A Rewarding Show with Attila, As Blood Runs Black, Close Your Eyes, For The Fallen Dreams, and Stick To Your Guns


 It was an incredible fun show, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting that much with only having heard Stick To Your Guns once before. Clearwater isn’t exactly my top venue of choice, but it does make for a decent pit, some great places to take pics, and most off all a kind of balcony area where older folks having just come from the bar can stare down with their jaws dropped as they observe hardcore dancers for the first time.

One further point about Clearwater is that they forget that security isnt actually supposed to grab moshers. Legally, they aren’t supposed to touch you, and that includes choke-holds and arm locks. I seriously hope that the conduct of their security doesn’t result in a lawsuit for them.  

Anyways, on to the details that at least some of you want to find out a bit more about concerning that sick and kick-ass show on October 21st, the show most of you only wish you could have gone too. Must feel like crap. 
According to their obviously factual and non-biased Facebook self Summary:
ROGUE does not just present something new, they are the future of death metal as we know it. Rogue harnesses the power of 8 string guitars to achieve the unbelievably low tuning of drop E, that’s right an entire octave below E standard tuning. The collaboration of lightening fast guitars, explosive bass thumps, ear shattering percussion, and soul reaping vocals produce Rogue’s monumentally cataclysmic sound.
Rogue redefines the limits being pushed in today’s modern death metal scene. Storming Chicago’s local underground ranks, Rogue has set their mark and is accelerating to the top. Rogue officially formed in late 2009, and is quickly being recognized as the new leaders of heavy metal. Prepare for the end. 
Um…. yea.       Not. 
Now that the joke is over, I’ll throw this out there, if your hoping for something original, catchy, and unique sounding, well… this most certainly isn’t it. But don’t worry, this band has it all; slow boring repetitive breakdowns, one kind of deep scream, songs made up of a few select palmed riffs, and a non-existent stage presence and performance to go with it.  And we wonder why the “true” metal-heads despise deathcore…
I didnt mention them in the title, because frankly, I want people to remember them for the nice people they are, not what their music actually sounds like and how bad their sets are. After an hour or two of actually trying to find this band on myspace and compare the memories of their live performance vs their studio tracks, I finally found Rogue.  
I’m going to shoot straight with you. These guys aren’t a good live band by any stretch. I understand that stage presence takes a while to build sometimes, and that it’s not always easy to pump up the crowd, but major improvements need to be made. That isn’t the only issue. Their live sound hurts the ears, and not in a good way. If you want to be The Acacia Strain, Monsters, or Demolisher wannabees, at least do it right.
I’m not alone in this “opinion” either. When their screamer asked the crowd if they wanted to hear another song, he became extremely aware of the word “No!” which echoed throughout the stage floor. Definitely not something you want to hear and see as a band on stage. But alas, the crowd is always right. 
Now, so that you all know, I love “chug” feeling music. If I’m in the mood, the heavier, the better.  If I want something technical in even the slightest way, I’ll pick another band to listen to. Does this band have potential to get better? Yes. Let’s hope they do, because right now, they give “deathcore” a bad name with their inability to play their songs live like they do in the “studio”
Oh and let me repeat this so that I can end this section on a positive note: They have potential! I’m rooting for them. 
These guys weren’t bad, and they put on a great show. Were they as good as I was expecting them to be? Nope. Were they the best band there? Nope. 
They of course saved their best and most popular song, “Song For The Broken” for last. That was a good set list choice, because it helped redeem their set as it just hadn’t been nearly as good as it could have been. Unfortunately their sound was off somewhat during the beginning part of their set, but improved toward the end. 
Their lead vocalist had to almost scream into the mike rather than use his normal voice, partly thanks to the sound techs at Clearwater. This guy has a good voice that isn’t limited to their album, something I feared wouldn’t be true seeing them live.  Of most important note is their awesome guitar jamming stances. It blew my mind. 
Who sucks? Victory Records!
