Tahoe and I ventured down to the Marquis Theater to catch a handful of young metalcore bands. When i say "young" i mean that most of the members of Miss May I / Our Last Night probably haven't graduated high school yet, seriously, they're just kids. But these kids are pretty impressive and they hold their own in the metal scene.
We arrived about 30 minutes after the doors opened, just catching the last song of the first band; The Color Morale. The venue was surprisingly packed, i head it was sold out. i was expecting a small moderate crowd but maybe since the show was on a Friday night a lot of the minors were able to show up. plus it was an earlier start, 6:30, which meant the show was over by 11:00p. Anyway, the "adults" were definitely outnumbered and were forced to give way to the younger motivated crowd, Tahoe and I stayed safe behind the barrier with our beers.
The band we came to see was Miss May I, a very new metal band with some impressive talent, especially the drummer. We discovered MMI from HM Magazine, but despite recommendation from a faith-based group like HM, MMI is not a Christian band. They opened their set with Apologies Are For The Weak and it was quickly evident that the sound quality at the Marquis was lacking. MMI, unlike punk bands and straight hardcore bands, defines their sound on some intricate guitar and drum work, which was totally lost in the muddy sound at the Marquis. During the verses of most songs the sound was more of chaos than anything else, turning the set almost into a "breakdown band", most people just waiting for the breakdown of the song to really start rocking out.
The poor sound quality didn't discourage the band from going all out though. The crowd was definitely familiar with MMI and the whole place was dancing, and singing along with the few melodic choruses the band brings. MMI has the look of a typical metal band, with a lot of hair and a lot of head-banging. Unfortunately though, they have succumbed to the trendy new metal dance called "crab-core" and during parts of each song the choreographed head-banging was almost too predictable and corny. but that’s okay, i'm 27 yrs old so what do i know about cool anymore!
The band blasted through their set, playing mostly off of their only full-length release, with the only exception being their cover of Swing, originally written by Savage, which was also recorded on MMI's demo. The crowd definitely recognized that song. The other crowd favorite was Forgive and Forget. Miss May I were solid, definitely worth the price of admission.
Miss May I set:
apologies are for the weak
not our tomorrow
dance of aera cura
forgive and forget
Our Last Night played right before Miss May I, they were the 2nd band to play out of 5. I've been a fan of Our Last Night for awhile now, they're a mix of metal and punk, which really appeals to me. I've been trying to see these guys live but never have. I'm not totally sure they really fit with this group of bands since OLN is not full-blown scremo/metal but they held their own. They're signed to prominent punk label Epitaph, and you can definitely hear elements of punk in the drumming. Unlike punk though the band incorporates a lot of technicality to each song, never leaving any part of any song "simple". Sometimes i feel lie this band has an identity crisis and can't figure out which genre they want to embrace, with harsh vocals, and singing/melodic vocals, sweeping metal guitar riffs and punk/hardcore drumming. the feel is never too heavy and they're definitely not a "breakdown band".
Anyway, they played a few of the popular songs of their full-length like I Have Fought a Measureless Battle, Symptoms of a Failing System (my favorite), and their closer, Recovery. The fact that Recovery is their closer really enforces the "identity crisis" i mentioned earlier since this track is slower and in my opinion pretty simply and boring. Check out my recording of it and let me know what you think.
The 4th band to play (after Miss May I) was I Set My Friends On Fire. I have never listened to these guys so i didn't know what to expect, and wasn't expecting too much. Apparently they're a 3 piece band; drums, guitar, and vocals. They fill the sound out pretty well and they had a track going along with them that helped improve the low-end. Neither Tahoe or I were very impressed, the band was definitely gimmicky, although they had really good crowd participation.
The headliner was Attack Attack!, a band that i haven't listened to for all that long. Their record, Someday Came Suddenly, is a pretty good listen, nothing too amazing but pretty solid. Just like Our Last Night, my favorite song Shred White and Blue apparently isn't the bands favorite song, since they played it 3rd in their set. The crowd which was mostly high school kids (and younger) liked the more melodic tracks. I don't really think this band has much staying power, they've already switched lead singers twice since their album came out in 2008. It also sounded like they play a little slower live which i find to be really annoying. Suffice to say Tahoe and I left after 3 tracks, the People's Elbow, Shred White and Blue, and another track i don't remember.
Miss May I - Forgive and Forget:
Miss May I - Apologies Are For The Week
Attack Attack! - Shred White and Blue
Attack Attack! - The People's Elbow