Sunday, December 9, 2018

Review | Atreyu Live @ the Summit Music Hall, Denver Colorado

I was lucky enough to get the chance to shoot the #Atreyu show in Denver last week. This is the review!

The opening acts were, #MemphisMayFire #IceNineKills and #SleepSignals. All in all it was a great show but there were a couple of things to note.

Sleep Signals was up first and were possibly the weakest showing of the night. That isn't to say that they were BAD per se, just weak. They have the confidence it will take to be a noteworthy band in the future, but they have a little way to go before then. Their songwriting is pretty by the numbers, and their technical ability is likewise. Nothing to write home about.

Second on the bill was Ice Nine Kills. This band I had heard a few times before, and was interested by the little I had heard. They definitely did NOT disappoint either. Their technical ability is the only minor issue I had. While I am not one who buys into flash with my metal bands, it felt like there were missed opportunities throughout their songs. As for the actual performance, it was quite impressive. Dealing with approximately the same amount of space on the stage as their predecessors, they were able to make you forget they were one of the opening acts. With horror themed outfits and dominating presence, this was a stand out point in the night.

The final supporting band was Memphis May Fire. This was a band I had heard of more by reputation than by their music. In the past I had seen their name on bills with other bands I enjoy, though had only heard one or two of their songs. Either way the impression they had left before this show was minor, and not one I was too interested in going any deeper with.

Which brings me to this passed Tuesday (12/4). When Memphis May Fire hit the stage I was privy to a bit of knowledge the audience wasn't; they only had ONE new tune on the set list. The rest of the set was made up of older material. Which peaked my interest being as I was only aware of the newer stuff. Their actual performance was much greater than the expectation I had set for myself. Though the point can be made here, just as before, that technically they don't break any molds set by the "metalcore" genre categorization. They worked the stage well, and did a good job of working the audience as well. That being said, comparing their performance with Ice Nine Kills and the audience reactions accordingly, if the bill were reorganized putting Memphis May Fire second, the effectiveness would be the same, if not better (ever so slightly).

Finally we get to Atreyu, the headliners that brought this whole thing together. This is the tour supporting their newest record, In Our Wake. We have talked about the record a few times already in the Week In Nerdom, so my feelings aren't exactly unknown. I'm not in love with it. With their previous album, Long Live, it seemed they were headed back in the direction we saw them going back in the day with Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, The Curse, and to a lesser extent A Death Grip on Yesterday. With In Our Wake, this is a more radio friendly outing that feels like some of the soul is missing. Something more akin to Lead Sails Paper Anchor or Congregation of the Damned.

Their performance on this night though made you forget that, and just reaffirmed the idea that Atreyu thrive on stage in front of people. Even if you aren't a fan of theirs, the live show alone will convert you.

There are only 2, very minor, complaints I had about their set. First, they put the song "The Time is Now" in the set. I understand this is the newest single, so it was bound to be in the set. But it is such a weak song when compared to almost ANY other song from their catalogue. Second, they only played one song from Long Live ("Do You Know Who You Are?"). Otherwise, their set was incredible.

The rest of the performance was easily one of the best I have seen in YEARS. When it comes to technicality in the sub-genre of Metalcore, there are few more sonically interesting than Atreyu. Their library of songs has very few duds in it when it comes to technical prowess, and this show was full of plenty of moments for them to flex that muscle. There are also very few front men that can work a crowd as well as the socially anxious Alex Varkatzas. At one point the singer not only toured the balcony of the venue, but on his way back to the stage he even spent some time in the mosh pit in the middle of the floor.

After not seeing Atreyu for quite a while, I was unsure if my memories would outshine the actual experience. This show dispelled all those worries, and reinvigorated my love for this band.

If you have the chance to catch this tour, by all means DO IT!

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