Alesana rocked the Token Lounge with Capture The Crown, The Browning, Conquer Divide, The Funeral Portrait, and Elizabeth Stryde, bringing high energy metalcore to the packed venue.
When an early Sunday show is packed from the very first band, you know you’re in for one hell of a show.
Kicking off the night was Elizabeth Stryde. This five-piece metalcore band, formed in 2013, consists of Alex Perez (vocals), Preston Coleman (guitar/backup vocals), Nate Browning (rhythm guitar), Casey McDaniel (bass), and Nolan Bellinger (drums). This band set out to create solid metalcore music with their own twist.
Perez’s screams were powerful and clean. His vocals mixed with the sweeping guitars and drums like a machine gun and made for an amazing opening act. Elizabeth Styde held her own pulling a huge crowd to the stage, a very impressive feat for an early Sunday show. This band gives you a full show, pulling out all the stops and giving 100% of their energy. They are hosting their first EP release on April 17th at The Ritz in Warren, MI, and their single, “Pride Rock,” is available on YouTube.
Keeping the night on a high was The Funeral Portrait. This five-piece punk rock band consists of Lee Jennings (vocals), Juergie Landstrom (guitar/vocals), AJ Pekarek (guitar), Chris King (bass), and Stephen Danzey (drums). The Funeral Portrait has played with national acts such as Andrew WK, We Came As Romans, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights, and many more. In early 2013, The Funeral Portrait recorded their first full-length record, Hero or Menace.
Well known for putting on very energetic and interactive live shows, these guys left no one disappointed. They are an amazing live band who knows how to work a crowd. Jennings is a mesmerizing frontman, whose attitude and stage presence was rivaled only by his sweeping pop-punk vocals. The entire band was full of energy, with grooving bass, anthemic guitar riffs, and a driving, punk-reminiscent drumbeat, mixed with vocals that crossed pop punk and metalcore. They are currently hard at work writing material for a new full-length album.
Next in the night was Conquer Divide. This six-piece, all female, post-hardcore band consists of Kiarely (clean vocals), Janel (screaming vocals), Kristen (guitar), Izzy (guitar), Sarah (bass), and Tamara (drums). They describe themselves as ‘Just a couple of girls who love making music’, but clearly, they are much more.
Kiarely has a voice that is both ethereal and powerful, in contrast to screamer Janel has a scream that is sharp and fluid. The screams and cleans mix together flawlessly, mixed with slamming percussion and heavy hitting and harmonious bass and guitar riffs, made for a flawless show. At one point, they brought a young fan on stage to sing with them. The energy and chemistry exuding from the band was electric. They flow together amazingly and their love for the crowd was obvious. They are currently working on their debut album with acclaimed producer Joey Sturgis (Asking Alexandria, Of Mice & Men, Blessthefall). Their first single, “Eyes Wide Shut,” is a major preview of things to come.
Following a band change, the room was thrown into darkness with The Browning hitting the stage. This heavy metal/electronica band consists of Jonny McBee (vocals), Collin Woroniak (guitar), Drew Ellis (bass), and Cody Stewart (drums). They have combined the electronica techno and metal genres into a mashup resulting in one of the heaviest acts around. Their multi-influence sound works and is executed well. The electronic elements flow while being, coalescing perfectly with the more typical sound of metal guitars, drums, and death growling vocal work. The Browning is a band made to be seen live. Frontman McBee had the crowd jumping the entire time, forming multiple mosh pits, and even forming a wall of death. Their latest album, Hypernova, is available now.
Capture The Crown was up next. This Australian metalcore band was formed in 2010. The current lineup consists of Jeffrey Wellfare (vocals), Kyle Devaney (guitar), Mitch Rogers (rhythm guitar), Maurice Morfaw (bass), and Joe Abikhair (drums). Heavy guttural vocals mixed with melodic chorus, hard and gritty guitars and bass, and fast paced head banging drum beats, this band knows how to throw a party when they play.
At one point, Wellfare hung from a rigging at the front of the stage over the crowd as he sang. Kiarely, the clean vocalist of Conquer Divide, jumped on stage with the band for a song, the combination of her and Wellfare’s melodic heavy voices demands a future collaboration. This band has weathered label and lineup changes but has come through stronger and better than ever. And they are just getting started. Their latest album, Reign Of Terror, is available now.
And finally, with everybody packed at the stage, Alesana took the stage. Formed in 2004 in Raleigh, North Carolina, this melodic metalcore band consists of Dennis Lee (vocals), Shawn Milke (vocals/guitar/piano), Patrick Thompson (guitar), Jake Campbell (guitar), Shane Crump (bass), and Jeremy Bryan (drums).
The vocals were on point in both singing and screaming, which kept a great balance of brutality and harmony. Mixed with exciting guitar riffs and battering drums, they complement the dramatic, harsh “punch in the gut” style music Alesana has always delivered to fans. This band is known for having some of the catchiest rhythms and choruses, while throwing in furiously manic stages, breakdown infused, metalcore. Their blend is like no other. This band lives for their fans and Lee was happy to share his microphone with the crowd to sing along. After ten years, the fans love them now more than ever. Their fifth album, Confessions, will be released on April 21st, and is available for pre-order on their Facebook page. It is the final chapter of their Annabel trilogy.