New Year’s Day in November – Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT

Photos by Holly Borden, Review by Kat Gullage


New Years Day was the exclusive assignment, so didn’t want to be late. Got there 45 minutes before they took the stage. This is a big fucking deal because I am always inadvertently late. The parking lot was already packed. Only enough room left for cars, big ass trucks and SUVs were outta luck. Cruised through a high-tech metal detector where I didn’t even have to take my keys, lighter and phone outta my pockets.

Formed in Anaheim, CA, in 2005, New Year’s Day gained popularity through their successful campaign on the now-obsolete social media platform MySpace, amassing a significant following. Fans, affectionately known as ‘Creeps’, have supported them since their first studio LP “My Dear” in 2007. It took six years for their second album “Victim to Villain” to release, followed by “Malevolence” in 2015 and “Unbreakable” in 2019. Their fifth album, “Half Black Heart,” is set to release on March 1, 2024, and is currently available for pre-order on their website:

New Year’s Day’s music encompasses various genres: scenecore, melodic metalcore, pop, and gothic metal. Their hard rock music, pop-infused vocals, and slasher movie pageantry set them apart. The band has seen many members come and go, with some returning. The constant presence since their inception is the charismatic vocalist Ash Costello. Joining her that night were Nikki Misery on lead guitar, Brandon Wolfe on bass, Jeremy Valentyne on rhythm guitar, and Trixx Daniel on drums.

The pit and lower seating areas were packed with fans, while the upper sections were about forty percent full, with latecomers likely struggling to find parking. The venue, with a capacity of approximately 4600, was buzzing with excitement. A passionate fan, Alec, was there specifically for New Year’s Day, despite them opening for Avatar, In This Moment, and Ice Nine Kills on the Kiss Of Death tour. New Year’s Day started on time, offering five songs from three of their albums (excluding “My Dear”) and two from their upcoming “Half Black Heart”. Ash Costello engaged the audience, “Connecticut we’re ready to have fun with you! Are you ready to have fun with New Years Day?” They serve up “Vampyre” off of their upcoming fifth LP. The sound is clear and the crowd happily receives the energy bouncing off of Ash. “Welcome to the Kiss Of Death tour!” Next up is “Come For Me”, which I consider the highlight of their set, it translates excellent live. “Ca Ca Ca Come Ca Ca Ca Come For Me” off “Unbreakable”. “Show me whatcha got! You can do better than that! Put those hands up!” She gets nearly one hundred percent to comply. “Connecticut, make some fuckin noise!”

Ash works the entire stage for “Hurts Like Hell”, another cut from the future “Half Black Heart” LP. “Thank every single one of you for supporting females in rock and roll!”  They perform “Shut Up” starting a sing-a-long with the fans. As an anthem to empower women, don’t fuck with a girl after she listens to this song. Just sayin, we get fired up. You’ve been​ warned! Ash asks everyone to stand up including “those people in the back”. Like twelve people do. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, might take a minute for some of us to get up after gorging ourselves. The bit more melodic “Kill Or Be Killed” off of “Malevolence” is served up. The band sounds good and is a nice accompaniment to Ash’s evocative voice. “Get those fists in the air! If you’re here you’re a fuckin weirdo! This is for you!” They belt out “Nocturnal”, a fan favorite from “Unbreakable.” It was one of the weaker parts of the set, in my opinion. I’m not knowledgeable on the technical side of music, but is there some kind of backtrack or enhancement or something going on? I know Ash is singing, not syncing, but I feel like there’s some kind of additive happening.

Their set wraps up with “Angel Eyes” off “Victim to Villain.” “Thanks again for supporting women in rock and roll!” This was a miss for me. Chris Motionless is in the video (that guy is everywhere!) and I felt the void of his part. Maybe try piping him in or using another band member to growl through that part? The entirety of the set was a success. New Years Day was the perfect opener for this line-up and continues to churn out music that blankets women and outcasts with confidence. For that reason alone, you should check out their music, their videos (which are basically mini movies), and their live performances. Find out if you’re a ‘Creep’.