I was informed that this tour was happening at the end of Warped Tour in the summer, and I couldn't have been more stoked. The Ghost Inside is one of my favorite bands, but I also really like The Amity Affliction as well, not to mention Miss May I and Like Moths To Flames have put on good sets as of late. Also, Glass Cloud would be making an appearance for the first time, fronted by Jerry Roush, who actually lived in Portland for awhile.
Glass Cloud is a band that intrigued me right from the initial press release informing me of their existence. Half of the band graduated from Berklee School of Music, arguably the most prestigious music school in the United States. As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, Jerry Roush lived in Portland for a brief period of time after his time in Of Mice & Men, so people were excited to see him come back for a performance with his new band. Roush came out in an American Me t-shirt with a pretty well established beard, and proceeded to rock the fuck out for entirety of the band's 25 minute set - he threw his body around the stage, swung his mic clear across the stage, etc. It was a great thing to see, as things just seemed to be going right for him, and this is where he belonged, where he fit in. I'm excited to see where the band goes from here on out.
The Amity Affliction is an australian metalcore band that has toured the states a few times (once opening for Pierce The Veil/Miss May I a year ago, and opening for Asking Alexandria/Trivium not long after), but I feel most people here in America have slept on them until now. The band hit #1 on the Australian charts with their brand new full length, Chasing Ghosts, and it's starting to pick up some steam here slowly but surely. The band ripped through two new tracks, "Chasing Ghosts" and "R.I.P. Bon" before launching into older tracks like "Youngbloods" and "I Hate Hartley". The band ended with "Open Letter", which boasts a catchy chorus with the line: "I'm not searching the sky for a reason to live, cause I've found beauty right here and found the passion to give". I think the thing I love most about the band is their attitude, and how it carries over in a live setting, they really get after it and make their time on stage a memorable one. Joel Birch and Ahren Stringer make a fantastic scream/sing combo. If you missed them this time around, you'll definitely be seeing them around here sometime in 2013, so don't miss out.
Like Moths To Flames was a band that I previously had a hard time understanding because of vocalist Chris Roetter's prior Christian band Agraceful, and the significant contrast in lyrical content ("The Great I Am" vs "GNF (Give No Fucks)"). But you know, as one of the seemingly few people that have seen Chris perform in both bands, I know that he pours himself into whatever he's doing, regardless of what people think. The band took the stage and kicked things off with "The Worst In Me", and immediately the band had the entire floor bouncing off their feet. I was surprised at how rabid the response was for the band, because when I had previously saw them earlier this year, the response was minimal at best; however, it's great that they're becoming more well-known and people are showing them support. "GNF", "Faithless Living", and a few songs appeared on the setlist before the band ended with "You Won't Be Missed".
The Ghost Inside is one of my favorite bands, and I was happy to see them finally come back to at least a direct support slot on a club tour, thus giving them a slightly longer set than what they've been playing lately. One of the biggest treats about this particular setlist was the inclusion of newer material - "This Is What I Know About Sacrifice", "Outlive", "The Great Unknown", "Thirty Three", and "Engine 45" all made an appearance on the setlist. Past favorites like "Chrono", "Faith or Forgiveness", "Greater Distance", "Unspoken", and "Between The Lines" joined the mix as well. I think the most gripping in the setlist came right before "Thirty Three", when vocalist Jonathan Vigil dedicated the song to his recently deceased father - the amount of respect I have for Vigil for wanting to continue to tour amidst much adversity is through the roof. Look for The Ghost Inside to swing through the U.S. in the spring on their own headliner with a truly salivating line-up.
Miss May I without a doubt has earned the "most improved" award in recent years - from being a completely abysmal live act covering Savage's "Swing", to maturing into a powerhouse that can hold their own in the metalcore scene. From the second the band touched the stage, I was absolutely blown away - their live set is truly an experience that anyone that is a casual fan of the metalcore genre would enjoy. To be honest, I'm not much of a fan of the band's past material; I am however, a huge fan of their newest effort "At Heart", and enjoyed seeing a setlist that leaned more towards that album. Songs such as "Hey Mister", "Leech", "Opening Wounds", and "Bleeding Out" had me satisfied, as well as had the crowd bouncing off their feet, and crawling on stage for stagedive after stagedive. Aside from frontman Levi Benton's ferocious showmanship, I was particularly impressed with drummer Jerod Boyd's pure skill - in fact, I'd say he is one of the more skilled drummers I've had the pleasure of watching this year, along with August Burns Red's Matt Greiner and Texas In July's Adam Gray. In fact, Boyd performed an absolutely jaw dropping drum solo near the end of the band's set. To my pleasure, the band ended their set with "Ballad of A Broken Man" and "Day By Day" before doing an encore, "Relentless Chaos". I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the band grow and take over 2013, I have absolutely no doubts that their next record will be just as massive as "At Heart" is now.