July 24, 2014 The Dead Rabbitts rule Amityville Music Hall, NY 7-13-14 w/ Nightmares, Myka, Relocate, & The Relapse Symphony
One day after Vans Warped Tour hit Long Island, NY another line-up with some of the hottest bands in metal rolled into town. Titled The Shapeshifter Tour, the twenty-eight date expedition is headed by supergroup The Dead Rabbitts in support of their debut full-length album, with support from Nightmares, Myka, Relocate, and The Relapse Symphony. Having already dominated the West Coast, Midwest, and Canada, the bands were ready to show Amityville Music Hall on a sleepy Sunday July 13th exactly what it meant to rock. With a decent showing of fans, the night kicked off early with four local aspiring acts by the names of Beauty In Despair, Murder On Her Mind, Palmyra, and Call It Home.
Just as the light started to dim outside the Music Hall, Atlanta, GA band Nightmares was ready to take the stage. Signed to Rise Records, the band consists of Carter Hardin (vocals), Mike Smith (guitar), Jimmy Griffin (guitar), Turner Wood (bass), and David Angle (drums). Taking the aggression of metalcore and combining in some emotionally sung verses by Hardin, Nightmares was right in the faces of the crowd from the start. With a heavy influence from classic horror films evident, nearly every track would make a fan of the genre smile with songs named “Cujo” and “In The Mouth of Madness”. With the clean melodic guitar riffs, the band had everyone in a groove and on their feet. Nightmares debut full-length album Suspiria is out now and is a must listen for fans of melodic emotional heavy music and the horror genre.
Next up to the platform was Houston, TX’s Myka, Relocate. Together since 2010, the band is configured as a six-piece with John Ritter (vocals), Michael Swank (vocals), Luke Burleigh (bass), Austin Dore’ (guitar), Josh Peltier (guitar), and Aaron Robertson (drums). Becoming more known with each passing day, the band’s opening slot as part of The New Kings Tour with Attila earlier this year further helped open eyes. With a full sound of guitars, vocalists Ritter and Swank fed off one another; joining voices with fiery screams. Opening with “Revolve”, the audience was mesmerized from the start, moving back and forth on the floor. Playing on with tracks like “Dead Tie”, the anthem-like “Something To Dream About”, and “Playing it Safe”; The Dead Rabbitts vocalist Craig Mabbitt was even so moved by the performance that he came into the crowd to partake in the fun. Their debut album Lies To Light The Way is worth picking up for energetic and dynamic sounds.
Following directly after was The Relapse Symphony from Washington, DC. Creating quite a buzz of late with the release of their debut album Shadows July 8th, this band combines metal, punk, and pop elements all into one tight knit ball. Consisting of Bret Von Dehl (vocals), JC Charles (guitar), Ray Miller (guitar), Brandon Kile (bass), and Alex Foxx (drums); the rock vibes were in the area as they stormed onto the stage. Sporting a The Warriors movie t-shirt, Von Dehl was out for blood with daggers in his eyes as he sang his heart out while staring into the crowd. Combining the inflections of a unique singing delivery and strong stage presence, the vocals along with the rest of the band were in full throttle mood with songs “We Are Broken”, “Forgotten”, and “Skeleton Key”. The adrenaline pumping guitar riffs of Charles and Miller shined bright and showcased the strong rock-n-roll this band produces. They kept the momentum flowing nicely all set long, and in classic fashion, the band played tribute to original Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone who passed away a day earlier with “Blitzkrieg Bop”. The Relapse Symphony received a warm reception, and rightfully so, as they performed at an electrifying level concluding with “Panic (Time’s Running Out!)”. Catch this band on the club circuit before the blow up to headliners.
Concluding the evening was The Dead Rabbitts. Formed in Phoenix, AZ in 2011 by Escape the Fate vocalist Craig Mabbitt, the band’s current line-up includes former Motionless In White and current Escape the Fate member, bassist TJ Bell, and former Alesana guitarist Alex Torres. With a bright mix of musicians joining up together, the band takes experience to the next level in this side project. Releasing their debut album Shapeshifter July 1st, excitement is riding high for The Dead Rabbitts and fans.
With each member on the stage ready to go, they suddenly noticed Mabbitt was not present. Looking over to the bar in their periphery vision, fans caught a glimpse of Mabbitt as he rocketed onto the stage. Jumping up and down and releasing immense amounts of energy, they went into “My Only Regret”. Mabbitt belted out sore throat screams and sky high singing parts were accompanied by thick guitars of Torres. Other hard hitting songs like “The Air That I Breathe” and the older “World of Disaster” came later and the band played to the room with theatricals. Igniting smiles and laughter with playful on stage antics, the band were entertaining in more than one way.
Disregarding the idea that a Sunday night show needs to be tame, the jokes kept coming along with the spot on performance of other songs like emotionally driven “Make Me Believe It” and “Dear In The Headlights”. Bassist TJ Bell orchestrated larger than life bass lines while touring drummer Robert Pierce was unstoppable behind the kit. Rattling out one throat grabbing track after another off Shapeshifter, including closer “Edge of Reality”, The Dead Rabbitts did not take the foot off the pedal all night long. Their ability to lighten the mood while still delivering some astoundingly contiguous grooves makes The Dead Rabbitts one mammoth band to check out.