Photos and Review by Brian Gallo
Asking Alexandria Photos HERE
Upon A Burning BodyPhotos HERE
Chelsea GrinPhotos HERE
Asking Alexandria is currently on tour supporting their latest album “From Death To Destiny”. The opening acts for the Wesbter Theater show in Hartford, CT were The Family Ruin, Upon A Burning Body, Chelsea Grin and Blessthefall.
Arriving at exactly 5:30PM for scheduled opening of doors the line wrapped the corner. Having been to many shows at the Webster Theater, this one had the longest line of people I have seen there in quite some time. Right away you can see the younger average age of the crowd. Also right away I saw the many many tee shirts showing the band they came to support, many of which were Asking Alexandria.
Once inside I looked to the Underground where the band there was already jamming out. I saw it crammed in with people and decided to head to the main stage and just wait the little bit out. Walking into the main stage I was met with a gathering of others that was already bigger than the last two shows I have been at there and the night was still early with many still arriving. By 6:15 PM, the crowd was building with eagerness and the calls and chants were beginning already, they were ready for bands on the stage.
The Family Ruin was first to greet this packed house. I had never heard them until tonight and I will be the first to say I was a fan before I was done photo shooting, I was finding it a tough time to photo shoot and be a fan cause they were tearing it up. By the third song, the first pit of the night formed and the crowd never looked back from there. If you have not heard them I highly recommend you do. If you get a chance to see these guys live, I for sure recommend it.
Upon A Burning Body was next to hit the stage. They came out in their unique look of suits and were ready to perform as they always are. The level they performed was no less than the level that they gave at Mayhem over the summer. Needless to say the crowd was loud and going with crowd surfing and mosh pits making it pure metal madness now. Lead vocalist Johnny Mennel from The Family Ruin joined forces with them to perform “Texas Blood Money”. After photo shooting and making my way back to the crowd I noticed the house was fully packed and the crowd’s energy can be felt. During “Sin City” the strange masked man who was watching from back stage made his vocal appearance. Their last song had the place at a whole new level. I looked over to see a sea of bodies floating across the top of the crowd to the stage, so many the up front guards were having a tough time catching them all.
Hitting the stage next was none other than Chelsea Grin. At once it was another sea of bodies surfing to the front making it hard to photo shoot with so many crashing over the barrier hitting us from behind. The bass was thumping my body hard and and pure metal can be felt. During “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” the crowd had reached it’s highest peak of energy again with bodies being tossed higher and higher in the air while surfing.
By now the crowd was ready for the last two acts. The stage crew was great at quick set changes and keeping the show moving along. I have to note between Chelsea Grin and Blessthefall they played pop music. This crowd was eating it up singing and dancing just as loud as they were to the bands performing.
Blessthefall hit the stage and the crowd was met with a shower of water. Vocalist Beau Bokan stood on the crowd and sang like a true rocker. The fans held him high and proud. When he was back on stage between songs he announced this was becoming his favorite show to date. He announced the latest album and then asked for the crowd to surf to the front and high five him. Once again you could not keep count of how many bodies were floating to the front and he was high fiving them all as promised. Next song up he wanted to see the ladies on shoulders like old school metal shows which security quickly asked them to get down for safety reasons. The pit that followed was the biggest of the night for any band. They even performed the wall of death, splitting the crowd in half and BOOM.
Finally it was time for the headliners. The music changed and Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” pumped through the speakers. The crowd was ready and even had crowd surfers before the band hit the stage. Europe’s “The Final Countdown” was up next and the crowd knew what was coming. Coor’s light, water bottles, picks, set lists were ready. Asking Alexandria took the stage with “Don’t Pray For Me”. After photo shooting, the massive crowd was tough to get through and I was allowed to stand stage side where I found myself next to Danny Worsnop‘s lady who watched the entire show in full support. They tore through hit after hit with the crowd singing along louder and louder. Set list included: Run Free, A Lesson Never Learned, Breathless, To The Stage, Break Down The Walls, Someone Somewhere, Moving On, A Prophecy, Not The American Average, and The Final Episode. On stage fun antics were being had between the band which the crowd enjoyed. The band even allowed a fan Louis to ask his girl Evelyn to marry him. She said yes! The band performed three encore songs: Killing You, The Death Of Me, and Poison. During the final song the pit was a giant circle of held hands and skipping. One giant AA family.
In final, an amazing line up with quick stage changes made for an epic night of metal.
Photos and Review by Brian Gallo