SCREAM IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT 2011, House Of Blues – Sunset Strip, West Hollywood, CA, July 20, 2011
After a successful run last year with Silverstein in the headlining position, Scream It Like You Mean It returned with a vengeance for a second year of rock and roll mayhem. This time with Breathe Carolina and Chiodos co-headlining the event, the tour made its way to the Southland with a stop at the House Of Blues on the Sunset Strip. Doors opened at 5PM, and there would be six bands in all this time around. With so many bands in tow, most of the merch area was located outside, which was perfectly ideal for a warm summer night in the wilds of Hollywood. All of the bands were readily available to chat with fans after their set, and the casual atmosphere between performers and fans added tremendously to the show at hand. Here is what commenced at this year’s edition of Scream It Like You Mean It sponsored by the Rock Star Energy Drink…
THE AIR I BREATHE
Kicking the evening off on a wildly devastating note was The Air I Breathe from New Jersey. Presenting a thrilling brand of metalcore with some wonderfully progressive aspects, the band proceeded to win over a good amount of fans with their thunderous performance. The guitar work was especially memorable with a personality all its own, courtesy of Cam Baptista and Jesse Butler. Front man Tony Dougard displayed a good amount of charisma and conveyed the lyrics with passion and conviction. The rhythm section nearly blew the roof off, performed with dynamic precision by Colin Klika on bass, and Greg Diamond on drums. Songs performed within their too brief set included Desolate and Disowned, Take This To Heart, and Deliverance, all from their Velocity/Rise Records release entitled Great Faith In Fools. A staggering way to start of the show as well as a real heavy treat for the early arrivers. Definitely a band well worth checking out on their own the next time they show up to annihilate the City Of Angels.
The real star making turn of Scream It Like You Mean It 2011 arrived in the form of Mod Sun aka Movement On Dreams x Stand Under None. Based out of Bloomington, MN, Mod Sun (replacing Tek-One at the last minute) and his onstage collaborators performed a chill brand of “hippy hop” that was wildly infectious. Easily winning over a whole new friend base with such magnetic songs as Keep It Movin’ and Paradisity, the vocals performances of Mod Sun and his partner B Rolla really brought down the house. Just about everyone in attendance was jumping up and down and waving their arms in the air. The party was in full swing, and it was obvious that Mod Sun was well on his way to making friends with each and every person in the nearly packed venue. Closing with the hit single worthy No Girlfriend, it was a grand moment of smiles and a celebration of life that even the ultra jaded could appreciate. He invited everyone to an after party, and there is no doubt a good deal of the crowd attended.
THE COLOR MORALE
The Color Morale from Rockford, Illinois was up next. The band plays with a sweeping precision, but vocalist Garret Rapp sounded a bit hoarse (a cold maybe?). This certainly did not affect the passion the House Of Blues audience felt for the band, who assisted Rapp by singing along to each and every song. The Color Morale must be commended for their true “the show must go on spirit.” Rapp spoke many times about believing in your dreams and making things happen, and his words were truly inspirational and heartfelt. Hummaniquin was an especially powerful song from their We All Have Demons release. Here’s hoping Rapp can get his voice back to 100 percent and show the rest of the country just how forthright a live The Color Morale show can be. In addition to Rapp’s still effective showmanship, the dynamic The Color Morale lineup consists of Ramon Mendoza on guitar, John Bross on guitar and vocals, Steve Carey on drums, and Anthony Wick on bass.
I SEE STARS
Ever since their appearance on the Vans Warped Tour last year, I See Stars has found themselves a good amount of loyal fans, who even voted on them for a much coveted spot on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Performing anthem-like rock with hardcore inflections, I See Stars continues to win over the masses with their tuneful songs and energetic live performance. Both The Common Hours pts 1 and 2 were unleashed, as well as their trademark song The End Of The World Party. Devon Oliver has transformed into a tremendously effective front man, possessing both range and depth in his vocal presentation. Brent Allen and Jimmy Gregerson prove to be incredibly resourceful and creative on dueling guitars while Jeff Valentine and Andrew Oliver make for a driving rhythm section. The real scene-stealer here is keyboardist and unclean vocalist Zach Johnson, whose explosive personality and unearthly growls adds a cosmic sense of danger and unpredictability to the proceedings. Judging by the massive crowd reaction, expect these guys to headline a bill such as Scream It Like You Mean It in the near future.
The band with the most to prove on the tour had to be Chiodos from Davison, Michigan. After the departure of their hugely popular vocalist Craig Owens, the band announced Brandon Bolmer of Yesterdays Rising as their new front man. Replacing Owens would be a tall order to be sure, but judging by what was witnessed as the House Of Blues show, Bolmer was more than capable of taking over. Judging by the immense crowd response, Chiodos had already proven themselves even before they took to the stage. Bolmer is definitely a magnetic presence, who sings with a fierce sense of passion. The melodies soared into the stratosphere, with Chiodos performing songs from the recently released Illuminaudio as well as other fan favorites. The current lineup still packs an emotional punch, featuring the aforementioned Bolmer on vocals, Pat McManaman on rhythm guitar, Bradley Bell on keyboards, Matt Goddard on bass, Jason Hale on guitar and Tanner Wayne (ex-Underminded) on drums. A truly memorable set!
Concluding the show was Breathe Carolina from Denver, CO, who brought a full on dance party to the House Of Blues. Combining infectious techno beats with hardcore inflections, Breathe Carolina presented a winning set of tunes and really set the venue spinning in sheer delight. Performing tracks from their just released Hell Is What You Make It collection, the material soars when performed live. David Schmitt conveys the clean vocals with a sense of urgency while Kyle Even presents a vibrant counterpart on mostly screamed vocals. And for the few moments that Even did sing, his voice was absolutely superb. Tunage such as Edge Of Heaven and Blackout showed just how accomplished the band has become as performers and songwriters. Breathe Carolina also presented a wildly impressive cover of Jay Sean song Down, making it all their own. Hell Is What You Make It is sure to be the soundtrack of the summer for many, and Breathe Carolina’s live show and memorable tunes are sure to be remembered well beyond the passing of the season. And thus concluding the second exciting chapter of the Scream It Like You Mean It saga. Hopefully the tour will be back around again next year for even more thrill and chills.
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)