The very first date of the We’re All In This Together Tour 2016 called Baltimore Soundstage their debut. So of course I had to don the patched vest, the big black boots and 2 fistfull of steel rings to rock out to one of the best shows yet.
New Years Day
The innovators of a Gothic Rock style they call “Haunted Mansion Core”, New Years Day rocks out with an uncanny ability to stand apart from the rock fad of having a female fronted bands that want to be just another Lacuna Coil.
Vocalist Ash Costello, who scored #6 of Revolver Magazine’s Feb. 2016 issue’s 25 Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock is indeed a gorgeous gal who can rock with the best of ’em. Despite her thin frame, she has lungs that can belt out vocals with the decibles of the most unrestful banshee with colorful octaves and a contagious energy that spreads to the fans– And you can tell she loves her fans.
The band played well, with clear melodic guitar & a rythm section powerful enough to make my tall boy of Natty Boh dance across the bar.
My critique is that while the band does indeed play to the crowd, making their show more of an experience to the fans, Costello is guilty of my biggest pet peeve, one that even the Godfather Ozzy Osbourne gets on my nerves with: demanding crowd response way too often. Her own party time stage prescence is enough to spread amongs the fans who then jump, headbang & mosh. More emotion from fans is just not needed. Vocalists everywhere, please… cut back on demanding the crowd “Put your fucking fists in the air” between every stanza or saying “I can’t hear you” “I STILL can’t hear you!!”, especially if you are an opener performing your new release that few in the crowd know the lyrics to. It gets old real quick & takes away from your performance. Plus, it reflects an insecurity of being appreciated upon you–to be Metal means you just don’t give a fuck & it isn’t insecure about anything.
After completing their 1st headline tour last year, New Years Day was long since overdue for prime time, however a revolving door of band members may have held them back– 3 of the 5 current members have been with the band for a year or less. In promotion of New Years Days 3rd studio album Malevolence, as well as an increase of popularity with their style of Metal, it may be make-or-break for this group. Such talent should not simply fade.
Escape The Fate
After all that’s happened to this band, there is a tendancy to look towards their past. Now with a lineup which constitutes their most level-headed, mature and creative members since formation, Escape The Fate has bounced back well with their latest album Hate Me released last fall.
Their performance of Remember Every Scar comes with a preface from vocalist Craig Mabbit who melencholiously looks back on the hardships that made the band what it is now, and it is performed with the great emotion of a group that still suffers the sting of regret and apology, although scar tissue has healed the wounds upon their souls. In contrast, thier song Alive is played with the excitement of the future of this group, and the overcoming rejuvenation that they feel beyond. An ever-growing fanbase with a considerable amount of female fans make Escape The Fate a group that deserves widespread acclaim.
To describe the band with any particular label would be difficult, as they are a fusion blend of multiple metal genres; even the music that has influenced them is quite eclectic. Their sound is certianly metalcore while their stage look harkens back to the sleaze of the glam era.
Indeed Escape The Fate still puts on a great show with promises of bigger things to come for this group.
In anticipation and promotion of thier forthcoming album Unden!able, the Supergroup headliner HELLYEAH took the stage to the raised fists of ready HELLIONS. Albeit their first concert of the tour, they showed no sign of rustiness.
Their performance of Drink Drank Drunk even made me forget that I was still suffering from a hangover & grab another can of Boh. (On a related note– would you expect that HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul’s hangover prevention is a dose of Ibuprofen and Pedialyte? That’s what toddlers drink! Yes, Vinnie Fucking Paul drinks Pedialyte to prevent hangovers! And you know what? It worked for this writer on more than one occasion! Thanks Vinnie!)
The new song from their upcoming album, Human, was performed live for the first time. A great song with hard guitar and thumping rythms and emotional lyrics, Human was released as a music video mere days later.
And there was no better way to end the show than with HELLYEAH performing their eponymous single to the call-and-response of the HELLIONS that filled the sold-out Baltimore Soundstage.
Chad Gray still can scream like his old Mudvayne days, while the mere sight & appearence of Vinnie Paul harkens back to when a particular group of Cowboys From Hell innovated Groove Metal. And yes, Maryland’s son Tom Maxwell remembers the streets where he came from with his hard-hitting rythmic yet jazzy riffs from his guitar.
HELLYEAH’s 5th album Unden!able was recorded by the band as a unit, promising a return to their own metal roots. It will be released on June 3.
On a side note, I was duly impressed by those who make the sound of the music as important as the artists themselves–the sound guys. Whoever ran the pots on the board made the entire show good, loud, yet clean. It was like how you might hear a song, but the sound guys this night made you hear the guitars, the bass, the vocals and the drums all in harmony together-yet-seperatley. Often overlooked, rarely thanked, and yet as important as the performers the sound guys of the We ‘re All In This Together Tour 2016 more than earned thier props too!
— T.M. Iman