It was 2010 at a little concert venue called the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia. The venue was a bit cramped, a bit steamy, but just a right amount of space for a chaotic show The Devil Wears Prada embarked on the Back To Roots Tour, where they played songs from their 2006 debut album, Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord. I had gone to a few TDWP shows in the past, but something about this show exhibited that no matter how big the quintet from Dayton, Ohio got, there was always a semblance of community they could come back to.
Fast forward six years to the spacious confines of the grand ballroom of Webster Hall. The fans were a little older — the old TDWP tee shirts were traded in for leather jackets and beanies, but there was still the feeling that these shows were a deeply, personal experience. While the show was not sold out, there was a good amount of people who had been keeping up with each band throughout the years.
Silverstein peppered their set list with a good amount of beloved songs like “Smile in Your Sleep” and “Massachusetts”. If anything, you got to hear how vast the band’s catalogue really is as you realize that the Canadian post-hardcore band has been plugging away for 16 years. The band has recently released a new song called “Ghost” that they have been playing live. If the new song is any indication of a possible 2017 release, we can expect another solid effort in a long line of consistent material.
“Carry On,” a song from Memphis May Fire‘s upcoming album, This Light I Hold, propelled the band into an hour long set that kept the crowd active. There were video screens in the background that projected images from MMF’s videos and added to an almost, animistic atmosphere clashing with the red lights. “Prove Me Right”, off the band’s 2012 album, Challenger, has always been a crowd favorite. Lead singer Matty Mullins easily transitioned between his clean and unclean vocals while clutching the mic stand in his trademark side manner.
For any TDWP enthusiast, the hour-long set was the conjuring of aggression that you were probably wishing for. The first four songs expressed that the band were ready to get to business. Two songs from Zombie EP, “Outnumbered” and “Anatomy”, beckoned an uptick of crowd surfing as the band viciously tore through both songs.
The second single from TDWP’s new album, Transit Blues, “To the Key of Evergreen” was a telling sign of how far the band has come. Despite losing some founding members, songs like “To the Key of Evergreen” and “Flyover States” shows the depth in-between the edge — especially live. For older fans, there was a medley of songs including “Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over”,”Reptar, King of the Ozone”, and “HTML Rulez D00D”.
If the night was any indication, it’s that as these bands keep on releasing material, there are fans that will embrace both the old and new. Each of the three may not headline an arena. However, at this point, I don’t think they even need to do that, as they have found their own semblance of success.