Its’ too bad they are stuck on Victory Records, who had an apparent presence at the show due to their vacant truck which sat in the parking lot.  I imagine they were probably trying to catch possible “pirates” at the show who could have been doing the unthinkable: giving more attention, exposure, and free advertising to the bands there. How rude! 
Who? Yea that’s what I wondering before I saw them. I managed to listen to a few of their songs, and I wasn’t particularly impressed, though I thought some of their screaming rap vocals sounded kind of cool.  Who doesn’t love a sick and wide vocal range? Not to mention their lead vocalist  really surprised me with his range of English grammar and syntax like kung-fu skills. Yea, he’s the bomb. 
They got on stage and immediately took control. It’s almost as if they crowd exploded right into their first song, and for good reason; this band is incredibly sick live. They put on a set so impressive, I couldn’t stop bobbing my head in shock and surprise as to how good they sounded live. Hell, they sounded better live then they did on their album. 
After listening to both of their album, I gained some real appreciation for his rap-scream. It sounded just as good live, if not better, then it did on the album. You could actually clearly hear their base, a sometimes rare listening pleasure, which had this kind of bouncy yet heavy, almost Red Hot Chili Peppers’esque sound to it.
I could see why people were throwing down like they did. I wanted to, but someone had to snap the pictures and vividly imagine themselves doing some sick moves in the pit.  During one of their breakdowns, I very well could have punched someone in the face. 
This helped give the feel that there was a party going down, which was echoed by the audience as they jumped up and down,  did some rap like hand motions, and moshed and hardcore dance for the whole set.  
 A concluding wall of death not only spoke volume  for the hardcore, tank top clad tough guys with something to prove, it also resounded with everyone there, most specifically the sinister looking security fellow who looked as if he had been kicked out of a bad 90s metal band. 
I was hoping for just a bit more from these guys, but neither I nor anyone else can complain too much. Dylan sort of skipped and hopped to the front of the stage covered from the waist up with insane amount of tattoos and sick arm sleeves. His ripped pants and shirt gave the anxious onlookers the appearance that he had just been in a serious and prolonged fight with either a drugged and drunk chicken or a female hitsquad from Jersey shore that had his “Back against the wall.”  Oh yes, I’ll admit it. I’m jealous. 
 They were solid, and met almost every expectation I had. Their setlist was rewarding, even though they didn’t play some of my personal favorites. (My overall favorite from the FTFD is “In Sincerity”) Don’t worry though, they played their newest song “Strange Faces”, so if you see them, you can count on them playing it on the rest of their tours. 
There were unfortunately some things that were off, and this included bass and guitar riffs, as well as vocals.  I was disappointed when they played “Last Dying Breath.” Im an avid and proud lover of this song, and their guitarist seemed to scream it rather then loudly shout it like he does in the album version. The harmonization was off as well which really sucked. 
It would have been awesome if Jeremy Mickinnon from ADTR was there for Nightmares. The clean vocal chorus kind of sucked without them, even though Dylan Richter does hold his own when it comes to belting out some clean vocals. 
I blame the pretty well hidden mess-ups and mistakes during the set on the constant lineup changes this band has gone through. If they didn’t change bassists and guitars as fast as Tiger Woods goes through women, perhaps they might sound more solid. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’ve had a new bassist and guitarist every year since 03 or so.  
This band however does know what they are doing on stage and seem to move in cohesion, unlike some of the others bands whose members just kind of did their own thing. A few times, I almost saw some collisions, which is bad thing for a band because it implies that the band doesn’t know what they are doing on stage. 
One other thing of note. This guy must wear an incredible amount of anti-sweat speed stick or something because he never showed even the least bit of evidence of sweat. That’s right not even a bead of sweat.  Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? You decide. 
Hearing these guys made me feel like a rejected “Landmine” from Jersey Shore. They are just too epic. First off their lead singer, Sonik, looks like a Mexican carbon copy of Barack Obama, except that he is straight forward, has sick gauges, doesn’t pretend to be the new messiah that is able to prevent the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse, and keeps his promises, especially when weed is involved. 
