Reviews by Kiya Gaskin, Tyler Peckham, and Emily Ducker
Out Came The Wolves | Review written by Emily Ducker
Out Came The Wolves was the first of four bands to take the stage at the Phoenix stop of the Face To Face Tour at Joe’s Grotto Sunday, November 6. The Modern Rock group, made up of Cameron Burns on vocals, Austin Brady on guitar. George Shrouder on guitar, Ervin Buljubasic on bass, and Andy Hart on drums, is out on this tour promoting their first debut album Strange Fate which was released just last month.
The group, led by Burns, was energetic and passionate throughout the set. Though the band was just recently signed to Roadrunner Records in June and have only just released their full length debut, they have been performing together for upwards of three years. Their touring experience was evident in the collective stage presence and confidence of the group.
While it was evident that most of the crowd was largely unfamiliar with Out Came The Wolves’ music, they were still able to get the crowd going with fast-paced tracks like “96” and “Bleed.” Because of the relative simplicity of their lyrics, many in the crowd were singing along by the end of each song.
Perhaps the band’s strongest point was their level of interaction with the crowd, with lots of banter between songs and Burns and Shrouder reaching into the crowd to connect with the audience at several points throughout the set.
Overall, the set was impressive, but slightly predictable. The members of the band very much played into the typical roles as both openers and as performers in their genre, using typical crowd-baiting lines to get a response of cheers and applause.
If you’re looking for lyrical complexity that will blow your mind or change the way you think about life, then this is probably not the band for you. But if you’re just looking for some simple, good music, talented performers, and a fun time, then you’ll want to be there next time Out Came The Wolves makes their way through town.
YouTube | Bleed – Out Came the Wolves (Official Music Video)
The Color Morale | Review written by Tyler Peckham
As The Color Morale takes the stage, I am taken aback… “Were they not they just selling merch at their table?” It’s my first Post Hardcore show and I am surprised by the amount of passion and dedication in the audience and among the bands. The Color Morale and the Face to Face Tour featuring other Post Hardcore bands: Out Came the Wolves, Hands Like Houses, and Our Last Night is all about the fans, and The Color Morale is no exception.
Front man Garett Rapp opens The Color Morale set with a prophetic statement, “This show is about community, about being together, and about having a good time!” And that we did. Rapp’s vocals combine the screaming of Post Hardcore with the Rock and Country inspirations he grew up on, creating a vibe that none of the others bands on the Face to Face Tour have.
The Illinois-bred band has been kicking out hits since 2007, making them a little older than other bands of this genre, but their melding of Rock and Punk makes them stand out. Their music is created as a joint effort, with inspirations in Jimmy Eats World, Third Eye Blind, and Pantera, making each song passionate and meaningful, using a style I have never heard before.
The Color Morale is made up of Rapp on vocals and keyboard, Steve Carey on drums, Devin King on lead guitar, Aaron Saunders on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Mike Honson on bass guitar and backing vocals.
Conducting the sweaty audience from his perch on a rusty table, Rapp creates the experience he knows people came for, citing a childhood memory as a participatory audience member as his driving force. Rapp stated halfway through The Color Morale set, “I’m thankful to get to do what I do with my best friends and the friends I meet every night.”
The Color Morale finished with an emotional finale, with Rapp stepping down from the stage into the audience for the end chorus, urging everyone to sing along. The emotion in the audience was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and if I knew the words I would have joined in.
Be sure to check out The Color Morale’s new album Desolate Divine (August 19, 2016, Dan Korneffs) now available on ITunes and at Best Buy.
YouTube | Walls – The Color Morale (Official Music Video)
Our Last Night | Review written by Kiya Gaskin
East coast natives and long-time friends Our Last Night brought their inspirational Post-Hardcore to Phoenix. Brothers, vocalists, and guitarists Matt and Trevor Wentworth along with drummer Tim Molloy and bassist Alex “Woody” Woodrow led the crowd in an uplifting set about love and acceptance. While most of the songs that the band played were from their 2015 album Younger Dreams, they even played quite a few songs from one of their earliest albums Oak Island. Our Last Night wowed the crowd with an energetic performance of their song “A World Divided” and slowed things down with “Same Old War”.
About halfway through the set, the band paused to par take in the ever-popular Mannequin Challenge. The act was well received by the crowd, making it a fun and unique experience.
Also during the show, Trevor Wentworth brought his son Noah on stage. It made the crowd feel more emotion than they already were feeling from the music. Noah’s appearance was one of the highlights of their set.
Towards the end of the set, Our Last Night played their new song “Common Ground”. Although the song had been released just days before the tour stop in Phoenix, the crowd knew all the words to the song and sang proudly along with the band. The looks on the performers’ faces as they watched the audience’s reaction to the new music was priceless. The pure joy they felt was palpable.
All good things must come to an end, so eventually Our Last Night had to close their set. Instead of closing with an upbeat song, they chose to slow things down once again with their song “Sunrise”. It was one of the most beautiful performances of the night. Audience members were in tears as they sang along to the hopeful song. Our Last Night did not disappoint the crowd with their set. People go to concerts to immerse themselves in their feelings and great music. Our Last Night made this experience for the audience worthwhile. Their connectedness and willingness to show raw emotion made this an exceptional performance.
YouTube | Common Ground – Our Last Night (Official)
Hands Like Houses | Review written by Kiya Gaskin
Australian Post-Hardcore group Hands Like Houses closed the show in Phoenix. Being a softer sounding group, they were a great way to counter balance the intense screaming from the previous three bands.
Hands Like Houses is vocalist Trenton Woodley, guitarist Matt Cooper, guitarist Alexander Pearson, bassist Joel Tyrrell, and drummer Matt Parkitny. The five-piece group set out this tour to gain American fans, and rightfully so they did.
Many people left prior to their performance and it took a while for the audience to warm up to the band, but once Hands Like House’s set picked up, the crowd started moving and people were having the time of their lives.
Putting a less Hardcore band at the end of the show did not really make sense, but the talent these men have was enough to make people forget that. Hands Like Houses use their melodies to draw the crowd in and hold on to them. It was nice to have a break from the incessant screams that ran rampant in the other bands' music. Just like Our Last Night, Hands Like Houses uses music to inspire their fans. Lyrically, their songs were beautiful and some fans noticeably fought back tears during the set. Although Hands Like Houses was dissimilar to the other bands stylistically, their sound was a great way to end the night.
YouTube | Perspectives – Hands Like Houses (Official Music Video)
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