Falling In Reverse
w/ Issues, Motionless In White, Dangerkids, Dead Girls Academy
San Francisco, CA
February 11, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Is it fair at this point to classify Falling In Reverse as a rock band? They have as much love as they have hate from the general public, their vocalist is known for causing controversy off stage as much as onstage, and yet they perform with an aggressive amount of showmanship that would even make the most cynical of hipsters go, "Okay...yeah that was a fun show." Whether you love them or hate them, Falling In Reverse are here to stay, and they are going to shove that fact into your face with every single show that they play from here until the end of their career.
The five-piece band brought their penultimate tour stop for their "End Is Here" tour to the Bay Area, before concluding the tour in San Diego the following night. While it had indeed been awhile since Falling In Reverse had come through the Bay Area (not counting the Vans Warped Tour), the tour brought with it Issues and Motionless In White, who were enough to pack The Warfield to near capacity on a Saturday evening. Adding three of the biggest acts in post-hardcore to the same lineup, in addition to newcomers Dangerkids and Dead Girls Academy was sure to guarantee one hell of a show.
With Dead Girls Academy up first on a five band bill, there weren't too many theatrics or avant-garde showcases. The band, led by Michael Vampire (formerly from Vampires Everywhere!) showed potential. It didn't hit me as hard as the other acts, but I'm interested to see where they go in the coming months. It was far different from the auto-tuned collected that was Vampires Everywhere!, and that's a good thing.
The scene stealer of the newcomer acts had to be Dangerkids. The Dayton, OH five-piece attack their instruments and the stage as if they were the headliners of the show, and they proceed to mercilessly grab the room by the neck and make it listen. The band are currently supporting their newest album, This Is The Blacklist, showcasing their own unique hybrid of post-hardcore that sets them apart from their peers in the genre.
I consider this show to almost be a "tri-headliner" (if that's even a term), because every fan in attendance presented similar reactions of excitement and energy when the next three bands took the stage. Each of these bands have a dedicated bunch of devoted fans, who memorize the lyrics faster than school vocabulary flashcards, and clearly don't want to be anywhere else but in the venue when their heroes take the stage.
By the time Motionless In White took the stage, the set was decorated exactly the way I'd always hoped it would be: like something out of John Carpenter's Halloween. The stage, designed to look like the front porch of a house clad with jack-o-lanterns on All Hallow's Eve, began to flood with fog as the Scranton, PA six-piece took the stage. I have grown up watching this band for years, and it brought me such joy to see them finally getting the funding to bring in theatrics. Their imagery is heavily influenced by the horror genre of film, and seeing them decorate their stage in such a way and incorporate stage performers during each song was captivating.
Issues, whose setup was shaped to look like a medieval pirate ship of some sort, took the stage amidst a roar of applause. They launched straight into material from their 2016 sophomore record, Headspace. The fans screamed every single word, whether it be from Headspace or their first EP Black Diamonds. I'll admit, I was a bit disappointed to see that they weren't using their Pokemon stage set-up. But hey, all bands have to "evolve", right? (AM I RIGHT? DID YOU GET IT? Okay, moving on.) While the stage was a bit darker, enveloping the band members in some kind of shadow with little spotlight on them, Issues were still a great deal of fun to watch. A particular highlight of their set came when they launched into perhaps one of their most popular tracks, "King Of Amarillo" (from the Black Diamonds EP). The floor exploded with joy, mosh pits started to form like no other, and then the band stopped. "Nope...sorry. We're not doing that one..." A look of embarrassment and laughter resonates across all the band members. "Sorry we did that. We'll be playing it on our headlining tour though, so come and see us play it then!"
About thirty minutes after Issues left the stage, the lights dimmed and Falling In Reverse took their place among the stage, kicking things off with a much older track, "Sink or Swim", that was met with an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm from those in attendance. Vocalist Ronnie Radke, who walks around the stage clad in skin-tight jeans and a red flannel, is either screaming into the microphone like a snarling dog, or cleanly singing the words he's penned for the band's collective three albums (the fourth, Coming Home, will be released on April 7 through Epitaph Records). Christian Thompson rips apart any possible guitar lead that's given to him with incredible ferocity, while Derek Jones adds powerful rhythm-guitar lines to back each riff. Zakk Sandler (bass) and Ryan Seaman (drums) round out the lineup with incredible musicianship and rhythmic chops. The band opted to place all amplifiers and rack setups behind a giant LED screen that projected colorful imagery to accompany each song, allowing for maximum space to move around the stage.
But perhaps the biggest standout of the set, aside from the blaring metalcore and borderline pop-punk amalgamation of sounds that is Falling In Reverse, was the new song they performed, entitled Coming Home. I thought I was watching the Silversun Pickups. Radke donned a left-handed guitar to round out the sound of the track, which sounds absolutely nothing like what you'd expect from a band like this. There's no screaming, no overly high-pitched vocals. It's...different. Come April 7th, we could be seeing a new era of Falling In Reverse, one that steps them closer to the mainstream. Looks like we'll have to wait and see.
Sink or Swim
God, If You Are Above...
Good Girls Bad Guys
I'm Not a Vampire
Bad Girls Club
Raised By Wolves
The Drug In Me Is You
Just Like You
Falling In Reverse
Motionless In White
Dead Girls Academy
This has been another Shameless Promotion.