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It's tour time, and storming the United States' underground caverns is Protest The Hero, along with Periphery, The Safety Fire, and guitar-legend Jeff Loomis. I attended the first show of the tour, at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago.
USA (Chicago), March 25, 2012
js81221, on march 27, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's tour time, and storming the United States' underground caverns is Protest The Hero, along with Periphery, The Safety Fire, and guitar-legend Jeff Loomis. I attended the first show of the tour, at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago. Along with the 4 heavy-hitters, was an Ontario, Canada band, Today I Caught The Plague, who in term delivered the genuine heavy-progressive technicality to run parallel with the djent giants and melodic legends.
Today I Caught The Plague opened the show, getting our feet wet for the 5 hour escapade. They were truly no disappointment for a band just hitting the United States for the first time, trying make a name for themselves. Aside from the deep v's, and the pentatonic scales, these guys had some serious... 'umph'. Brooding with originality, they seem to be a band we will be hearing a lot more about in the future.
The Safety Fire followed, and being that I am not an avid listener of the London-based group, prior to their set, I could make no judgement. They came out, expressed enthused stage present, and overall played an amazing show. Combining beautiful melodies and heart-wrenching breakdowns, an utter success on their part.
Jeff Loomis took one step on stage to hear a collection of 'Oohs' and 'Ahhs', which highlighted his fame; and he had only just been sound checking.
Periphery took the stage with as much strength as anyone could have. Every member of the band was improperly introduced by a random person in the crowd hissing the names as they walked on stage; "Misha!", "Oh, look, Jake Bowen!", "Spencer!"
Protest The Hero finally took the limelight, in between songs making remarks of defecation and embarrassment, adding in that old, Protest Charm of happy-go-lucky jokes and comedic interludes. Mastering was steady, my only complaint being at the start of Periphery, Spencer Sotelo's mic was slightly under the norm, making him a small struggle to hear. // 9
Perfomance: Following the first two acts (TICTP and The Safety Fire), the audience began to behave more wildly. Before Jeff Loomis appeared, they seemed to be in a pre-show daze of listening intent and wonderment. But, of course, it's not the most enjoyable thing to mosh to when you don't know what's next; Well, someone's got to have an excuse for their petrification and resentment to move around until later.
After leaving Nevermore, the newly solo-artist striving Jeff melted faces and stole hearts with his premier of songs off his new album "Plains Of Oblivion". Despite the error on "Miles Of Machine" in the beginning, a quick joking-apology and a restart was all they needed to bounce back to perfection.
The spotlights in the background began to dazzle the background as they opened with "Zyglrox" and reaved through their set. The crowd had remained generally still and subtle until Periphery began their course. With tracks like "Totla Mad", "Buttersnips", "Frak The Gods", "Icarus Lives", their new song "Facepalm Mute", and ending with "The Walk", their set truly was a sick and teeth-grinding one.
Protest The Hero flooded the lounge with adrenaline and the excitement, especially the remarks about bathroom-encounters in between head-smashing hits like "Hair Trigger", "Bloodmeat", and "Limb From Limb". Towards the end of their set, a handful of fans managed to climb up on stage to rock-about with Rody Walker. Soon later, a security guard enters to remove him, and another fan, and another. People begin to jump back onto the crowd and crowdsurf for a good half of a minute. The last of the stage-excitement were two fans; A girl and a guy, both shoulder to shoulder with Rody screaming out the lyrics, having a good time. A security member approaches and pulls on the two to go off stage; the girl complies and walks off, while the guy jukes the guard and leaps back onto the crowd throwing his "Metal Horns" at Rody, making Rody smile proudly. The guy slowly was put back on the ground, appearing to have been eated by the crowd. All the while the fans were singing and dancing on stage, Rody seemed to be completely alright with it, which really highlights how down to earth these bands can really be. // 9
Overall Impression: 3/25/12, The Bottom Lounge, 1375 West Lake Street Chicago, IL 60607. Today I Caught The Plague caught all of our attentions, while the rest of the sets tickled our fancies unlike any mp3 or CD player or stereo system will ever be able to do. The show proved to be an fantastic one; no horrible technical difficulties and just pure metal. Elliot Coleman, who has a small section in the song "Racecar" by Periphery, and the new singer of TesseracT was present, and teched for Periphery and assisted them by selling merchandise. And known, Jeff Loomis plays a solo towards the end of "Racecar". If I could have changed something, I would have chosen to knock off the last 3 songs of Periphery's setlist to make way for "Racecar"'s 15 whomper with Elliot singing his part and Jeff Loomis playing his instead of Jake Bowen.
But, other than that, the crowd surfing, the jokes, the moshing and the music made the experience an unforgettable one. If they ever made an effort to return, I will definitely go back. // 9