The Rise Records Freshmen Class of ’12 Tour with The Air I Breathe, My Ticket Home, Hands Like House, Palisades, Our Reflections, You Only Live Once, and From The Sky Down, The Whisky, May 13, 2012
The Rise Records Freshman Class of ’12 Tour made its way to the world famous Whisky a Go Go on the infamous Sunset Strip. The commencement included four newer bands from the Rise Records roster as well as three local acts in support. One the fastest growing labels on the music scene today, Rise Records has launched the careers such noted alumni as The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack!, and Drop Dead, Gorgeous. Any one of the bands in this year’s Freshman Class could be voted most likely to succeed on their own roads to success, just like the Rise Records trailblazers of the past and present.
Due to problems at the door, we were unable to catch From the Sky Down’s opening set. From the looks of it, they appear to have a good deal of fans and actually sounded pretty terrific as we waited outside to clear up guest list credentials. We will definitely check out From The Sky Down’s live show in future days, so stay tuned! Be sure to catch From The Sky Down at the Chain Reaction on June 24th!
YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE
The first thing one notices about You Only Live Once from Los Angeles is the super brutal vocals of Stephanie IsIs. Screaming out in the grand tradition of Angela Gossow of the mighty Arch Enemy, you just don’t expect that voice to be emitting out from what appears to be nice young lady. What an absolutely stunning, charismatic presence!
Ariel Sanson supplies a wonderful juxtaposition on clean lead vocals, the two front women making for a lethal combination. Ms. Sanson has been seen on TV shows such as America’s Got Talent and The X Factor.
The rest of the band was in top form, with Valentine and Jaffy shredding it into oblivion on dueling guitars, and bassist Luis and drummer Jared Salazar driving it all home with super tight beats. Top song in the set was the closing number Take My Hand, leaving an indelible impression on all of the early arrivals. We’ll definitely be checking this band out again!
Our Reflections drove up for Mexicali to perform a stunning set of deathcore that nearly leveled the venerable Whisky. On the heavier side of the metal spectrum, this band would definitely be at home opening for the likes of Suicide Silence and Chelsea Grin.
Songs such as Distance And Horizons and Through Your Lies were memorable, clearly showing a band ready to break out in a big and glorious way.
Clearly the most brutal collective of the night, the talented Our Reflections lineup consists of Chris on vocals, Heri and Roger sharing lead guitar duties, Juan Angel shredding it up like a demon on bass, Ali on drums, and Jr. on keyboards. This tremendously talented band is tighter than hell, and surely gained a whole new assortment of fans with their wildly spirited presentation. Here’s hoping we see more of Our Reflections here in the Los Angeles area and beyond.
It was now time for the Rise Records bands to take over the stage, and Palisades from New Jersey kicked off the ceremony with a vengeance. Playing a set comprised of tunes from their dynamic Rise Records debut EP entitled I’m Not Dying Today, the performance definitely brought the room to ultra vivid life. Louis Miceli is a powerful front man, presenting the lyrical content with a stunning mix of passion and intensity.
Highlights of the set included the introspective Seamless Endings and the massive assault of the killer Wolves. The set was nothing short of thrilling, easily introducing to the City Of Angels a band that could very well be headlining their own shows when they pass through next time.
A perfect combination of melody and all-out intensity, with impassioned lyrics and equally crucial instrumental implementations rendering this band quite a standout. In addition to the aforementioned Miceli on lead vocals, the Palisades connection consists of Matt Marshall on guitar, Xavier Adames on guitar and vocals, Earl Halasan in guitars and programming, Brandon Reese on bass, and Aaron Rosa on drums.
HANDS LIKE HOUSES
From Down Under to glittering Tinseltown arrived Hands Like House, ready to rock the Whisky with their stunning brand of pop punk and rock anthems. The Canberra collective opened their set with Antarctica and proceeded to play selections from their well received Rise Records debut Ground Dweller.
Showing that diversity within the Freshman Class on Rise Records, Hands Like Houses possesses a dynamic strength in both clean vocals and wildly infectious melodies. A decisive stand out song was The Definition Of Not Leaving, a slower track that possessed a passion and honesty that swept rapturous throughout the Whisky venue.
They are certainly a long way from home, but Hands Like Houses will be spending a good amount of time here in the States. Their next big tour will be Scream It Like You Mean It 2012 with We Came As Romans, Attack Attack! and many others, so there will be plenty of chances to catch up with this band once again. With songs this impressive and timely, expect Hands Like House to have a long and prosperous career far beyond the Freshman Class of ’12!
MY TICKET HOME
First of all, I need to be painfully honest here and say that after their outstanding clean vocalist Sean Mackowski parted ways for seemingly greener pastures as touring member of Attack Attack!, it looked like curtains for My Ticket Home. Mackowski’s clean vocals on their Rise Records debut full length To Create A Cure contributed greatly to the band’s wonderfully impassioned and unique sound. That being said, do not even dare to write My Ticket Home off, as this Columbus, Ohio collective presented the most thrilling, mesmerizing set of the night at the legendary Whisky a Go Go.
Nick Giumenti is a supremely charismatic front man, screaming with a force of passion and enthusiasm that really had the crowd responding. Newest member Derek Blevins had some big shoes to fill on guitar and clean vocals, and he does so with a stunning sense of professionalism and conviction. Matt Gallucci performed some impressive guitar work while Luke Fletcher on bass and Marshal Giumenti on drums unleashed a powerhouse rhythm section.
Songs such as A New Breed and Who Is 67? are destined to become lasting genre favorites, and really ignited the mosh pit! Rise Records has another soon to be monstrously successful band on their hands with My Ticket Home. It will be exciting what journeys the future has in store for this thoroughly compelling band. To Create A Cure remains one of the best metalcore records of 2012 and My Ticket Home is rides into the future as an entity that is not to be missed!
THE AIR I BREATHE
Headlining The Rise Records Freshmen Class of ’12 Tour was The Air I Breathe – hanging in there in spite of personnel departures that would suffocate any less dedicated collective. With most of the members being from other bands on the tour, vocalist Tony Dougard was there in full force, using the apparent bands changes to a gloriously cathartic effect. Delivering a heartfelt performance, Dougard and whoever else was left in the band closed out the night with a sonic blast.
Opening with Take This To Heart, The Air I Breathe slammed through a short yet impressive set of tunes from their recently released Great Faith In Fools collection. The lead guitar work is the band is especially noteworthy and heroic, in the grand stylings of the great Yngwie Malmsteen.
Highlights including XIII, Deliverance, and the wonderfully triumphant Here’s To Letting Go. A dramatic, emotional ending to a memorable night of rock and metalcore on the Sunset Strip!
(Review by Kenneth Morton – Photos by Adam Gendler)