Sunday, December 15, 2013

All That Remains / Asking Alexandria/Devour the Day at Ram's Head Live

Went to see All that Remains at Ram's Head Live ($22) as part of 98 Rock's sold out Not So Silent Night. I met up with Josh and Erin and we hung out. I also saw Mr Rock n Roll Experience there. Everyone else there was as expected, with ball caps, affliction shirts, and maybe some neck tats. Someone in a Bane cosplay (Dark Knight Rises movie version) was there also, for who knows what reason.

As this was a sold out show, it was pretty packed. It was a WAY bette turnout for them this time, than when we saw them in April, also at Ram's Head. I am not sure how popular Asking Alexandria is, but that, along with this being on a Friday, and ATR's newest album being out for a bit may have made this turnout better.

As I got there, Rebel Inc. was on, and some chick in what looked like a Black Canary outfit was taking pictures. They had some guy in dreadlocks, and I recall they reminded me a little of Rage Against the Machine with the rhythm of the bass and vocals in the song. I didn't like them, and it wasn't loud enough.  I think I have seen them before, but I don't see any records in my notes.  I only heard 1.5- 2 songs, so take that with a grain of salt.  Can't say that I'm motivated to see them tho.

Verb the Noun Octane band Devour the Day was on next, introduced by...Sarah from 98 Rock I think.  They had a high amount of energy, but IMO  not a lot going on. Their singer looked like Michael Hutchence, but unfortunately didn't have the voice to go with the locks.  There was a cute photographer who was ducking behind the speakers and raising only her arm with the camera to quickly shoot a snapshot- like distracting/diversionary firing from behind cover in some First Person shooter. Their songs were very generic Octane. Their last song, a single that 98Rock played apparently, was a slow song, and kind of reminded me of a bad Nickelback song. I didn't get it, cause it was slow and not interesting. If it was slow and good, that would have been way different- and it, along with their set, ended abruptly. Their first 2 songs had 2 different "whoa -ohs"- (whoa oh whoa oh, then whoahohoooh, whoaaaohoh) for the choruses, so I thought that was pretty silly.  I can't recommend them.  The crowd seemed to think they were OK tho.

During Devour the Day, there was a Maple Syrup smell, and the only thing we could think of was getting some goddamn pancakes. We never discovered the source but I wish we had.  I think we noticed some lad in a Bane cosplay at this show (for who knows what reason). During this or the Asking Alexandria set, there was some drunk girl who came by, saluted a guy with a beard and somehow they had what seemed like an impromptu makeout session. It would have been fine if they kept on moving, but they were lumbering around and I had to push them a couple times.

The equally horribly named Asking Alexandria was on next, and they come on stage to some intro and I think one of their newer songs. I only heard a handful of their songs before this show, and I was not impressed. The crowd went pretty ape for them, and they even had a sort of wall of death at one point. I think my brain hurt because none of their songs really would endorse that sort of behaviour. I think what annoyed me most was one guitarist was strumming his guitar like a muppet, seemingly not caring whatever note he happened to hit. I swear it didn't matter whatever he played cause it was just distorted.  And their songs, another point of contention. I did like some parts (probably the break downs or something generic), and there were a couple almost headbang worthy moments. However there was just a lot of non-melodious moments, and I guess teen angst songs. One of the songs I recognized ("The Final Episode") was particularly meh- "OH. MY. GOD" <breakdown riff> "OH.MY.GOD." <repeat>. Go on an listen to it if you don't believe me. I don't know what people exactly like about them, minus the energy the entire band seemed to have. So I supposed that is one thing, cause their songs weren't anything special.  Regardless, I think these guys are pretty popular, cause the crowd was singing along and jumping and all those shenanigans- so those people probably had a blast.  But having heard way better bands, gotta say these guys were very disappointing for a band that seems to be so popular.

After Asking Alexandria was done, there was a mass exodus to the restroom or the bar.Close to All That Remains's advertized set time, some odd people came out from the back, and I recognized Speigel from 98 Rock, so I guess the rest of them were the rest of the DJs from there. So Justin from 98 rock got ALL AMPED about ATR.  I thought this was kind of silly, but I suppose that they do play a little All That Remains. During one song they had a fan who won some contest play a song on guitar with them on stage. That was kind cool- the kid wasn't bad.

The admittedly lamely named All That Remains took the stage rather nonchalantly, but forceful enough to demand the attention of the entire crowd. Hell, the crowd was about 5x as amped to see ATR this night, as opposed to last (see above link). I don't know what exactly changed, but it was pretty crazy (for an Octane/Metalcore shore). I felt like I needed to get into the pit for a song (or part of one), so after"...Tremble," I pushed my way into the white people pit (WPP). I was jumping (AND SLIPPING) around for a little bit, fell down. Then i got picked up and then slid my way to falling again. So then I decided 2x was enough with my cowboy boots with no traction and stumbled out of the pit.  I dunno, but these octane/jock types do play a bit rougher and way less considerate than true metal crowds. And people were going ape for music that is very good (IMO), but there are WAY better guitarists, for example.  That is not to say they didn't sound great, cause they did- the Ram's Head Live soundsystem sounded 100% solid for them this night.  One of my favourite metalcore bands still solidifies itself in that position... despite their setlist. 
Their setlist was a bit different order but nearly the same. 3 songs were different, and we got one more last time. They added their 'single' "What if I was Nothing" and "Dead Wrong" in place of the waaaay better "Won't Go Quietly," "A War You Cannot Win," and "Forever In Your Hands." Regardless, the energy was pretty amazing, and people were pitting, jumping, going generally crazy. Hell it wasn't just me!  I was one of the few longhairs there, so it was a little strange, but I knew what I was in for.  They really didn't take many breaks apart from in between a couple songs (ex: the crowd taunting/cheers before "6").  This certainly helped the energy level maintain its consistency. I will say that the expected ballad (the single "If...") did kind of slow things a bit, but that and "Asking.." (not Alexandria) did sound really gooooood.  I think "If.." is not one of their stronger songs, but it did come across well live.

Anyways, so All That Remains obviously gave the (biased) best performance this evening, there was no comparison.  However, I will say that I was a little ill at ease because of the co-headline (ain't no one got time to Ask Alexandria), and I would have liked to hear a longer ATR set (and maybe some different songs)... but the songs that that DID play were basically hit after hit, and I really can't complain too much about that. 

Next Show:???? maybe next year?

Rebel Inc's hot photographer, 98 Rock
Devour the Day
Asking Alexandria
All That Remains
All That Remains II- closeups
ATR IV- including bane
ATR V finishing

setlists (thank you

Devour the Day (8:19- 8:46)
  • Get Out of My Way
  • Handshakes to Fist Fights
  • Respect
  • Move On
  • Blackout
  • You and Not Me
  • Good Man

Asking Alexandria (9:07-9:57)
  • Don't Pray for Me
  • Run Free
  • Breathless
  • A Lesson Never Learned
  • Dedication
  • Someone, Somewhere
  • Reckless & Relentless
  • To the Stage
  • The Final Episode (Let's Change the Channel)
  • Killing You
  • The Death of Me
  • Poison

All That Remains (10:27- 11:23)
  • Down Through the Ages
  • Some of the People, All of the Time
  • Stand Up
  • Now Let Them Tremble
  • For We Are Many
  • This Calling
  • What If I Was Nothing?
  • Asking Too Much
  • The Last Time
  • Six
  • Dead Wrong
  • The Air That I Breathe
  • Hold On
  • Two Weeks