All Stars Review!!!!!

As I am writing this i am currently nursing the various repercussions of yesterdays adventure. Going to this show with a couple other friends of mine, we traversed up to Jersey to go to the venue around 10 in the morning, arriving at the venue at 11:30, forcing us to wait about two hours for the doors to open. It was obviously well worth it because we saw a total of 15 bands!!! So, let’s jump right into it:

Attila – I really didn’t get to see enough of it because they had started as we were filing into the venue and we shuffled over to the merchandise area. From what i heard though, they were on top of it. Playing mainly songs from their second, and better album, Rage, they brought a great energy that helped to kick off the days festivities. They have a new album coming out later this year even so do check it out if you are a fan of Miss May I, Within the Ruins, or even Emmure.

Sleeping With Sirens – …I just can’t be bothered with a band that has a singer that sounds like a female and a band that dimply plays heavy pop-punk songs. One, it’s not done well and Two, it’s unconvincing (A word thats going to appear a lot today). It doesn’t make sense hearing angry sounding music with lovey dovey sounding lyrics.

Chelsea Grin – When they’re EP first came out debuted the band as a band, some critics hailed them as being a great, true, deathcore band. Now it just seems as though they are a bad joke that people keep repeating over and over again. I mean, if they are really this big, great deathcore band…then why aren’t they on the Summer Slaughter Tour Bill with REAL deathcore bands like Whitechapel and Six Feet Under?

Motionless in White – Let me preface this by saying they sound better live than on the album. They actually have some intricate and slightly complex guitar melodies that really blend well with the keyboards on their new album. I’m not really a fan that much and their live show really didn’t help at all because it was just rubbish. I don’t like to judge a band based on looks, but I think that the band would greatly improve from getting rid of their Marilyn Manson-esque type image. Don’t put on an act, just play your songs.

After the Burial – One of the most anticipated bands coming from me and my friends, we finally made our way to the front railing after pushing through the crowd during the last three aforementioned bands’ names. The band came on and just set the place off. At this point, they had the most crowd participation of any aforementioned band. They played “Encased in Ice”, which is a song they hadn’t played before this tour and seeing Trent and Justin play different solos from what you hear on the album, but having it still fit in within the context of the song, was truly amazing. During the show, Trent through a pick out towards us and it bounced off of my buddy (Tom)’s head and on to the floor, so he quickly picked it up. I later caught another pick from Trent again, but I gave it to my other buddy Steve (the kid who pretty much turned me on my side and turned me onto a bunch of the bands i like today) because he’s been trying to catch one for a while and deserves it. As luck would have it, later during the day i looked down and saw a pick by my feet. I picked it up and it turned out to be an After the Burial pick from Trent, I told Tom, and he checked his pick because there were only two picks thrown. Long story short, the pick Tom picked up was actually from Chelsea Grin and I ended up getting (technically) both After the Burial picks. I guess thats karma for you.

The Ghost Inside – Great. Just great. One of the few bands on this “blue team” that I really like and they’re actually quite heavy for that team. I looked into them before because I never really heard of them before. I liked what I heard on record, but live was just a whole new dimension. Relentless, abrasive, almost party-boy energy, but not fake or pretentious in any way shape or form. They were the big “surprise” band in my opinion. I knew they’d be good, but I didn’t think they’d by THAT good. The worst part of their show in my opinion was when they brought out the singer from Motionless in White to sing with them. Other than that, great show…and me and Steve both got drum sticks so thats a plus also!

For Today – Absolutely brilliant! Last time i saw them was during Bamboozle but that was outside and i had stayed in the back during their set because I was tired of being up front for the bands that came on before them. This time I was right up there on the front line for every second of it and it was the most religious I’ve ever been (I’m not sure if it counts, but i’m not religious at all so i don’t care). The other really great thing about them is that their enormous bass drops shook the rafters of the venue. When I  saw the at Bamboozle, they didn’t really carry out that well out doors, but was quite the opposite last night. The only other band that had bass drops as enormous as For Todays were maybe Blessthefall. The ONLY problem that I see with this band is that sometimes I think Matt (singer) rambles on a little too much just to say that he loves Jesus and everything. America is not very well receptive to bands that wear their religion on their sleeves like that and while i’m not religious I respect them (him really because the rest of the band wasn’t really on stage while he was ranting) for sticking to their guns and saying whats on their mind. I would just say be careful because you can loose a lot of fans that way.