In fact, after seeing them at this show, I’m positive that ABRB smokes more weed in a year then The Black Dahlia Murder has smoked in all of their years together as a band combined. Toward the end of their set, they made me feel stupid when the vocalist asked the crowd something like, “We’re looking for a girl called Mary Jane. If you’ve seen her, tell her to come hang with us out back.” It took me a few seconds to realize what Mary Jane was which made me feel quite stupid. 
I actually had no idea of how good these guys are.  I had dismissed these guys until I heard them, simply because I hadn’t liked them at all way back in the day when I hated any music that had screaming in it it. Yea, I know, stupid eh? I am ashamed and am at this moment hanging my head in deep and sincere shame. 
I didn’t have any particular expectations of the band, simply because I wasn’t familiar with any of their stuff for the most part. Regardless, they made me feel as if I had just taken a giant dump and was soaking in the feeling of relief.  Everything was perfect. During the 6 second blast beats in “My Fears Have Become Phobias”  the guitarists played their axes as if they were shooting a machine gun and downing some Nazi Zombies in tune with the blast beats of the drummer. Yea, it was bloody epic, and of course very memorable. 
During the last song for their set, Sonik decided to repeat the night’s earlier wall of death with one that was even more epic.  Observe the pic on the right, take it in, and be jealous since you missed this melee of crazed kids:
As they ended, they requested for a place to stay for the night. If my memory serves me right, some girl flipped out, and screamed for them to stay at her place. I’m sure her parents would just revel in thought of some weed smelling, long haired homeless looking fellows sleeping in their house. Ah, teenage fantasies. 
I’m suprised STYG headlined this tour rather then As Blood Runs Black considering just how big ABRB is in comparison to STYG.  Props to STYG though to earn the “headliner” spot. They deserve it. 
They got up on stage and through their performance they made everyone aware of how well they can work the stage. If you want some lessons, watch a vid of these guys, they are the professionals. 
Jesse Barnett literally had his veins bulging and popping out of his neck like a steroid injected weight lifting champion as  he sang and screamed into that microphone. Only half way in, he was soaked in so much sweat, it looked like had been thrown in a pool. That’s how much effort he put in each song.   This man has made B.O. not only an acceptable presence and smell at hardcore/metal shows, but rather an expected one due to his manliness
Did I mention how much crowd participation he gathered up near the front of the stage?  The guy almost makes you feel like your about to receive a sales pitch, but instead you have a mike stuck near your face and an opportunity to sing or scream into that mike. Do beware of the high five or fist pump. They become quite addictive.
If they continue to put on sick and awe inspiring shows for every venue like they did for Clearwater and during the Thrash And Burn Tour, they will continue to gather exposure in the hardcore scene. 
This show was no exception to the consistent incredible shows that they have. Everything was right on, and I mean everything. His vocals were loud enough and I can’t remember him missing or messing up on any screams or clean vocals.  
They were so good that they even won over an older looking couple in the corner next to me who had been shaking their heads in disbelief at the previous bands.
Screaming in almost any manner or amount doesn’t usually make the old folks feel comfortable. 
Whenever you go to see STYG, you come out feeling uplifted, encouraged, and ready to keep on tackling life. I can’t say that for a lot of bands such as Monsters or The Acacia Strain. Sure you may punch someone’s face in, but that’s about as much satisfaction as you will get, not to mention the numerous blows you may receive in the process to of punching said persons’s face. Oh and do leave the 15 year old’s alone in the pit. You DO NOT want their parents to show up in a fit of rage.  
This show was no exception to the consistent incredible shows that they have. Everything was right on, and I mean everything. His vocals were loud enough and I can’t remember him missing or messing up on any screams or clean vocals.  They were so good that they even won over and older looking couple in the corner next to me who had been shaking their heads in disbelief at the previous bands.  Oh and lets remember one more thing, screaming in almost any manner or amount doesn’t usually make the old folks feel comfortable. Perhaps there is hope to introduce music to the older generation besides Mic Jagger who just refuses to grow up.