There was a Bible banger screaming outside of the venue last night. He was telling everyone in line that we were going to hell because of our piercings, tattoos, the cigarettes, and the music. We were told over and over again that we were going to burn in the fires of hell. Now, if you ask me, that sounds pretty metal and a perfect way to start the night.
When people tell me that all of the metal music I listen to sounds the same, I can’t help but laugh. There were six bands that played last night and each one of them had their own distinctive sound. Yes, it was all loud and aggressive music. Yeah, all of the bands had singers that tended to scream more than actually sing but each band still had something that set them apart from the other bands of the night.
For example, Born of Osiris, the headliner of the night, has music that features a lot of keyboards. Veil of Maya’s singer has a voice that belongs on a show such as The Voice or American Idol due to sheer talent he has. Erra’s supporting vocalist has a high pitched voice that is completely recognizable. All of the bands last night had something that set them apart from the rest of the bands that played last night.
The crowd was tense in all the right ways throughout the night. People were pushing, shoving, and flying through the packed house. For every one person that fell down in the pit, there were five people trying to help them back up. Every time someone went down and got back up, they were surrounded by a group of people just making sure they were okay to go back in. Minnesota nice was alive and thriving as it is at every single metal show I go to. I always say this but a mosh pit is a scary place to be if you don’t know what you’re doing. You have to brace yourself for the hits and the kicks. I am more than thankful to be involved in a scene where people you don’t even know have your back. There were a couple of times where I lost my shoe (never wear Toms to a concert… bad idea). The people around me would create a barrier for me to get said shoe back on. They took the blows of the people flailing in the pit just to make sure I was ready for impact again.
The night started off with one of my favorite local bands, Soulkeeper. The last time I saw them at the Your Memorial show a couple of months ago, I said to keep your eyes on these guys. Last night was the reason why. Here they were on the main stage at the Skyway Theater as the sole local band on the Sumerian Records 10 Year Anniversary Tour. It’s a feat in itself to play the main stage at this venue on a show like this. To be the only band in all of the Twin Cities to get this spot is impossible. Soulkeeper took that stage and owned it. If I hadn’t have seen them before or knew who they were, I would have sworn they were part of the touring package. Their sound meshed in with the tour and they seemed more professional than a local band should.
The last band to play was Born of Osiris. I have seen these guys multiple times and absolutely love them every single time. The keyboards of this band are in the forefront and, as a piano player, it makes my heart happy to see this done live. Too many times bands try to hide their keyboards in tracks and rarely have them played live but these guys are different. The keys were loud enough to hear and the keyboard player Joe Buras, had as much energy as Ronnie Canizaro, the singer. Joe didn’t let the keyboard keep him restricted to one side of the stage. He would run around in between his parts and help Ronnie get the crowd amped even though the crowd really didn’t need any more excitement.
Bad Omens was the second band to play and, although they are fairly new to the scene, they were more than able to hold their own and get the crowd ready for the amazing night that was ahead of us. Their music was heavy and full of energy. Their set was short but it was long enough for me to realize that this is a band to keep my eye on. Drummer Nick Folio played with such ease that it was hard to take my eyes off of him (all of the drummers last night were great and made it look effortless but for some reason, Nick really caught my attention). Singer Noah Sebastian tried his best to get the crowd going but the crowd seemed to be saving their energy for what was to come which was probably a good idea being that it got pretty intense. Regardless, he didn’t let the stagnant crowd stop him from putting on a hell of a show with the rest of his band mates.
After the Burial was the show-stealer of the night but I figured they would be being that they are hometown heroes. I have written about these guys multiple times. This is the band that tragically lost their guitarist last summer. They vowed to never give up and to keep moving forward with Justin Lowe, the late guitarist, in their hearts. With their new release Dig Deep finally coming out, they proved just that. These guys are back and stronger than ever. They played a great mix of both new and old songs. Regardless of what they were playing, the crowd was eating it up. The new songs blended in with the old which was refreshing. I was a bit worried that their style would change due to line-up changes and heavy hearts but it didn’t. These guys have always stayed true to their sound and to the Twin Cities. It’s so great to be able to claim such a great band as “ours”.
All of the bands last night had some great vocalists but Lukas Magyar of Veil of Maya won the award for best vocals. This guy has a voice that could probably go so much further than just metal music but really adds a little something something to the metal scene. His range is unreal and the tone, well I don’t even know how to put it into words. If you think vocals in metal music can’t be beautiful, check out Veil of Maya. Lukas will change your mind about vocals in metal music within just a few words.
Erra was another band with stand out vocals. Back-up vocalist/ guitarist Jesse Cash has one of those voices where you instantly know who it is when you hear it. It’s high pitched but not forced. You typically don’t find such high-pitched vocals in metal music but it’s a great way to make these guys stand out and make them memorable. Unfortunately, their set seemed rushed due to the sheer amount of bands that had to play in such a short amount of time. I have seen Erra a couple of times but have never seen them headline before. I would love to see these guys go out on their own headlining tour and be given all the time that they deserve.
Last night was an amazing night like usual. I preach this every time I go to a metal show like this but it can’t be said enough… The Twin Cities has the best scene full of the best people and the best music in the whole country. I am more than honored to be a part of this family and lifestyle… even if that means I’m going to burn in hell for eternity.
Venue: Skyway Theatre
Sausage Fest Meter- 12 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 20
Crowd Surfers- 100+ (There were 43 in the last After the Burial song alone)
Stage Divers- 1
Broken Bones- Didn’t See Any But I’m Sure There Were a Few
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Scariest Moment of the Night- Getting stuck in the middle of the mosh pit at the beginning of After the Burial’s set when it was straight strobe lights. I had no clue what was going on around me and was terrified but knew that my family had my back.
Snapchats Taken of the Bible Banger outside- 14,423 (rough estimate)
Found in the Pit- Shoes, Hats, Bottles, Shattered Phones, Glasses
Level of Moshing- Intense. Absolutely Intense.
Lesson Learned- Never wear Toms shoes to a metal show
Overall Score- 9 out of 10
Show on Deck- Dropkick Murphys/ Tiger Army (I’ve always wanted to see Dropkick!)