I don’t recall attending a concert after a tragedy. Literally a night before, the evil tragedy in Paris happened within the Bataclan Concert Hall where 89 fans were brutally killed. There was a moment before Parkway Drive‘s set where the spotlights came together in the colors of France’s national flag. Chants of “U.S.A.” rang out inside Irving Plaza and there were pretty much a cluster of nationalities at the sold out stop of the Ire tour. For this night, it was a little bit more than your regular concert, but more so a uniting for the undying love for music in the face of fear.
For me personally, Parkway Drive was the first ever band I took pictures of on a faithful July day at Warped Tour 2014 with a kit lens. It was good to come back full circle with one of my favorite bands from the metalcore genre. Australian deathcore band Thy Art Is Murder played their set basking in dark purple and sometimes green light that set the mood for their music. For the first two songs, the fans intently watched, but by the third song it started to liven up a bit. “I’m going to f*cking jump on you!” screams lead singer Chris “CJ” McMahon as he proceeded to climb the balcony stage area in a declaration to the crowd. Like many rock fans dreams, he jumped into the front of the crowd and I have to give the fans a 9 for catching him.
Miss May I is a band I’m very much acquainted with this year. Previously taking pictures of their run with August Burns Red back in January and two Warped Tour stops, I always appreciated their energetic and business-like approach to shows. This time around, they played a couple of tracks off of their recent album, Deathless like “Bastards Left Behind” and “Turn Back The Time”. It was pretty good to hear the change-up in the set list to those who are digging the new album as well as their older material.
With the time that we waited for PD to set up, chants of “Destroyer” were already in full force. With the white strobe lights that lit up the backdrop and drum kit of Ben “Gaz” Gordon, the band launched into their hour-long set. “Karma” and “Deliver Me” are my personal favorites from their 2010 release, Deep Blue. That was the initial album that got me into their music. They played some new songs from their new album, Ire and some old favorites like “Carrion”. Resident badass, lead guitarist Jeff Ling played from a wheelchair the entire set and didn’t miss a beat.
As I said in my editorial about the Paris attacks that somehow, someway, the show must go on.The Ire tour did it with fury, style, and a lasting impression that the music is stronger than the terror.