We Came As Romans hit Indianapolis on October 4th as part of their Tracing Back Roots tour. Joining them were Palisades, The Color Morale and For Today.
Palisades warmed up the crowd with a typical opener setlist length of about 5 songs. I enjoyed their set but I didn’t really think it was memorable- none of their songs really stood out to me. Their drummer, Aaron Rosa, was definitely a stand out though. He had a huge smile on his face for the majority of the show and was just radiating good vibes. The Color Morale played about the same amount of time as Palisades, but their set resonated with me a bit more. Garret Rapp has great vocals and just seems like a genuinely good person. They closed with “Strange Comfort” which I absolutely love; well written and well performed. I’ll have to give both them another chance, I have a strong feeling I’d appreciate them more if I knew their music better.
The crowd was especially rowdy during For Today- their energy was unparalleled. They started strong with “Break the Cycle” and kept the same level up throughout their entire set. I’m really into Sam’s driving guitar and the strong contrast between Mattie’s screaming and clean vocals. Many bands have similar vocalist, but what makes Mattie stand out is how well he has mastered both vocal styles. The messages in their songs are inspiring. I constantly find myself using Mattie’s preaching as an example of why you should listen to the message in songs rather than jumping to conclusions and assuming, 99% of the time very wrongfully, that metalcore is hateful and/or demonic. They played a great set, I almost wish they had played longer.
This is my third time seeing We Came As Romans, but my first time seeing them as headliners. While I loved Mattie’s solo vocals, I also really enjoy having both Kyle and Dave as vocalist. The complexity of their songs is really enhanced by the duo. Their setlist was probably the best grouping of songs I’ve seen to date. They weren’t missing a single one of my favorites and, even though it was the Tracing Back Roots tour, they included a nice balance of older songs along with songs off of Tracing Back Roots. The intensity of Joshua’s guitar in the intro to Mis//Understanding has made it into one of my all time favorite songs and their live performance of it did not disappoint. Regardless of having 6 band members, everyone is allowed to shine and all of their personalities show through while they’re performing. I really appreciate the messages of hope and brotherhood these guys are constantly delivering. I really have nothing even slightly negative to say- it was definitely a great set, they never fail to impress.
By the end of For Today’s set, I was more focused on remaining standing than on the music, but I can truthfully say that I had a great time. Looking at the faces of people standing near me, it was clear that a number of them were upset, but that’s just what you have to deal with when you’re attending a “post-hardcore concert”, if you will: there will be mosh pits, people will be jumping and you will have virtually no personal space. That’s something that I can tolerate and have actually come to enjoy, especially since it’s only for one night (or afternoon/evening in this case). It was a very enjoyable show and I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up seeing at least one of these bands again.