It’s crazy when you have a concert bill of this quality. Usually, you have your main act and then some opening acts that are maybe on par, but this whole show was stacked from top to bottom. Each band, from We Came As Romans to Sleepwave, complemented each other extremely well at the Gramercy Theatre, upping the energy level with each performance. There wasn’t a bored fan in the house. The night started off with Sleepwave, a band I was seeing for the first time. They played a nine song set from Broken Compass, their debut album that was released last year. The first song they played was “Rock and Roll is Dead”, where Spencer Chamberlain commanded the crowd from that point forward. The set capped off with “Through The Looking Glass” where Chamberlain screamed the last lyrics and jumped into the crowd, which would be a recurring theme of the night.
The next band was Slaves, a new band that is fronted by singer Jonny Craig. Craig sounded really strong live; it feels good to see him happy. He even thanked the crowd for helping him get clean of his previous drug addictions. Music is the healing force for a lot of people. They tore through a short set highlighting songs from their debut album, Through Art We Are All Equals.
Then Chiodos erupted the stage, and like every veteran band should, they played the show like pros. Chiodos played an hour long set that covered newer songs like “3 AM” and old favorites like “A Letter from Janelle”. There was a part during the concert where singer Craig Owens thanked all of the fans for supporting independent rock music, and from the feeling of the entire night, you understood it.
Within the basement of The Gramercy Theatre, each band had a merch tent and whenever they were done with their set, they hung out and talked to each of their fans. I got a personal feeling from each of the fans I talked to during this show. That connection is very special.
The last band of the night, We Came As Romans, were introduced with a large chant from the crowd before entering the stage. The first song was “To Plant a Seed”, which prompted some crowd surfing here and there. They even performed their “I Knew You Were Trouble” cover, which actually sounded pretty good live. Every WCAR show I’ve seen, whether it be at a festival or standalone, was solid. This time it was no different.
Like I said before, it’s rare that you get a bill this solid from top to bottom. There were kids (and adults) covered in sweat from non-stop dancing and belting of lyrics. Each band came, saw, and conquered in their own collective way and I fathom that you would probably see a lineup like this at a festival setting.