Celebrating the 15th anniversary of their critically-acclaimed album The Fall Of Ideals, All That Remains rolled into Sacramento on April 18th for a stop on their current US tour. Although their name was alone on the marquee, All That Remains elicited support from Pennsylvanian bands Tallah and Varials, plus Ohio hard-rockers Miss May I. Overall the show was a significant success, with hundreds of headbangers filling the famous and sold-out Ace of Spades to enjoy some of the best that metalcore had to offer.
Still reeling from Easter the day prior, Nu-core young guns Tallah took the stage first, featuring their lead singer Justin Bonitz donning bunny ears for the entirety of the band’s performance. Playing a set that included songs such as Placenta, L.E.D, Overconfidence, and others, the band that includes Bonitz, guitarists Derrick Schneider and Alex Snowden, bassist Mark Naples, DJ Alize Rodriguez, and drummer Joel McDonald (filling in for Max Portnoy), proved that age is just a number, as the youngest act on the bill powered through each song with a sense of poise and determination that bands 10 years their senior would wish to have. Extraordinary things will come out of this band, and they are one to watch for years to come.
Up next, Varials. The quintet from Philadelphia rocked the crowd with their blend of hardcore punk and metalcore. Their first song, South of One, quickly led to a circle pit, with singer Mitchell Rogers encouraging the already rabid crowd to go crazier. Speaking of Rogers, the former guitarist and now singer has steadily grown more comfortable with his new role in the band and has shown himself as the perfect pick to front the band. Roger’s replacement on lead guitar James Hohenwarter, got a chance on the next couple of songs in the set, In Darkness and Violent Measures, to show his prowess with the thrashing leads Varials has become known for. Hohenwarter can thank fellow bandmates Sean Rauchut and Mike Foley, who play drums and bass, respectively, as, without the vital backing of the band’s rhythm section, his guitar work would not shine like it does. Additionally, rhythm guitarist Shane Lyons made his presence felt throughout the show. The band’s eight-song set ended with crowd-pleaser Empire of Dirt, leaving the crowd satisfied and excited for the night of music ahead. Be sure to catch Varials soon; they have a host of upcoming shows, including the remainder of this tour with All That Remains and their recently announced slot on the massive Blue Ridge Rock Fest happening this September in Virginia.
Coming to the stage minus their typical guitarists, Miss May I still managed to put on one hell of a show! Both B.J. Stead and Justin Aufdemkampe were unfortunately absent from the show; however, War Of Ages’ Elisha Mullins, who had been filling in for Stead during the tour, went solo with all guitar work for the night, and he did not disappoint. The metalcore veterans opened their set with Under Fire, a hard-hitting and melodic track off the Shadows Inside album. They also played Casualties which is off the same album, before going back to their monumental release Monument to play Relentless Chaos. The vocal tandem of Levi Benton on unclean vocals and Ryan Neff on bass and clean vocals were well received throughout the night, with both singers hitting their notes and sounding especially great on Unconquered, their newest track in five years, which was released just before the start of the tour. Joining Neff, Benton, and Mullins on stage for the night was drummer Jerod Boyd, whose double bass resonated through the set and his mini drum solo after Hey Mister. The band’s set mixed their old material with new material well, showing that they haven’t lost a beat over the last 15 years and can put on great shows even in adversity.
To finish the night, the metalcore veterans from Massachusetts, All That Remains, stormed the stage and carried their energy through 13 songs of pure adrenaline. Celebrating 15 years of their historic and genre-defying release, The Fall of Ideals, the band felt a tour centered around what many fans regard as one of their top albums to be in order. This TFOI-centered tour saw the band playing the album in its entirety, albeit backward. Their set started with the popular ending track Indictment, which the audience met with much excitement as the song hadn’t been played live in almost 12 years. Continuing on, ATR played Empty Inside and The Air That I Breathe, the former of which had never been played live before this tour. Following those three songs, lead singer Phil Labonte asked the lights to be turned on, where he proceeded to address the audience and thank them for their support over the years. The band proceeded to jump right into the rest of the album, with guitarists
Jason Richardson and Mike Martin trading melodies on the tracks Six and Become the Catalyst. Those shredding melodies slowly turned into soft acoustics when they reached Whispers, which Labonte calls “the closest thing to a ballad on the album.” The show progressed at an incredible speed after this momentary slowdown, with Labonte’s harsh screams combining with the backing vocals of bassist Matt Deis to shine on We Stand. Hearing the voice of Deis on We Stand, Not Alone, and This Calling may bring many old-school ATR to the beginning of the band, as this is his first tour with the band in almost two decades. Deis and company left the stage after the completion of This Calling; however, this was not the end, with the band returning to send fans home with a three-song encore of Chiron, What If I Was Nothing, and Two Weeks. The show was a typical showcase of All That Remains’ right in-your-face heaviness that their fans have grown to love, even though the fast feet of Jason Costa were unfortunately missing from the show, with Anthony Barone stepping in to make sure that Sacramento enjoyed every minute of the night. For those that haven’t had a chance to experience the great show yet, ATR’s tour will run through May 20th. Acting fast and purchasing a ticket now would be wise, with a low ticket warning advertised for many upcoming shows. Also, as with Varials, All That Remains has been added to the Blue Ridge Rock Fest in Virginia in September.
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Miss May I:
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