Parkway Drive European Tour (April 10th, 2012)

Parkway Drive is one of those bands that you simply have to see when they come to town. But when The Ghost Inside are on the bill too, you know you’re in for one of the best shows you’ll see for a long time. This was definitely the case for the Manchester leg of this tour. Opening up were Confession, a band that has some catchy songs but nothing groundbreaking or too exciting. Whilst it was cool to see Michael Crafter, a legend in the genre, their set was undeniably poor. This was mostly due to a muddy sound setup but the performance as a whole came across as sluggish. Added to this were some jarring clean vocals which sounded really out of place and a painful cover of Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff. They got a good reception but thankfully things improved afterwards. They were followed up by Miss May I. It’s difficult to comment on them, not being a huge fan of the band, but they gave a good account of themselves with some nice lead guitarwork and memorable melodic parts. Vocalist Levi Benton showed himself to be a worthy frontman, keeping the crowd going. Next up was The Ghost Inside and they received a huge ovation. Their set was fantastic from start to finish with a perfect mix of old and new songs. They seemed to be going for a more brutal sound compared to the last time I saw them, when they sounded a lot more bouncy. I’d have preferred to hear more melody than beefiness but that took nothing away from the performance. My personal highlights from the set were ‘Between the Lines’, ‘Shiner’ and ‘Faith or Forgiveness’. Jonathan ‘Nicest Guy in Metal’ Vigil’s vocals were as impressive as ever and by the sounds of the new song they played, their next album will be a heavy one. Closing out the night was Parkway Drive who came out to a packed crowd chanting their name. This set the tone for what must be one of the best metal sets I’ve witnessed. They opened the set with Unrest, a track off Deep Blue, which I must admit I wasn’t a huge fan of. Transferred to a live setting, however, it sounded excellent. In fact all the tracks they played from Deep Blue sounded very good which leads me to believe that the raw-sounding production on the album is what let it down. The next two tracks were Boneyards and Idols & Anchors and both were absolutely immaculate. It was one of those nights where everything clicks into place with a perfect sound setup and acoustics, a great crowd and musicians at the height of their powers. Winston McCall’s vocals sounded as ferocious as ever and guitarist Jeff Ling didn’t miss a note. Ling deserves a special mention just for the beauty of his guitarwork here, particularly on the ridiculously fast ‘Breaking Point’. They played one new song which, after an average start, built up to a tasty breakdown, another sign of a promising new album in the making. The band finished their set on ‘Romance is Dead’ and played ‘Carrion’ for an encore, the perfect way to close out the night.

This was a fantastic show with two bands at the top of their game and I’m sure most people felt spoiled to have Parkway Drive and The Ghost Inside on the same bill.

By George ~ Me Gusta Reviews