We Came As Romans 10/4/14

We Came As Romans hit Indianapolis on October 4th as part of their Tracing Back Roots tour. Joining them were PalisadesThe 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.

Take Action Tour 1/20/13

For over 10 years, the Take Action Tour has been changing lives everywhere. By bringing together countless amazing bands, they've raised more than 2 million dollars for over 50 different non-profit organizations. This year's tour partnered with the "It Gets Better Project" (an organization that helps LGBT youth who are being bullied) and is still raising money with ticket sales and the Take Action compilation album. The tour started in Las Vegas, NV on January 11th and will end on March 1st in Los Angeles, CA. 

This year, the bands playing are The UsedWe Came As RomansCrown The Empire and Mindflow. The concert on January 20th in Indianapolis, IN was easily one of the most enjoyable conerts I've ever been to. Brazilian hardcore band Mindflow successfully got the crowd hyped up. They were clearly honored to be a part of the tour and frequently mentioned how excited they were to be touring the U.S. again. With 7 world tours already in their repertoire, they were more than prepared for this tour. Bass Guitarist Ricardo Winandy was especially energetic and extremely fun to watch. Their unique sound was a very nice treat. 

Next up was Crown The Empire. Everyone else seemed to be just as excited as I was that they were finally playing a show in Indiana. They included new material and older songs from their EP "Limitless". They opened with "Makeshift Chemistry" (a song from their most recent album: "The Fallout") and the setlist kept getting better from there. Vocalist Andy Leo effortlessly maintained clean vocals while bouncing around the stage and energizing the crowd at the same time. The six performers have clearly been working hard these past few years and it has paid off. They sound amazing recorded, but their live performance was even better. 

Not long after Crown The Empire left to a roaring crowd, We Came As Romans took the stage. We Came As Romans also included a variety of old and new songs in their selist. The six piece had the crowd going wild for their entire 9 song set. It was lovely to hear them play "Let These Words Last Forever" and "Hope". Along with these two inspiring songs, vocalist Dave Stephens also had a fantastic little speech prepared. The message he and the rest of the group projected was to continue having hope. They also made sure to let everyone know that they're not alone.  It was a set no one in the audience is going to forget any time soon.  

Last was headliner The Used. Vocalist Bert McCracken walked out and instantly had control of the crowd. They played plenty of old songs and also threw in some newer songs, such as "I Come Alive". It was released over a year ago, but considering the fact that they've been making music for more than 2 years, it's relatively new. The four have had expirience on tons of world tours and played main stage at Warped Tour just last summer, so their amazing performance was no surprise. The on stage proposal during the set was a surprise though: such a lovely moment for the couple. Everyone was enjoying themselves. Whether you just enjoyed the music, crowd-surfed, moshed or maybe even participated in the wall of death, it was a great time. The lighting and fog during the show also helped set a great vibe. The concert was barely a month ago but I'm already eager to see the bands again.