In This Moment – The first time I saw them was Mayhem Fest last year right as their new album had dropped. The new album was the best thing they’ve ever done, but if you notice, besides this tour and Mayhem fest last year, this band haven’t really been on tour that much. After seeing them yesterday it finally dawned on me why.  It took a while for the band to really get the crowd going whereas every other band (yes, even Sleeping With Sirens and Chelsea Grin) got people moving almost immediately. Also, I noticed that I really just didn’t care. I mean the heavier songs were good and everything, but…they’re really just not that good. They songs may be getting better with progression, but they aren’t evolving and growing as a band and that is why I say that they will never be bigger than they already are (and you can quote me on that). It kinda seems like half of their popularity comes from their hot singer Maria Brink. Like some of the other bands i mentioned, the word in unconvincing.

Iwrestledabearonce – I’m not a huge fan of this band really. They’re good and extremely wacky…almost too much for their own good at times. This band have set a whole new level of spastic, schizo music that you use this band in order to measure other bands on the wacky scale. That being said, seeing it live made a lot more sense. If there are any of you out there who are doubters, because i didn’t think all of their crazy changes would translate well live, but they did so check it out. They’re all just so funny and crazy. I mean, one second, you’re chest will cave in from their heavy break downs, the next second, they’ll be shredding the necks of their guitars to pieces, another second they’ll break down in just some wacky ambient-dance sample while the singer whines on top of it, then they’ll break down and clean up their guitars and do a wacky hawaiian riff. It’s all just so crazy and indescribable you have to see it live. the band members all had they’re moments too. The drummer at one point took his hi-hat stand and was lifting it over his head like a set of weights….while he was PLAYING. The singer climbed up onto the amp cabinets, got in a feetle position and screamed her ass off. They had strobes and lasers and they’re singer kept talking like batman…it was one of the most fun shows of the entire day.

Blessthefall – I actually quite liked them because they’re a bit heavier than most other post-hardcore bands. The problem I  had with them was simply just that there were some crazy girls (and not good crazy) at the show who were constantly crowd surfing, which was annoying and i found it hard to really enjoy their show. They were good though. Very heavy and very on top of their game. They played a new song, which if their new album is like this song, then it’ll be the heaviest thing they’ve ever done, which is always good. I’ll have to hear it to believe it though. They’re another band that are good, but also on the verge of soemthing good, taking them to a whole new level, or they won’t improve at all and slump into something like In This Moment in musical limbo, never getting any bigger than what they already are. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Born of Osiris – Playing a lot later in the day than I thought they would, Born of Osiris came on and just brought. Another brilliant show from another highly anticipated band!! Playing the best songs from their first album and they’re new album, they were relentless and reckless. I’m also gonna throw this out there and say that The Discovery is one of the top 5 best albums of 2011. You’ll definitely see it very high on my list in December. Any who, not much to say really about there show other than it was just all killer no filler. I saw them at Bamboozle also and that was also a great show. I’m not quite sure which one was better…both were great in there own way. Definitely check them out if you haven’t already.

Alesana – Oh boy where do i begin…another band that i just cant be bothered with. First of all, they had three guitars players and not once did they sound tight or together at all. I also don’t like how they have all of their albums set up like concept albums and then have every album follow a continuing story line…it makes Coheed and cambria look like the Who. I just never really bothered with them before and their live show didn’t change me at all so thats it.

Emmure – Ho!-Ly! Shit! Were they amazing or what!? Even though I stayed in the back for their show, I had just as much fun watching them from the back as i would have up front. They played every hit from Felony and the new album (another album that’ll be high on my 2011 list) and a couple of songs from the early two albums. They were just on fire from beginning to end. Even though half of the people left between Born of Osiris and Alesana, every single person danced and jumped and bounced and did everything that Frankie told them to do. Thats the thing about Emmure that makes them so great. not only are they the best at what they do because they are the only band that have perfectly mixed hip-hop elements with deathcore. They just have such a level of swagger and attitude that you can’t help but believing everything that they say. There was also a point where there were some technical difficulties and even though there was that lull in the middle of their show, they brought it right back by going into “Drug Dealer Friend”. Opening up with “Children of Cybertron” and ending with “4 Poisons 3 Words” as their encore, it was just AMAZING! SO LOUD!!! And as another plug, my friend Tom caught a drum stick, which is really cool because they’re drummer is very good…and left handed!!!

Any, in conclusion, i’d also like to add that I got an autograph from Anthony (lead singer of After the Burial) and while we stopped at a local wawa on the way home…guess who showed up…BORN OF OSIRIS. What an amazing end to the night. being able to chill out for a bit and chat a little with the members of Born of Osiris (they had partied quite a bit beforehand so they weren’t in the right mind space if you catch my drift) at a Wawa at midnight. Truly the best day of the whole summer!!

Luke Helker


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