Genre-mixing pros Issues bring triple-headliner to The Fillmore

This winter’s The End Is Here tour brought together metalcore bands IssuesMotionless In White and Falling In Reverse — and the show stopped at The Fillmore Philadelphia on Saturday, January 28. With tastes of EDM, pop, R&B and even country sprinkled into the three headliners’ and two openers’ setlists, there was a little bit of something to satisfy everyone at this show. Despite all the genres that were present, head-bangning, mosh-pit encouraging music was the clear, overall theme and Motionless In White’s desire for everyone to leave the show with a “bangover” (bangover, noun, 1. a sore neck resulting from headbanging too hard) was definitely achieved. The sold-out crowd of around 2,500 dance, sang and crowd surfed for 5 bands straight.

Dead Girl’s Academy started off the show bright and early, playing to an already almost completely full venue at 6 pm. Their matching, all-black outfits and primarily red lighting set the tone for an intense set. They slowed it down with their new song “Conversation,” easing into a more laid-back style of rock.  Up next was Dayton, Ohio rock four piece Dangerkids. Vocalist Tyler Smyth poked fun at their Ohio roots and expressed how excited he was to no longer be playing for just “the other bands, the moms and the grandmas.” Their brand new album blacklist_ was just released the day before and Smyth described it as essentially a collection of his life’s work. They closed their set closed with popular single “Kill Everything.”

Issues was the first of the three headliners, opening with criminal justice system critique “Blue Wall” a little after 7 pm. Their nautical stage setup featured a pirate ship prop, lots of blue lighting, a fog machine and even a parrot mascot. Towards the middle of their set, they started to play fan favorite “King of Amarillo,” only getting through the first lyric before stopping abruptly and yelling “Sike! We’re not playing that song!” They laughed onstage while the entire crowd jokingly booed, immediately forgiving them once they went into their next song. Lead vocalists’ Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn’s balance of clean vocals and screaming translates exceedingly well live, creating a unique and dynamic stage presence. Their setlist included a little bit of everything: songs from all three of their albums, upbeat songs, serious songs, and every genre listed in the first paragraph. Issues really seems to have invented and embraced their own genre and style, making for great music and an incredible show that’s really unlike any other band’s.

The massive chandeliers on the ceiling of the modern venue were an interesting contrast to second headliner Motionless In White’s Halloween stage setup. Vinny Mauro’s drumkit was decorated with jack-o-lanterns in various forms and surrounded by a jagged fence. Kids go CRAZY over Motionless. I’ve seen them once before and I felt the same way about the crowd: everyone is so excited it almost feels like they’re the only band in the world. Crowd surfing started immediately and didn’t stop until they left the stage an hour later. The beginning of every single song was met with roars and hundreds of people sang every to lyric to every song, including brand new song “Eternally Yours.” The PA natives who are from about two hours north of Philly have been playing here for their entire careers. “You guys are making me seriously f*cking emotional up here” explained lead singer Chris “Motionless” Cerulli after a playing to a crowd full of people singing “Death March” back to him. They finished with long-time fan favorite “Reincarnate.”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay and catch Falling In Reverse’s set but the prior 4 bands alone should be more than enough to prove this tour is no joke! Five talented bands packed into one set, bringing a wide range of takes on the hardcore genre and delivering a heavy-hitting tour. See photos from the show below and get details on the remaining tour dates here.