The Word Alive, Myka, Relocate, Asylus, The Glass House, November 9, 2014
The Word Alive made their way into town, headlining the Get Real Tour at The Glass House on a Sunday night in Downtown Pomona. The venue was packed to the rafters, even for the opening bands. And what a tremendous lineup The Word Alive brought along, including the likes of The Color Morale, Our Last Night, The Dead Rabbitts, and Myka, Relocate. With this many exciting bands packed on one touring package, the elation throughout the venue could be felt tenfold. Southern California was about to truly Great Real in a glorious way, with each band presenting topnotch performances throughout the night.
The first act to hit the stage was not on the touring package at all, and yet Asylus from Orange County captivated the early arrivals with a wondrously solid performance. Opening their short yet combustible set with You Should’ve Yelled Fire, Asylus ignited the room with an exhilaration that was highly infectious. Just as talented as anyone on the touring package, the explosive compositions Asylus unleash including Endeavors, The Sacrifice, and To Whom It May Concern. And while there was apparently a good amount audience members familiar with Asylus, there is little doubt this collective gained even more converts. The resourceful Asylus membership consists of Tyler Casanova on vocals. Nicholas Miller on vocals and bass, Jordan Damasco on guitar, Alan Hernandez on guitar, and Mel Torres on drums. Stay tuned, because with songs this memorable and a band this charismatic, we are destined to hear a lot more from Asylus in the months ahead!
Through one band’s misfortune arrived another band’s destiny, and there is no one who deserved this opening slot on the Get Real Tour more than Myka, Relocate. This hard working band from Houston, Texas has been paying their dues for a few years now, playing in small clubs all across the nation. With a chance to reach this many people, Myka, Relocate took the opportunity and presented a show that was nothing short of mesmerizing. And while it is routine to have two front men doing the clean vocals and the screams, the duo who inhabit Myka, Relocate really stand out in an otherwise overcrowded genre. Screamer John Ritter exudes a ton of depth and intensity, his growls thundering throughout the cavernous Glass House. And then there’s clean vocalist Michael Swank, whose emotive singing soars into the stratosphere. Keeping it real with an all-out vengeance were Luke Burleigh on bass, Austin Dore’ on guitar, Josh Peltier on guitar, and Aaron Robertson on drums. Their current album Lies To Light The Way remains one of the most vastly underrated post hardcore album in recent years, but expect that all to change if they keep on winning over the bigger crowds on the Get Real Tour. Highlights of the set included Something To Dream About and Useless. A triumphant performance to be sure – and if you wanted to meet the two front men, they hung out at the merch booth all night long taking pictures and greeting fans old and new.
After impressive sets from The Dead Rabbitts, Our Last Night, and The Color Morale, it was time for the headliner to arrive on stage. And amidst a stunning light show, The Word Alive presented an explosive set that sent the room into a frenzy. From the opening strains of Broken Circuit, the mosh pit went wild, and those who weren’t slamming into each other were singing along joyously to the anthem-like songs. Play The Victim and Lighthouse were especially exhilarating, showing The Word Alive at their most compelling both lyrically and sonically. One of the big surprises of the set was when Luke Holland was left alone on the stage, and did a fantastic drum solo performance to the Skrillex song Cinema. It was like one of his mega-popular YouTube videos coming to ultra-vivid life. Such a dazzling display of talent from one of the very best young drummers on the scene today.
Another stunning highlight was the impassioned Never Forget, about a song about celebrating the life of friends and family who are no longer with us today – not a slow heart-wrenching tune, but one filled with exultation, and a beat that makes you want to take on the world. “I’d rather die than live a life without meaning,” vocalist Telle Smith then sang passionately, launching into their dynamically inspiring Life Cycles anthem. This one always packs an emotional punch when presented live, and no matter how many times an audience has heard it in the past, the tune still retains an emotional wallop.
As a unit, The Word Alive remains one of the most compelling, hardworking collectives on the planet. There is so much heart and conviction to be found within each and every member of The Word Alive collective, featuring the gripping performances of Telle Smith on vocals, Tony Pizzuti on guitar and vocals, Zack Hansen on guitar and vocals, Daniel Shapiro on bass and vocals, and Luke Holland on drums. Be sure to check out The Word Alive’s latest auditory epic entitled Real., out now from Fearless Records!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)