This show sold out well in advance, so Every Time I Die didn't even really need any sort of big support acts on this small club tour. Thus, they were able to tap up-and-comers Howl and Trap Them, and this particular venue had a fairly low ceiling, no barricade and a stage you could boost yourself onto easily. If you've been bitter about Every Time I Die for any reason in the last few years, maybe this would bless it with some sweetness.
Howl wasn't totally my thing, but it didn't mean everyone else in the crowd wasn't going to bang heads through the course of the band's sledgehammering half-hour. And I did, anyway. The Relapse act barreled through heavy, mid-tempo, death and black-tinged metal. The wall of sound was something like a less appealing Baroness, but the band managed to do a fine job of building some early momentum for the show.
I was comparatively excited for Trap Them. With their signing to Prosthetic last year, the band's seemed to navigate more toward the underground metal crowd from the Deathwish/metallic hardcore niche it once seemed they were going to take over. But this set still largely seemed to stylistically nod towards that brutal, Converge-leaning metallic hardcore sound, with their toes dipped more into the metal pool (and a bunch of newer songs with the occasional flash of something more melodic and straightforward). Still, the band certainly wasn't pandering--frontman Ryan McKenney kicked off the set with a front-flip stagedive into the crowd, probably much to the chagrin of everyone he knocked over. And this set was where the pit fully opened up, with McKenny inciting a circle pit at one point; I'm not sure if anyone dancing was actually a fan of the band, but they showed Trap Them some love by moving around plenty. Hell, I'm a fan of the band and couldn't recite a single lyric, though, so there's that. It appeared the band's vicious 30 minutes or so had sufficiently warmed up the already muggy room of Webster Hall's lower Studio floor. It helps that Trap Them basically rip live and on record, too.
Then ETID took the stage to a hungry, very raucous audience. Before the band was even out on stage, the floor had opened up yet again, expanding back to just in front of the merch tables. The venue was small enough to be a mere bystander and still have a fair vantage point, but it was still hard not to get swarmed up in some rush for every frenzied, spastic cut the band dug out from Hot Damn! and New Junk Aesthetic or grungy motorcycle rocker they culled from Gutter Phenomenon and The Big Dirty. I was really hoping the intimate atmosphere would inspire the band to pull out something from Last Night in Town on this tour (or maybe that Nirvana cover), but alas, no dice. Still, for the first time at an Every Time I Die show in a long time (The Living Room in Providence, 2004 maybe?), it felt like a hardcore show. You know...sort of.
Keith Buckley tried to make it that way, anyway. He demanded stage dives like a Scott Vogel descendant and had no problems with kids running across the stage and nearly stomping out his guitarists' precious few pedals. The band only played a scant 46 minutes, but they kept up the energy levels for the whole pace, so it was easy to give them the benefit of a quality-over-quantity compliment.
The set list was mostly New Junk Aesthetic jams, including highlights like "Who Invited the Russian Soldier?" and "For the Record," but they dipped into the previous three albums well enough, taking two or three off each. I have mixed-to-approving view of the band's discography overall, but this seemed to be a fair enough mix. This was definitely one of the better atmospheres to see the band, and the crowd wasn't quite as bad as one might expect, either.
Set list (10:00-10:46):
- After One Quarter of a Revolution
- Bored Stiff
- She's My Rushmore
- No Son of Mine
- Roman Holiday
- The Marvelous Slut
- For the Record
- Apocalypse Now and Then
- The New Black
- Who Invited the Russian Soldier?