THE HOLLOW TOUR with MEMPHIS MAY FIRE, US FROM OUTSIDE, THIS ROMANTIC TRAGEDY, THIS DAY WILL TELL, The Whisky, April 27, 2011
The Hollow Tour made its way to the Southland, including a whirlwind stop at the world famous Whisky on the Sunset Strip. Proving that too much of a good thing can be wonderful, four superb bands shared the bill on a Wednesday night, all contributing greatly to the success of this particular tour.
The Whisky also had four local bands opening the show, including Lompoc’s Bears Among Men and Los Angeles’ own Stand As Giants presenting impressive opening sets for the touring package.
We will definitely check out shows of both those bands in future daze. It was now time for the various bands on The Hollow Tour to perform, and their collective sets were anything but hollow.
Kicking off the show on a glorious note was Too Late The Hero from Southern Maine, presenting a rock solid set or melodic hardcore anthems. A very long way from home, it was great to see the Los Angeles audience giving them such a warm reception. Performing tracks from their recently released Statement Of Purpose CD on ReThink Records, Too Late The Hero amped the energy level way up to a 10. Songs such as Life Is Fiction and The Ground Is Lava really made the early arrivers take notice. Especially impressive were the impassioned vocal inflections of Jared Wilbur, as well as the fiery performances from Jack Stolz and Kevin Billingslea on dueling guitars. Bringing it all home with a vengeance was rhythm section Nate Duckworth on bass and Aaron Caple on drums. Too Late The Hero hit an infinite grand slam with the closing number Hold Your Applause, destined to become a true fan favorite.
This Romantic Tragedy from Las Vegas went through a dramatic lineup change that was well documented throughout the Internet. Judging by the terrific tunes heard at the Whisky, the band has surely triumphed over adversity, and are ready to rock! Fans of entities such as I See Stars and Asking Alexandria are sure to meet a brand new favorite when encountering the passionate songs and intensive live performances of This Romantic Tragedy. It’s not going to be long until this Sin City collective is headlining their own tours. Opening with the staggering You’re Just A Trend, the supersonic live show and light spectacular definitely gained the band a good deal of notice. New vocalist Sean Neumann has a soaring vocal range and delivered the clean vocals with a strong sense of conviction. Equally impressive was lead screamer Chad Dague, whose explosive delivery was gripping to behold. David Diaz and Kyle Huender were supremely effective in their guitar parts while bassist Evan Eliis and drummer Mark Neuhardt made for a tremendously tight rhythm section. Standout songs unleashed included Such Simple Words, The Warning, and the title cut from their upcoming Tragic Hero album Reborn. A wonderfully charismatic band with the material to back it all up, expect very great things for This Romantic Tragedy within the months to come.
Although this reviewer was not familiar with Us, From Outside, many attendees in the audience apparently were, and sang along to each and every song played by this Philadelphia, PA based band. On the more melodic side of the spectrum until the wild screams kicked in, the tunes were incredibly infectious and memorable. The band has an album entitled Inspired By The Threat Of Failure on Tragic Hero Records, but their live performance was much more of a triumph. Vocalist Michael Crimlis has a classic singing voice that perfectly conveys the emotions of the tunes – one can see Crimlis more than capable of doing any style of music. Stealing the show was definitely keyboardist and screamer Tommy Sawyer, whose sheer enthusiasm and showmanship was fantastic to witness. You were not going to see Sawyer tucked timidly away behind his instrument – that was for sure! The entire musicianship of Us, For Outside was effective and precise – one could easily see that these guys are ready to headline their very own shows. On the last song, the screamers from both This Romantic Tragedy and Too Late The Hero were invited up onstage to perform with Us, From Outside, and the moment was a good deal of fun to watch.
There was a grand and celebratory tone when Memphis May Fire hit the Whisky stage shortly before 11PM. Their Rise Records debut The Hollow had been released the day before, and judging by the excitement going on throughout the crowd as well as their numbers, the Dallas, TX based band had earned the privilege of playing a headlining show at the legendary Whisky on the Sunset Strip. Hard work and perseverance has paid off, and this could the year Memphis May Fire scorches their way into the big leagues. Vocalist Matty Mullins has certainly developed into a remarkable front man, clearly cementing his position within the May Fire and beyond. His easygoing nature combined with his staggeringly impassioned singing and screaming made for a truly winning performance. Kellen McGregor and Ryan Bentley supplied a gigantic wall of sound on guitars. The thunderous rhythm section was courtesy of drummer Jake Garland and bassist Cory Elder. Yet another star making night at the Whisky that many a music fan will remember for quite a long time.
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)