Miss May I recently rolled through Las Vegas on their Monument Tour, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their second studio album Monument. Along for the ride was co-headliner The Word Alive, who are commemorating the 10th anniversary of their studio debut, Deceiver. Both bands performed the aforementioned albums in their entirety throughout the tour as their main performance, and each added a few of their more popular tracks as their encore.
In support were up-and-comers Thousand Below, who released their first studio album in 2017, The Love You Let Too Close. They kicked off their set with "Chemical", a brand new single that they released in July, and followed it up with "Sinking Me", setting the pace for a solid night of post-hardcore screaming and mosh pit flailing. These days it's difficult to stand out in the post-hardcore genre but this band has already made their mark in the short time since their inception. With their new release, "Chemical", it seems that they are leaning toward a more radio-friendly sound. While I approve of this move (I think "Chemical" is a solid piece of music) I hope that they don't completely eschew their post-hardcore roots, and keep making songs like "No Place Like You" and "Tradition". If you are a fan of the post-hardcore genre and have never listened to this band, I would highly recommend looking them up. I, for one, hope to hear a lot more from them!
Also supporting was Afterlife, who have one EP and one full-length album under their belt. They released their full-length studio debut back in January, and was a band that I was looking forward to seeing perform live. While often labeled as metalcore this band has a broad spectrum of influences including hip-hop, Slipknot, and Linkin Park. Singer Tyler Levenson shows that diversity using rapping, screaming, and clean vocals throughout their performance. While I was already familiar with their songs "Throat" and "Giving Back The Pain", I was very impressed by their performance and will be adding more of their music to my favorites.
The first of the two headliners were The Word Alive, out of Phoenix , founded in 2008 by vocalist Craig Mabbitt, guitarist Zack Hansen, and guitarist Tony Pizzuti. Mabbitt was eventually asked to leave the band due to conflicts in scheduling with his other band, Escape The Fate, and following his departure the band recruited current vocalist Tyler "Telle" Smith. They have since released one EP and five full-length studio albums. While it is interesting to hear a band's progression and evolution through the years (as anniversary shows often do), it's also nice to hear a band who hasn't completely abandoned their roots. While their latest album is chock full of radio-worthy songs like "Why Am I Like This?", "Stare At The Sun", and "Human", they still put out brutal head-bangers like "Red Clouds". TWA is a band that has stood the test of time and continue to impress me. Getting to see them live in a such an intimate setting was amazing!
Closing out the show was Miss May I, formed in Ohio in 2007, who have released one EP and six full-length studio albums. Definitely the hardest band of the night, MMI performed a little over an hour of face-melting, hardcore head-banging metal music, with front man Levi Benton whipping his long locks with the best of them while belting out vocals. The pit was raging almost non-stop, with the only pauses being the all-too-brief breaks between songs. After a drum solo from Jerod Boyd the band took a short break and returned to perform a four-song encore, that included the iTunes bonus track "Rust" which they had never played live.
One of the best things about shows like this is the intimate feel of the event, the bands really emphasized their closeness by doing guest vocals for each other, and venturing out into the audience for an even more personal experience. All four bands did a fantastic job entertaining the enthusiastic crowd. The tour is at a close, but keep up with Miss May I on their website at HERE. Until next time...
Miss May I Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
The Word Alive Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Thousand Below Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Afterlife Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos