Dallas metalcore mob Crown The Empire kicked off their first UK headline tour last night at Camden’s Electric Ballroom. Here's what Chris Chandler made of it all.
Up first are Alive Like Me, a lively bunch of alt-rockers from Oregon, whose live performance doesn't exactly live up to their energy and attempts at showmanship. With their self-labeled "pit song" 'Start Again' eliciting little more than a heavily-prompted rise from the crowd, it’s a somewhat cringeworthy opening to the evening's proceedings.
Next come Crown The Empire’s labelmates, Dangerkids. From a shaky start, the Ohio fast-risers come into their own after a song or two, delivering their hyped-up Linkin Park-influenced brand of metalcore reasonably well. With crowd-pleasers ‘Paper Thin’ and ‘Light Escapes’ breaking out into a few pits and jumps, they do a good job of properly getting things started.
Set It Off
Floridian pop-rock troubadours Set It Off are next, and they deliver a dynamic, stadium-worthy performance in amongst the heavier bands on the bill. Vocalist Cody Carson is the first frontman of the night to draw a truly genuine reaction from a large portion of the crowd, as well as the first whose vocal performance doesn't fall flat for the sake of theatrical showmanship. Opening track ‘The Haunting’ sets the pace nicely, launching into some ‘Duality’ favourites with ‘N.M.E’ and ‘Tomorrow’ before closing expertly with a truly anthemic, full-voice performance of hand-waver ‘Why Worry’.
Crown The Empire
By the time Crown The Empire finally take to the stage after the opening theatrics of ‘Oh, Catastrophe’, they launch into the full-blown bouncy riffs and beatdowns of ‘The Fallout’. In true metalcore fashion Crown The Empire’s live show meanders from slow, cleaner sections to pit-forming heavier ones with barking vocal patters, with plenty of "Jump, jump, jump!" and "Get up!" prompts thrown in between. Although very metalcore-by-numbers and a bit dull in some places, the Dallas boys have the room in their collective palm tonight, with pit-anthem ‘MNSTR' and the pre-encore ballad ‘Millennia’ rounding off a tight and clean performance overall.
Words by Chris Chandler. Photos By Ben Gibson. For more photos of the show, check out this gallery.
There's still a long way to go on this tour, so head down to one of the following shows for yourself if you want in on the action:
06 - MANCHESTER Club Academy
07 - GLASGOW Garage
08 - LEEDS University
10 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
11 - NORWICH Waterfront
12 - BIRMINGHAM Asylum
13 - SOUTHAMPTON Mo Club
14 - BRISTOL Fleece