Slaves Mesmerizes Mesa, AZ 3-13-16 w/ Capture The Crown, Myka, Relocate, Outline In Color, & Conquer Divide

Slaves Mesmerizes Mesa, AZ 3-13-16 w/ Capture The Crown, Myka, Relocate, Outline In Color, & Conquer Divide

The best way to shake off those Winter blues is a Spring fling with a full entourage of Post-Hardcore bands. With that in mind, Slaves’ (stylized SL▲VES) Us Against the World Tour with Conquer Divide, Outline In Color, Myka, Relocate, and Capture the Crown is the perfect shot to the arm as the run kicked off on March 9th out in Fresno, California. Continuing their support of 2015 sophomore album Routine Breathing, this current tour will hit cities coast to coast before winding down on April 10th back out in California. Only a few dates in, the tour found its way to the city of Mesa, Arizona to size up The Nile Theater on Sunday, March 13th. A Rock-n-Roll venue held dear by fans, this show was circled on many locals’ calendar as they lined up ready to enter the venue.

After three Arizona Alternative Rock area bands by the name of Divided Minds, Something Like December, and Dynasty Three, the stage was fully warmed up for the national acts. Each band did a fine job in the time they were provided and showed the local scene in Arizona is vital.

First up on the stage of the national acts was the all-female band known as Conquer Divide. With members from the US, UK, and Serbia, this band is an entourage of exceptional musicians as well as hard-cutting lyricists who deliver head-banging riffs, pose an incredible stage presence, and beat out a full percussion sound. Their self-titled, debut full-length album was released in July of 2015 on Artery Records and, since then, they have been turning more and more heads with their intense energy.

A sextuplet line-up of bandmates, bringing a mixture of creative attitudes that pulls Rock up another notch, they consist of Tamara Tadic on drums, Janel Duarte on harsh vocals, Kiarely Castillo on clean vocals, Ashley Colby on bass, along with Kristin Woutersz  and Izzy Johnson on guitar. Like an electric shock, they surged onto the stage as they played songs such as “Sink Your Teeth Into This” and “Self Destruct.” Noticeably enjoying performing, their knock-out chemistry solidify their soul as they bare their hearts and connect with the audience as they played on with other songs such as “At War.”

Grabbing the attention of everyone in attendance, they reached their peak with the undeniable “Broken,” which simply rattled the room. Conquer Divide may seem to be the epitome of feminine aggression, yet through their own dynamic pieces of who they are, it works wonderfully. With that said, expect heaviness and melodies when partaking in Conquer Divide’s Metal divinity.

Next on tap was Tulsa, Oklahoma based Outline In Color. Together since 2010, the band consists of Clean Vocalist K.C. Simonsen, Screamer Trevor Tatro, Bassist Michael Skaggs, Drummer Nick Taylor, as well as Guitarists Peyton Carvell and See Jay Cochran. Releasing their debut EP back in 2010, they followed with crowd-funded album Jury of Wolves in 2012 before releasing Masks via Standby Records in 2014. With a driven, aggressive sound, Outline In Color certainly bring themselves up to the score of bands to watch out for. Outline In Color came ready to make an impression, just releasing their newest album, Struggle, days prior to this show.

Bringing in the singing vocals, Simonsen’s easygoing persona and voice, along with his flannel shirt, and a baseball cap on backwards, set the right counterbalance against the deep throaty screams of Tatro as they lifted off with songs like “No Bleeding On the Carpet” and “Paradise is Burning.”  As the band seemed to mesh well together, Tatro displayed a light-hearted, good-time feeling mixed into the band as a whole as they played on. In fact, everything about Tatro lets the audience know he is having a great time creating along with Guitarists Carvell and Cochran as they offered other songs such as the single “Alive” and “Jury of Wolves.” Both phenomenal Guitarists dropping and leading the strings in all the right places, Bassist Sags brought the band’s boundless energy level up even further as Taylor sets the beat at an exceptionally high bar.

Continuing to capture the crowd, they moved on with other songs such as new album title track “Struggle,” Outline In Color created an atmosphere that bled sheer passion.  Be sure to pick up Struggle, because it is an album that showcases the band’s seriousness about what they are doing and show they are ready to take the next step.

Myka, Relocate kept the ball rolling next. Hailing from Houston, Texas, the band took shape back in 2010, having since released two studio records, 2013’s Lies to Light the Way and 2015’s The Young Souls. Working hard and touring consistently over the past two years with acts such as The Word Alive, Attila, and The Dead Rabbitts, this band has the chops as well as the experience of one twice their age. With a name which derived from a phrase out of the famous video game Call of Duty, Myka, Relocate is a powerful band with a mix of Metal, Pop, and Rock.

Led by the combination of Vocalists John Ritter and Michael Swank, they jump-started the set with a tight, definable sound on “Hide The Truth.” Complemented by founding Guitarist Austin Dore and now Bassist Josh Peltier, the band was relentless in their approach on stage as they went into “Bring You Home,” “Playing Safe,” and “Cold Hearts.” With breakdowns brilliantly executed, they had the fans inside The Nile Theater at the height of exhaustion as they continued as Dore and Peltier shined.

