And with those three words uttered by front man Craig Owens, the crowd whipped into one of the biggest frenzies of the night. It’s concerts like these where I regret not bringing my earplugs. Usually it’s due to the bands. Tonight was not one of those nights.
The crowd at Newport tonight was loud and roaring from the get go. ’68, the new band from Josh Scogin, former front man of The Chariot, came out first. Consisting of only drums, guitars and vocals, their sound was simple but solid. With only a few songs to play, the set was short and sweet. Our Last Night came out next. The music and screams sounded good, but the clean vocals had a couple rough patches that need to be cleaned up. They sounded their best during their cover of Katy Perry’s Dark Horse.
Hands Like Houses and Emarosa were the next two to step up to the plate. When Hands Like Houses came out, their technical style immediately jumped out to me. All of the instruments fit together beautifully, and the music just hit you like a wall of sound, surrounding you on all sides. There was word that singer Trenton Woodley was feeling a little under the weather, but he sounded just fine to me, and their performance was still off the charts. Emarosa came out to huge applause, and seemed to be able to build an emotional connection with the crowd. The music got the crowd excited, and everyone rushed forward when Bradley Walden jumped down to the pit. His stage presence and control of the crowd were unparalleled.
At least until Chiodos took the stage. If it’s possible, the crowd was able to get louder than the band at some points. The band sounded solid, and had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. If Owens or guitarist Thomas Erak had told the crowd to jump, it only would have been a matter of how high. Everything about their performance was great. Stage presence, Erak’s guitar solos, and Owens’ soaring vocals or low growls were all top notch. The set was polished and flowed incredibly well. The pit was one of the crazier ones I’ve seen, with the crowd getting especially worked up for songs such as The Word Best Friend Becomes Redefined and There’s No Penguins in Alaska.
Any show that has five bands on tap can seem like a drag and at first glance, but from ’68 to Chiodos, the music flowed out and kept the crowd excited, and the time flew by. My only wish was that it lasted even longer.