Atreyu Presents Foundation Fest 2016 – Night 2, The Observatory, December 17, 2016
Atreyu headlined the first-ever Foundation Fest, a weekend of shows at The Observatory in Santa, Ana, California ahead of the Christmas holidays. Presenting lively sets on a Friday and Saturday night in their hometown, Atreyu thrilled capacity crowds with long and exhilarating sets on both days. Featuring songs culled from their various albums including the recent Long Live magnum opus on Spinefarm Records, Atreyu’s energy and enthusiasm enveloped the crowd throughout their entire performance. Highwire Daze caught up with the Foundations Fest party on Night 2, and while it was pretty chilly outside the club, the temperature went through the roof by the time Atreyu took over the stage to the refrains of the infamous Willie Wonka tunnel boat theme. Opening their set with the almighty Doomsday from 2007’s breakthrough Lead Sails Paper Anchor, Atreyu proceeded to pummel the audience with a dynamic wall of sound, and multi mosh pitting, crowd surfing and sing-alongs would commence throughout the entire performance.
The membership found within Atreyu remains in top form, and they all seemed genuinely excited to be playing for their local and very ardent fan base. Alex Varkarzas displayed on fiery intensity on lead and unclean vocals, and even told a few interesting jokes in between the songs. Dan Jacobs absolutely dazzles the senses with his brilliant lead guitar work, obviously inspired by many of the hard rocking legends of the 80’s. Travis Miguel colors in the songs with conviction and flair on rhythm guitar while Porter McKnight supplies a pulsating low end on bass. And then there’s Brandon Saller, high above on the risers, supplying an absolutely devastating performance on drums and clean vocals.
Atreyu has been in action since the dawn of the millennium, and in 2016, they remain a sonic force that has inspired many a fan and musician. From Right Side of the Bed and Becoming The Bull all the way to their Bon Jovi cover You Give Love A Bad Name and Lip Gloss and Black, Atreyu unleashed a rock solid performance easily demonstrating why they are so well respected and revered from behind the Orange Curtain and throughout the world.
The Word Alive
Supplying direct support for Atreyu on Saturday night was The Word Alive – another metalcore crowd favorite who has achieved an extremely dedicated fan base over the years. Front man’s Telle Smith’s voice was going to hell in a hand basket quickly due to illness, but that did not even stop him for exuding the passion he is so famous for throughout the entire performance. And even if his voice was not at 110 percent, the audience was definitely helping out by singing along to each and every song. The show did indeed go on – and what extraordinary work from each and every member of The Word Alive!
Entirety and Life Cycles were tunes that received quite a rapturous response from all attendees. Their latest single Overdose seethes with a sense of urgency that is stunning to experience within a live setting. And closing number Trapped showed a band ready to go to the next level within their songwriting prowess – and their fans more than ready and willing to take on the ride.
This was to be drummer extraordinaire Luke Holland’s second to last performance with the band with his final appearance being a hometown show in Arizona. Here is wishing Luke all the best in his future endeavors. At the same time, fans are absolutely thrilled and inspired to see what compelling adventures The Word Alive has in store for everyone in the brand new year! Stayed tuned…
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)