w/ Volumes, Too Close To Touch, Sylar
The UC Theatre
October 20, 2017
Photos and review by Jared Stossel.
It's always cool to see a show where, even if the venue is a bit more intimate in size, the crowd is as rowdy as an arena show. Such was the scene at the Issues show that made its way through Berkeley this past Friday night. The five-piece metal hybrid group fronted by vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn put on an exceptionally thrilling show in the Bay Area's UC Theatre, bringing with them a package of openers showcasing the bright future of this genre.
The first opening set came from the electro-tinged metalcore five-piece known as Sylar, who performed with an incredible amount of gusto, bringing forth an electrifying combination of modern metal backed with samplings of electronics. Their music puts a unique twist on the genre, and they play with such an intensity that you could believe they'd be headlining in just a couple of years.
Too Close To Touch, a five-piece post-hardcore act from Lexington, KY, were another standout act during the evening. Combining emotionally-charged melodic moments that you'd hear from bands like Hands Like Houses and I The Mighty, with heavier elements reminiscent of The Word Alive and Underoath, it's clear that Too Close to Touch should watched, as they could be well on their way to being at the front of this scene.
The heaviest set of the evening came from none other than Volumes. It had been about two years since the last time I saw them, and it's safe to say that they brought forth an even more refined show, filled with an assortment of crushing breakdowns and screeching vocal lines. Gus Farias and Myke Terry, the band's dual frontmen, made to sure to remind the entire crowd that the Dodgers were heading to the World Series, much to an assortment of booing and laughter from the crowd. It was all in good fun though, and the fans truly seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Issues took the stage around 9:30, delighting all in attendance as they launched straight into
"COMA", the explosive eighth track from the band's most recent studio album, Headspace. Mixing soulful, near-R&B style vocals with powerful screams and growls, Issues' live show solidifies them as one of the more unique acts that metalcore has to offer. "COMA" led straight into "Sad Ghost", the first track from the band's self-titled debut album, before going back even further into "King of Amarillo", the first track the band ever released, from their debut EP Black Diamonds.
The twenty-one track setlist comprised heavily of material from the 2016 album Headspace, but the band were more than willing to dip back into older territory, with tracks like the aforementioned "King of Amarillo", "Love Sex Riot", and "The Worst of Them" (all from the 2012 Black Diamonds EP) making an appearance. It's clear, though, that Issues' best material comes from Headspace, as it shows them hitting their stride as a unit. At this point in their career (with both Carter and Bohn having already toured extensively in the seven-piece metalcore outfit Woe, Is Me before forming their current act), they know how to put on a captivating performance while feeding off the energy that a crowd of this nature gives off. It's clear that not only do Issues have a refined live sound, but they've mastered the relationship between audience and band. They've worked dubiously throughout their career these past several years to get to where they are, and it's nice to finally see them showcasing their unique qualities in a headlining slot.
Issues Set List
King of Amarillo
Lost-n-Found (On a Roll)
Love Sex Riot
Yung & Dum
The Worst of Them
Life of a Nine
The Langdon House
Never Lose Your Flames
Disappear (Remember When)
I Always Knew
Slow Me Down
Mad at Myself
Too Close To Touch
This has been another Shameless Promotion.