WE CAME AS ROMANS: October 30, 2021, at Skyway Theater in Minneapolis, MN

Metalcore fans all around Minnesota gathered together Saturday night to watch an amazing show in “The Lyric,” a new room at the Skyway Theater in downtown Minneapolis.  Over the last several years, more and more bands are finding success in doing tenth-anniversary tours of their most successful albums.  Albeit a little late, (due to cancellations with the pandemic) Troy, Michigan natives, We Came As Romans have been performing their 2009 debut, “To Plant a Seed” in its entirety for fans all across the country. 

The first band to open the night was fellow Michigan band, Hollow Front.  This four-piece has only been a band for about five years now, but they seem to know what they are doing.  As the band took the stage, the crowd began to cheer and the opening notes of “Afflicted” began to play.  I was delighted to watch how animated drummer Devin Attard was behind the kit.  Not only did he play with the intensity of Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin, but his stick spins kept us all lusting for more.  The band continued with “Loose Threads,” “Vagabond,” and “Wearing Thin.” To close their set, they played their latest single, “Treading Water.”  I go to a lot of live shows, and generally speaking, I’m not very impressed by a lot of the newer opening acts, but Hollow Front was an exception.  These guys are passionate, talented, and know how to keep a room full of people engaged.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this band headlining their own tour within the next year or two.  

Next up was the California post-hardcore band, Dayseeker.  The band’s 2019 interlude song, “The Embers Glow” played through the speakers as we watched the silhouettes of all four members take their places on stage.  As the intro ended, the band immediately transitioned into “The Color Black.”  Frontman Rory Rodriguez paced on stage as he belted out vocals that sounded nearly identical live as they do on the band’s records.  Drummer Mike Karle pounded On his kick pedal as they transitioned into “Gates of Ivory.” The crowd stayed active throughout “Crooked Soul,” but the ambiance of the theater was brought low for a while as the band played the slower-paced, yet equally heavy songs, “Burial Plot” and “Drunk.”  The West coast quartet ended their set with “Sleeptalk,” the anthem song of everyone who has had relationship issues.  Every person familiar with this band was singing along to the chorus.

The next band to step into the spotlight was the metalcore giants, The Devil Wears Prada.  I have seen this band quite a few times since they appeared on the scene in 2005 and they just get better each tour.  Their set started out with “Nightfall,” their second single from their latest EP, “Zombie II.”  This band really brings an intensity in their live shows- the crowd gets wild and the circle pits abound.  The band played fan favorites such as “Outnumbered,” “Born to Lose,” and “Mammoth,” as well as newer songs like “Chemical,” “Line of Your Hands,” and “Forlorn.”

One of the highlights in this show was hearing the band’s latest single, “Sacrifice.”  The song was released on September 29th and blends the sound of The Act and ZII. The fans loved its catchy chorus and the sick breakdown to end the song.  Before the band’s set came to a close, these six musicians decided to treat their oldest fans with their 2007 hit, “Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?”  The guys in the circle pits mustered up the last bit of energy they had for the band’s closing song, “Danger: Wildman.”  The Devil Wears Prada writes amazing albums, but if you want to understand how amazing this band really is, you need to see their live show.  

The crowd got a short, yet much-needed break as the stage crew prepared for the headlining band.  We Came As Romans opened with my personal favorite and their debut album’s title track, “To Plant a Seed.” The stage was really done up-there were risers set up for the band to play higher, leafy vines adorned the stage to give an ambiance of things growing (This is the “To Plant a Seed anniversary tour after all), and the CO2 machines shot out smoke accordingly.  On most of the album anniversary tours I’ve seen, the bands have decided to play the album straight through in its entirety.  We Came As Romans is the exception.  They proceeded to play track two, “Broken Statues,” but then skipped ahead to play track six, “We Are the Reasons.”  

In addition to playing every song on their anniversary album, the band broke up the To Plant a Seed set with “Wasted Age,” and “Lost in the Moment,” from their fifth studio album, “Cold Like War,” and “Hope,” and “Tracing Back Roots” from their 2013 album of the same name.  The band’s latest single, “Blackhole,” was also played. Although the band first played this song live a month ago, this was the first time Minnesotans heard this song live and everyone loved it. The band finished their set with “An Ever-Growing Wonder” but the crowd was not satisfied and demanded an encore.  The band returned to play “Promise Me” and “Cold Like War” -songs from their latest album and the crowd continued to fill the theater with incredible energy. The night ended with the band’s spirited single, “Darkbloom.” There was not a disappointed metalhead in the hot and humid Skyway Theater that night.  It was unforgettable. 

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