I’m trying to think of all the bands that I’ve seen and trust me, there are many. August Burns Red and Miss May I both have to be in my top ten as far as amount of times seen. Just from the many tours and festivals, you have to admire bands that work their collective asses off for their fans. It’s always a solid show, which is why I had to attend the Frozen Flame Tour at Irving Plaza. Now, Irving Plaza hosts a lot of shows from a lot of different genres, but it was nice to see the metal heads get their shake on a cold Friday night.
The first band of the night was metal-core band, Erra, hailing from Birmingham, Alabama. I didn’t know too much about this band at first, but I’m glad I caught their set. They played songs off their newest EP, Moment of Clarity, and their first album, Augment. The crowd seemed to really get into the song “Frostbite”. As it was 6 pm and the night was just getting started, the band got the New York crowd properly warmed up for a long night of headbanging to come.
Next up on the bill was Fit For A King, who came out in solidarity with FFAK jackets on. Bassist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary was really animated throughout the whole set, which made for some great shows. Singer Ryan Kirby commanded the stage, especially during the band’s foray into “The Resistance,” which if off their Creation / Destruction album. This is where the crowd started to peak into its rowdy nature. The last song, “Warpath”, added to the collective fire that they started.
Following up were Australian rockers Northlane. I’m always interested to see the crowd reaction that bands from overseas get when they come to America, and it was rather strong here. Fans sang along to songs like “Masquerade” and “World Eater”. I was also interested to hear the band with new vocalist Marcus Bridge and it sounded like he had been in the band for years. This was definitely apparent in the performance of the band’s new song, “Rot”.
Miss May I, hailing from Ohio, just meant business in every sense of the word. They’ve always reminded me of an older metal band from the 80’s, so for me, they’ve always had that battle tested presence every time I’ve seen them perform. Opening up with “Hey Mister” to a dark backdrop of lights, the excitement was on to 110%. Singer Levi Benton’s stage presence was insane as fans really started to ratchet up the crowd surfing. Songs like “Hero With No Name”, which they dedicated to the army, and “Relentless Chaos” really showcased the band’s energy.
Out came our headlining band, August Burns Red, to a synchronized percussion opening of “White Washed” from bassist Dustin Davidson and drummer Matt Greiner. Within their hour long set, there were many fan favorites that turned the crowd into a free-for-all, like “Thirty and Seven” and “Marianas Trench” from the band’s 2009 Constellations album. Lead singer Jake Luhrs stood on the platforms at times to swing the mic and, with that, going right into flawless unclean vocals. They ended the night with “Empire”, where ABR absolutely gave their all to Irving Plaza.
With the sold out show, there was a cohesive feeling between the band and fans who lined up around the block to get into this show – and it was COLD. Some of these bands identify themselves as Christian bands, but just like music, people from all walks, and I’m sure denominations, got together for four-plus hours to sing, scream, and crowd surf with their favorite bands. That’s what music is all about, isn’t it?