Closing out with “Something To Dream About,” Myka, Relocate drew their fans in close and solidified a fantastic performance. Those who cannot make it to one of the remaining dates on the tour can find both Lies to Light the Way and The Young Souls on sale at iTunes now through March 31st.

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Capture the Crown would be direct support for the evening. Together now six years, Capture the Crown has made tremendous strides touring the US numerous times with the likes of Chiodos, Blessthefall, as well as co-headlined with For All Those Sleeping back in 2014. Integrating Electronicore into their Metal sound, Capture the Crown’s sound is the drug intensifier of heavy, emotional music. Led by Jeffrey Welfare (lead vocals), the band’s lineup is rounded out by Maurice Morfaw (bass), Mitch Rogers (rhythm guitar), and newly added, as of 2015, Joe Abikhair (drums). Overcoming lineup changes, the band shows heart, still reach for the stars, and defy adversity as they look to unleash a new album sometime in 2016.

Driven by an adrenaline rush of guitars, heat-seeking, powerful riffs, and driving breakdowns spoke volumes over the crowd of screaming fans as they began with a new unknown track. Looking to grab the audience by their throat, they stood tall with dramatic breakdowns again and again as they followed up with “Bloodsuckers.” They continued to satiate and satisfy the room with cuts like “Reign of Terror” and “Red Light District.” With Welfare giving it his all to amp up the audience, he was greeted with a positive reaction as fans followed his lead, clapping along when motioned to do so.

Offering “Make War, Not Love” and fan-favorite “Firestarter” to close the set, Capture the Crown raised the energy level of The Nile Theater to a new level with their performance. With many searching the web for clips of the new songs, the anticipation is high for the release of the new, yet to be named, Capture the Crown album.

Completing the night was headliners from Sacramento, CA known to everyone as Slaves. A unity of members of former bands, Slaves was brought together back in 2014 and is lead by Vocalist Jonny Craig (formerly of Emarosa and Dance Gavin Dance) joined with Lead Guitarist Alex Lyman (Hearts and Hands), Drummer Tai Wright (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows), Bassist Colin Viera (Musical Charis), and Rhythm Guitarist Weston Richmond. Debuting to positive acclaim with 2014’s Through Art We Are All Equals, Slaves quickly followed up with another strong full-length in 2015 ,entitled Routine Breathing. With Craig bringing his life experiences to this new musical endeavor, Slaves  is something uniquely different than anything the collection of musicians have done before.

With a buzz flowing through the air of the Nile Theatre, the audience made their way as close to the stage as possible as Craig and company came out opening with heavy-hearted track “Drowning in My Addiction.” Clearly self-reflective of Craig’s personal struggles, the song was a fitting opening to the set as he displayed sincere, raw emotion on vocals. Continuing to perform songs from Routine Breathing, next came singles “Burning Our Morals Away” and “Death Never Lets Us Say Goodbye.” Craig, seeming in a trance with the music, kept the almost calming atmosphere at the forefront. Mellow and tranquil at moments, the band would jolt into heavily distorted guitars within the blink of an eye as Craig’s voice bounced through a sea of emotion.

Raising the volume a few decibels with the opening of “Running Through the !6! with My Soul” had many spectators shouting the lyrics back at him as he leaned into the crowd, closing his eyes and baring his soul. Taking it back to their debut, “The Fire Down Below” was followed by “My Soul Is Empty And Full Of White Girls.” Two songs that demand a lot of Craig’s voice, he did not falter during the live renditions as he reached for the sky with soaring notes. Continuing on with other tracks like “Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Everything,” Craig expressed his tremendous thanks for everyone’s support. Continuously showing how grateful he and the rest of the band was, he capped off the night dueling with Swank of Myka, Relocate on “Starving for Friends.” Slaves contributed a wide range of vocals and melodic structures that satisfied the audience.

Slaves seems to be where Craig belongs as the whole band breathes and tunes themselves into each other. Lyman, Vieira, and Wright are the cumulative combo ordered via a variety of menu-board bands, wrapped up and delivered with a soft, yet hard sound. Craig’s relaxing tone is matched by ambient guitar, bass, electronic sounds, and percussion that could be best described as Dream Rock.

A lineup of bands that has given birth to a wide-range of styles, Us Against the World Tour has something for everyone. As Slaves popularity grows, the lineup that support them equally have buzz around them, thus making this tour one not to miss in the earlier part of 2016.

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Song River
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Song River has over thirty years combined experience in photography and writing, from music to politics and everything in between. She is the owner of CowGirlZen Entertainment, a registered business that focuses on photography for both musicians and families, and also offers PR/social marketing/bios/press. Currently a photojournalist for several music magazines and a publicist/A&R for High Road Publicity. In her downtime, you might find her helping the homeless, volunteering to aid the elderly, hiking in the desert mountains, taking care of her family, cooking new dishes, gardening, beach combing, amateur astronomy, and traveling with her Nikon by her side at all times.

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