Emmure versus The Acacia Strain, two bands enter one band leaves! Well, not really, but that’s how they pitched it to the audience. In reality that’s really who is the deciding factor, the fans!
Round 1 FIGHT!
Firstly I’d like to give a shout out to my friends in Handsome Bastards for headlining the upstairs stage of the Palladium for their tireless push to sell tickets and bring fans new and old in hopes of furthering themselves and having great attitudes and fun while doing it! now on with the show. Ladies and gentleman I bring you SYLAR from Queens New York.
Upon first look of these five young New Yorkers one would be led to believe they may be at the wrong tour… taking a minor influence from hip-hop they definitely don’t look like your average hardcore or metal band. That’s why I believe they were added to this tour. Five guys with very wide influences of rap and hip-hop style, with metal and hardcore heaviness, and lots of similarities to the headlining band Emmure, with their fast paced music full of attitude and confrontational lyrics. This left me wondering what would come next from this set as 50 Cent’s ‘P.I.M.P’ played before they started playing. With seven strings in hand, the boys took the stage and so began the first stop of “The Eternal Enemies” tour. SYLAR’s sound is very much a mix of heavy influences such as Meshuggah with the lyrical flare of Emmure, who could be their musical big brothers. The band was very entertaining to watch and with great crowd reaction, synchronized stage moves reminiscent of old Korn, and lots of crowd interaction. Electronic bits were thrown in to add to the flavor of the band and made for unique songs and a great over all show. At first glance SYLAR did not look like they were going to be as impressive as they were, but once they hit that stage not only was my opinion changed but I was made a fan.
Sadly, after the ct date of the tour while in Canada the bands van was broken into and the money they had made was taken leaving them financially at ground zero again. I hope the rest of the tour works out more in their favor and if your reading this maybe you’ll feel compelled to help them in some way, be it merch or buying their CD.
Next from “The Lone Star State”, Kublai Khan, another band I was new to on this tour but yet again was pleasantly surprised by. This four piece hailing from Sherman, Texas not only immediately went for the throat of every one present to see them preform, they first thanked us for having them there and were very humble and honored to play here. Sticking close to their hardcore influences their songs ranged in very real topics from being a minority/racism, and growing up in Texas as singer Matthew Matthew Honeycutt explained, to being a single parent trying to care for a family. All things that in one way or another many of the fans may be able to connect with. Again, the crowd response was high energy and very reactive to. the bands music and great attitude. Another group I cant wait to see again in Worcester.
Also from Texas, Fit For a King. defiantly a good fit for the tour with similar styles and sound to all the other bands. If you liked the bands you’ve seen so far, here’s more of it. lots of catchy hooks and clean vocal sing along parts and fun mosh parts, fit for a king defiantly kept the crowd jumping and amped up for the next two bands. Unfortunately I was not one of those people. I had rather high hopes for this band seeing as the two predecessors had wowed me so, and so I was kinda let down. Not for lack of trying or bad sound; they just didn’t do it for me.
And now for the tectonic two, the sultans of sorrow!
The Acacia Strain, never ones to pass up a good laugh or being taken too seriously, decided to set up bubble machines and in the words of “Vincent Bennett” in Sesame Street style letters to shove the “seriousness” of the tour’s “battle of the bands” concept back in the promoters faces. The lights dimmed and the backing track of ‘Human Disaster’ played and the band stood at the ready, preparing for the onslaught of negativity that would be their 35 minute set. With the sound of two guitar chords from the left and right of the stage a thunderous “REST…IN…PISS” arose from the throat of Vincent and thus began the much anticipated set. opening with the first two tracks of their new album Coma Witch (Rise Records) ‘Human Disaster’ and ‘Cauterizer’ (their hit single you can hear on Liquid Metal on a daily basis) set the tone for what came next: the song ‘Beast’, with guest vocals from Matthew of Kublai Khan. Vincent, always wanting to have fun, would jump into the crowd from time to time and crowd surfers would fly over the barricade and security guard’s heads to reach out to Vincent and give him hi-fives. At one point Vincent himself crowd surfed during his own song. He called out for “more violence, more hate” and the crowd answered in a swarm of violence and brutality; just what the band wanted. I had waited all night for this set and did it deliver one-hundred fold and seemed they might be hard to top. The band played a few more popular songs including ‘JFC’ which the crowd screamed along chanting “I am the end of the world!” The Acacia Strain had overwhelming crowd support and left everyone wanting more.
With the attitude of a cage fighter entering the ring, hidden behind a black and white scarf iconic to the new album’s artwork and band merch, Frankie and the rest of Emmure (joined by Adam Pierce formerly of All Shall Perish on the drums) came out with screeching guitars to open up their set of hit songs with overpowering energy. Frankie’s hip-hop style dance moves were fantastic to watch and his hype as a frontman created a crowd frenzy. With intense hate, anger and emotion in his eyes, Frankie screamed out every lyric with the passion they deserved. Songs such as ‘Solar Flare’, ‘Homicide’, ‘Drug Dealer Friend’, ‘R2 Deepthroat’, ‘Children of Cyberton’, ‘MDMA’, their new hit song ‘A Gift, A Curse’ and coming out for an encore with ‘When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong’. A lot of Emmure’s songs were very emotional and powerful to watch live and every time they are as entertaining and amazing as the last.
The Acacia Strain and Emmure did incredible jobs headlining and had a very strong fan following who was made up of die hard fans craving for more even after they were finished. A very impressive show indeed, so impressive we even drove all the way to CT to see it again!
WORDS: ANDREW FRANCIS
PHOTOS BY EMMA PARSONS PHOTOGRAPHY