On Tuesday, December 13th, fans gathered at Wooly’s in Des Moines, Iowa to see one of their favorite metalcore bands for the last time. For Today’s Farewell Tour rolled into town, five shows away from their final performance after ten years performing together. Of course, they brought some friends along with them as well.
The first band to take the stage was My Epic, each of them with a finely crafted beard. As far as vocals go, this band was the most clean, melodic vocals that listeners would hear all night, and the vocalist has one of those voices that leaves you thinking, “He sounds like someone I have heard before, yet with his own twist.” In the first moment of cross-band collaboration, Silent Planet’s vocalist Garrett Russell jumped on stage for a song. My Epic played for about half an hour, ending their set with the tune Open Letter.
Next up, Silent Planet, and their energetic vocalist, who seemed to appear on stage with almost every band of the evening at some point. Cory Brandan from Norma Jean even got up and joined Silent Planet for a song. Russell certainly engaged the crowd, with tunes such as Nervosa and Psychescape and got them prepped for the bands to come as well.
The mighty Norma Jean definitely upped the light show game and were third out of four bands for the evening. The band itself is the longest standing band on the bill, although not one of the original members is still performing with them. However, they made sure to cover fan favorites from the first album, Bless The Martyr and Kiss the Child all the way to their most recent release Polar Similar. Some stand-out songs of the set included: 1,000,000 Watts, The Anthem of The Angry Brides, If You Got it At Five, You Got it At Fifty, Synthetic Sun, and of course, Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste. Once again, Silent Planet’s vocalist was on stage for a tune with Norma Jean. And in a moment that might have gone over some of the younger crowd’s head, Brandan channeled his inner Meatloaf for a moment, with a nod to the intro of, You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth: “On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? I bet you say that to all the boys.” As the band left the stage, the curtains closed for the first time of the evening.
While the crowd waited to see For Today, the songs coming through the system seemed to be out of place. Songs by the Backstreet Boys, R Kelly, and Whitney Houston for example. At first, a few in the crowd acted like they were much too cool to enjoy themselves… but suddenly, as one of the songs would come to the chorus, the sound of the crowd singing along was, while not deafening, definitely on the loud side.
And then finally, what the crowd was waiting for. Up went the curtains and on went the spotlights and smoke machine. Break the Cycle started the show, and vocalist Mattie Montgomery was calling for a circle pit early in the show, and the crowd was more than happy to oblige for the band they would not have the chance to see again. After performing Forced Into Fire, Montgomery told the crowd that this tour was really a chance to tell their fans thank you for supporting them for the last ten years and also to make Jesus the center of attention. Iowa fans feel a particular connection to the band, as they got their start in the same state. As the band played Bitter Roots, they encouraged the crowd to hold up their cell phones- you know, what people do these days instead of lighters. The band seemed like they were able to throw in all of their fans favorite tunes, some of them in the form of a medley, including Seraphim, Agape, and Saul of Tarsus (The Messenger), as well as Broken Lens and Fight the Silence. The band left the stage, but of course came out for an encore. And as the show came to a close and the rest of the band left the stage, Montgomery told fans that if anyone needed prayer or to come to God, to come find him in the back after the show. Fans will surely miss the For Today boys, but hopefully they will be able to follow them into their new endeavors into the future.
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