecedented rendition of “Abigail” with Ice Nine Kills’ Spencer Charnas joining forces with the band on stage.
The party escalated when Motionless In White performed their energetic cover of “Du Hast” by Rammstein, which sent a thunderous vibration through the ground floor of Irving Plaza that reached the sound booth, where technicians held close to their equipment to keep it from falling forward. While musically tight, the ambiance was second to none. Balz captivated the audience in a harbinger-of-death cowl, surrounded by ritual candles and wrought iron gates. Mauro held a morbid and melancholy expression seated in front of a ghostly backdrop. Dressed for death, Sitkowski led guitars steadfastly, and the pallid Olson had dark eyes set on fans, inciting the well-nigh deadly fate of the sound booth. The band was larger than life, and the Irving Plaza stage seemed scarce for Motionless himself, who kept pace with roaring fans as he chanted the inspiring track “Unstoppable.”
Adding to an already ferocious set, the audience could not subdue their excitement when New Years Day’s Costello took the stage with Motionless for a collaboration on “Contemptress.” The song was originally recorded with In This Moment’s Maria Brink on vocals, but Costello did a fantastic job filling in, and the performance concluded with a stage kiss, followed by a roar from the audience. Seemingly their final song of the night, “Immaculate Conception” from Creatures had the floor moving vigorously, but this was not enough for Motionless In White fans who chanted in unison for “one more song.” Returning to the stage under house lights, Motionless in White had one more trick up their sleeve as they pumped out “Devil’s Night.” The venue became dark with raging fans as they indulged in the final song from these admired musicians. Motionless gave guests at Irving Plaza a run for their money as he climbed the side stage platform, broke through his black leather jacket, and knelt to eager hands that reached just inches away from his mic. Concluding the set with the lyrics, “We’ve been defeated, but we’re here to stay, forever and always,” Motionless sacrificed himself to a sea of amaranthine support.
Motionless in White continue to rise as one of the elite acts in Metal today. It doesn’t matter whether they’re labeled Metalcore or Gothic Metal, or Industrial Metal; they simply know how to invoke sincere emotion. Those who have not had the pleasure of seeing the band live will have plenty more opportunities as they play New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, Fort Rock Festival, Welcome to Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, Skate and Surf Festival, and Rock on the Range, before a summer long trek on Vans Warped Tour.