The 2015 Civil Unrest Tour turned The Grove neighborhood of St. Louis into a metal fan’s paradise for one night.
Ill NiÃ±o headlined this year’s Civil Unrest Tour, bringing a heavy dose of Latin-infused metal to St. Louis. The band played songs ranging from their earliest material to their most recent releases. A lively audience crowded the front of the stage, some of whom started a mosh pit that lasted nearly their entire set.
Playing just before Ill NiÃ±o were Straight Line Stitch from Knoxville, Tennessee. Since they first appeared on the scene in 2003, their visibility and popularity have grown slowly, thanks in part to a somewhat high band member turnover in the past. At the same time, the strong and versatile vocals of Alexis Brown have kept interest in the band growing steadily.
The always entertaining and outrageous Davey Suicide from “UnHolywood, Killafornia,” played an inspired set, not holding back on the music or theatrical aspects–an arena-worthy show in the intimacy of a small club. Every member, including the drummer, never stood still, everyone pacing and twirling from one side of the stage to the other.
Motograter played in their signature black and white body paint under dim red lights, a steady, almost tribal rhythmic drumming against a mixture of groove metal, industrial guitars and, of course, their “Motograter,” an instrument cobbled together from guitar parts and industrial cables that gives the band a low and distorted bass sound.
Thira are an industrial groove metal band hailing from Minneapolis. Heavy on the steampunk clothes and instrument design, the band can also be considered stylistically as djent, and is supporting their latest release, Fathoms.
Lydia Can’t Breathe encompass a multitude of influences in their angry, raw sound. Coming onstage in dress-casual pants, button-down shirts, and ties, the band’s appearance contrasts starkly with their raging sound. This dichotomy adds an intriguing element to their live performance, which kept the crowd’s attention throughout their set.
Rounding out the touring bands were Australia’s Darkc311. The band took the stage with faces painted, under red lights, and wearing denim, leather, and chains. Their sound has definitive industrial roots, but also has a decidedly groovy and danceable undertones as well, which is reminiscent of 80s glam rock. Other reviews have described their sound as “making hate sound fun,” which is probably the most accurate.
St. Louis-area based locals The Faded Truth and Tides Within won the opening slots for this stop on the tour, getting the show started and the early audience ready for later acts.
Every band that played took the time to mingle with the crowd, whether it was in front of the stage or at the merch tables, one of the many perks of having this type of show at a smaller venue.