Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Show Recap: As I Lay Dying @ Gothic Theatre

my buddy Tahoe and I ventured down to the Gothic Theatre to catch one of our favorite bands; As I Lay Dying who were on tour with support from War Of Ages, Blessthefall, and Demon Hunter. When I originally saw this tour lineup I was very excited. I am a fan of AILD and War of Ages, I’ve listened to Blessthefall, and I was interested to hear Demon Hunter. I've been trying to catch War Of Ages live for awhile now after i missed them at Sonshine Festival last year, then they had to bail on the 10 for $10 Tour right before the Denver stop at the end of last summer. After seeing the show however I think this lineup was very poor.

First though, As I Lay Dying, the headliner. They always put on a stellar show and this was one of the better performances I’ve seen by them. Even though they just released a new record, The Powerless Rise, they only played 2 songs from the record. It always cool to hear new tracks live, but as a fan going to see a band live you want to hear the songs you know and love, and As I Lay Dying understands that. They played all of their big songs starting with the opener 94 Hours then into An Ocean Between Us. About 4 songs in they played the first track off the new record, Beyond Our Suffering, and it seemed to go over pretty well. Since their last record, An Ocean Between Us, was released about 3 years ago fans were hungry for new music, and i'm sure a good portion of the crowd had already gotten their hands on the new album and were singing along!

Speaking of singing along the energy in the Gothic was awesome. The show was sold out and the floor was energetic and supporting the bands well. with four huge records under their belt, As I Lay Dying is able to play a set that is filled with great songs, and every song incited the crowd more. So after Through Struggle and Beyond Our Suffering the band went off stage to get different guitars. this little break might have been the most impressive moment of the night when Jordan entertained us with an intense drum solo. for most of the Jordan was swinging his hair with all of his appendages going in different directs so that if you couldn't hear what he was playing you'd think it'd sound like a bunch of nonsense, except that its not! he's got to be one of the best drummers out there, just solid!

The middle of the set included songs Sound of Truth, Within Destruction, and Forsaken. As I Lay Dying was blasting through songs, rarely taking a second to talk between songs which i personally enjoy (less talk, more rock). This led into the 2nd new song of the night, Vacancy, which was an interesting choice. Tim Lambesis introduced the song as "a fast one" which was apparently the reason it was chosen, however there are much better songs on the new album that would have been great to hear but maybe they haven't prepped them for the live show yet. After Vacancy they played Confined, Meaning in Tragedy, and the crowd favorite I Never Wanted, which featured the crowd in full voice!

After the "last" song, Tim thanked the crowd and they left the stage. I'm personally a little done with planned encores but whatever, As I Lay Dying were obviously coming back to play some more, maybe Tim needed some air after playing at Denver's high altitude. A few minutes after chants of "one more song" the lights dimmed and on-stage spotlights began to search the crowd. combined with the darkness and the smoke this created an eerie effect, almost like flashlights searching through a dark foggy night. Then we were greeted with the sound of Nick's lead guitar, playing the epic intro Separation. Soon joined by Phil's guitar the encore was on, AILD played Separation, Nothing Left and finally Forever.

The great thing about As I Lay Dying's live set is that everyone in the band gets involved. Tim is a solid front-man with his strong vocals and confidence, he moves around the stage and gets the kids involved. Josh on bass and supports with clean vocals, while he's not the best singer around he's still gives a ton of energy to the crowd. I've already talked about how amazing Jordan is on the drums, it's great that he's up on an elevated drum-riser and instead of rocking a double-kick pedal, he goes with two separate bass drums with always looks great! And the guitarist are great, Nick and Phil totally compliment each other, and even though Phil is technically the rhythm guitarist, he gets his chance to show off his chops.

The supporting bands were alright. War of Ages opened the show, played a 5-song set including 2 new songs off their recent release Eternal. Then they also played their staples opening with Through the Flames and then closed with Standing Firm followed by All Consuming Fire. They added a little humor at the end of their set playing the intro to Enter Sandman (Metallica) then stopping with a "just joking!". Blessthefall was solid but maybe a little too choreographed. The had "dance moves" and just seemed out-of-place with these other metal bands. Demon Hunter had a ton of crowd support, but again i think they were out-of-place as well. True metal fans were not impressed with the band and voiced their opinion, but were usually drowned out by the very vocal Christian support.

The show was great, the only disappointing thing for me was that none of the bands talked about their faith, or even mentioned Christ at all. This may have been because it was already assumed to be Christian bands, like Third Day doesn't need to announce what they believe at their shows, but still I've seen AILD before and it's always encouraging to hear bands with such credibility encourage the fans in this way. Maybe next time they'll start adding some of their new songs to their set.

War of Ages:

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