This is Where it Ends Tour (April 9, 2012)

When the line-up for this show was announced at the beginning of the year, I was extremely excited and promptly purchased my ticket. I mean, who wouldn’t be excited for a show featuring Conducting From the Grave, The Contortionist, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Carnifex, and All Shall Perish? Well, to be brutally honest, this show was not as entertaining as it should have been. Conducting From the Grave was the first band of the night. I was under the impression that there was going to be a local band opening, but, fortunately, there wasn’t. Conducting From the Grave played a very short (four or five songs) set that was marred by poor vocals and lackluster stage presence. Everyone in the band seemed bored and the vocalist kept positioning his free arm in a way that made him look like a Tyrannosaurus rex. I admit, I’m not incredibly familiar with Conducting From the Grave’s catalog, but I enjoyed what I heard of their material in the weeks leading up to the show. Regardless, I thought their live show was poor and I was not upset when their set was cut short.

The Contortionist was up next. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting much from them. I loved Exoplanet when it was first released, but I haven’t really been in the mood to listen to The Contortionist lately. I am very glad that they surprised me with their live show. While their set was short, it was one of the best of the night. Everything was essentially perfect and the accompanying light show was very tasteful. They played two new songs (Duality and Dreaming Schematics) and three older songs (Flourish, Oscillator, and Vessel). I don’t really like Dreaming Schematics all that much, but perhaps it will grow on me.

I was really looking forward to seeing Fleshgod Apocalypse, the next band on the menu, play. The intro was very nice, but they started to lose me when they actually got into the meat of their set. During the first few songs, everything was absolutely buried and the only thing that was audible was the bass drums. Vocals were also audible, but they weren’t very good. Their set, however, picked up when they played Thru Our Scars, The Forsaking, and The Violation. The clean vocals were, unsurprisingly, lost for almost the entire set. They were, however, audible several times and I was surprised to hear that they were actually the same pitch as they are on Agony. I always thought it sounded like Paolo Rossi would sound much more comfortable singing at a lower level. At least all the members of the band had matching dress.

Carnifex was next, and wow, they were incredible. This was my second time seeing them (the first being when they toured with Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, and Betraying the Martyrs late last year) and they were even better this time around. Scott Lewis’s vocals weren’t buried like they were the last time I saw them and that made their live show a hell of a lot better. They played all of the crowd favorites and got an absolutely massive response. Much to the chagrin of the venue’s security, Scott Lewis encouraged stage diving and managed to get a lot of people up on the stage. Carnifex is definitely one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen and I strongly recommend you go out to one of their shows if they’re playing in your area in the near future.

All Shall Perish is a band that I, admittedly, have never really been able to get into. That doesn’t go to say that I dislike them, as I do enjoy some songs from The Price of Existence and This is Where it Ends. Their live show, however, completely failed to interest me. Their stage presence was pretty lackluster, the vocals were absolutely dreadful, and Hernan Hermida felt the need to take time out between songs to criticize the crowd for their reaction (which wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination). He directed his rage primarily at those who were not in the pits (myself included) and even went so far as to call the people enjoying drinks on the upper level “dumbasses” when they wouldn’t come down and get in the pit for the last song. He stalled the show for several minutes while waiting for them to come down to the main level. Not everyone goes to shows to hit people and it really puts me off when vocalists feel the need to criticize those that would rather stand off to the side to watch the band play. At least they played all of the songs I have a vague interest in.

While I enjoy the studio material released by all of the bands that played this show to a certain extent, some of their live performances were rather poor. Carnifex and The Contortionist saved this show from being a complete bust.

Links: All Shall Perish, Carnifex, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Contortionist, Conducting From the Grave

By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews