As I Lay Dying Report From Vancouver, BC
Band Photo: As I Lay Dying (?)
I caught the As I Lay Dying show with Throwdown and All That Remains when the tour came through Vancouver, BC on March 29 at Richard's on Richards. I actually had the chance to see all three bands live at the Commodore Ballroom on separate occasions in 2004: As I Lay Dying on the In Flames tour in May, Throwdown with Fear Factory and Lamb of God in October, and All That Remains with Gwar in November. Unlike the Commodore, which houses no more than 1000 people, Richard's on Richards was even smaller, which I personally prefer over huge stadiums. As I Lay Dying was having trouble getting across the border and was stuck there for four hours. As a result, the band didn't arrive at the venue until almost 7 and so they had to push back the entire show.
The first band, Boston's All That Remains, hit the stage at 8:30 and played a half an hour set. ATR was supporting their latest release, This Darkened Heart, which came out in 2004, and played a few songs off that album, such as "Passion," This Darkened Heart," "Vicious Betrayal" and "For Salvation." These guys had a good stage presence and got the audience going with their set. Although vocalist Phil Labonte (ex-Shadows Fall) had problems with his throat, he was still able to scream and belch out gutteral growls. They had a good bass and some really good hooks and melodic riffs similar to Atreyu and fellow tour mates As I Lay Dying. I thought that they were better this time than the time they opened up for Gwar.
Next up was Throwdown from Orange County. I didn't really like them the last time I saw them, I still don't like them now, because I personally don't like hardcore/straight edge. Throwdown's new guitarist, Mark, who was playing his first show, could learn to show a little enthusiasm in his performance. So can their bassist. Both of them just pretty much stood off in one side of the stage throughout the show. The guitars didn’t seem to stand out much over the other instruments. The shouting/growling vocals sounded the same throughout the show. I also didn't like the chanting lyrics, in songs such as "Raise Your Fist," "Forever" and "Unite," which make the songs seem repetitive. But their heavy fist-raising energetic metal, which reminds me of Hatebreed, was enough to drive a circle pit on the small floor of Richard's on Richards. The band also played a new song, "Speak the Truth," off their new album Vendetta, due out on July 12.
I'm not a big fan of Metalcore, but I do enjoy As I Lay Dying's super catchy melodic guitar riffs. AILD opened with "94 Hours" and played mostly songs off their last release, Frail Words Collapse, including "Elegy," "Distance is Darkness" and "Forever." They also performed an old song, the title track of Beneath the Encasing of Ashes, and two new songs off their upcoming record, Shadows are Security, which hit stores June 14. At first listen, one of the new songs, "Empty Hearts," sound a lot like "94 Hours" and the other song sounds like "Elegy." Jordan Mancino does an impressive job on the drums, especially with the double bass. Singer Tim Lambesis ranges his vocals from low rough growls to much more cleaner ones. AILD sounds just like they do on their CDs, except more powerful and aggressive. Overall, the San Diego band put on an amazing, solid live show. The only downer was that their set was too short (less than an hour).
Remaining tour dates with all three bands (and Winter Solstice starting April 8):
Apr. 06 Thunder Bay, ONT @ Warp 9
Apr. 08 London, ONT @ The Embassy Hotel
Apr. 09 Ottawa, ONT @ Babylon
Apr. 10 Montreal, QUE @ El Salon
Apr. 12 Latham NY @ Saratoga Winners
Apr. 15 Louisville KY @ Headliners Music Hall
Apr. 16 Huntington WV @ HYAMP
Apr. 17 Richmond VA @ Alley Katz
Apr. 20 Farmingdale NY @ The Downtown
Apr. 21 S. Burlington VT @ Higher Ground
Apr. 23 Lancaster PA @ Chameleon Club
Apr. 24 Erie PA @ Forward Hall
Apr. 25 Grand Rapids MI @ The Intersection
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