Skyway Theatre has, in the last couple years, become one of Minneapolis’ hot spots for shows. Several tours have merged here in the Twin Cities for one massive show recently, and the latest of these took place last Friday night, on 10/10/14. Skyway’s main stage room was packed by Come the Dawn, Erra, Within the Ruins, Texas In July, Betraying the Martyrs, Reflections, Thy Art Is Murder, and After the Burial (unfortunately, I Declare War and Born of Osiris were unable to perform). Studio B was packed with a collection of some of Minnesota’s best locals, including Chorder, In the Line of Duty, Mithya, and the triumphant return of Countermeasure.
Photos by: Tanner Morris // Review by: Skylar Cary
By The Thousands was the only local band to hit main stage on this bill. They played right at 3:00, the same time as doors opened, which was interesting. Because the line to get inside was going all the way out the parking lot and across the back alley, their first two songs were to a fairly empty room. But by 3:15 when fans had time to make their way inside, BTT had a solid crowd in front of them. BTT is one of those locals that you should definitely be checking out if you’re into progressive metal.
Come the Dawn was the first band on the package to take main stage. They were greeted by a responsive crowd and an active pit. Much to their pleasant surprise, a large portion of the crowd was familiar with their music, and as a result, their energy onstage increased.
Following Come the Dawn on main stage was Erra, a band that is no stranger to the Twin Cities. Erra recently went separate ways with vocalist Garrison Lee, and picked up new vocalist Ian Eubanks. Sean Price (recently on bass for the band) is loving his new role as guitarist. Erra has been through Skyway Theatre many a time on large merged shows similar to this one, and they are always met with the same enthusiasm that they bring. Crowd favorites like “Seven” are sure to set the entire room ablaze each and every time. Erra currently has two albums out, “Impulse” and “Augment.”
Within the Ruins took the stage after Erra. Fresh off the release of their latest album entitled “Phenomena,” they played a satisfying mix of new songs and songs from their previous release, “Elite.” The most massive pits in their set came in “I, Blaspheme” and “Feeding Frenzy,” both off of the latter album. Opening with “Gods Amongst Men” and including the high-energy single “Calling Card,” both from the new album, Within the Ruins was certain to show that they are a force to be reckoned with. “Phenomena” was released on July 22 of this year on E1/Goodfight Entertainment.
Texas In July played following Within the Ruins, but this was not the same Texas In July anyone had ever seen before. Texas In July recently recruited a new vocalist, by the name of JT Cavey. Cavey, who was connected with the band as a result of a number of high quality vocal covers on YouTube, brings a monstrous new sound to the Lancaster, Pennsylvania five-piece. It is clear from watching, and listening to, Cavey’s live performance that the band made a wise choice in a new vocalist. The band was met with high energy and vicious pit activity as they played new songs (“Nooses” from their newest release and “C4” from the previous release) as well as long-time favorites (“Hook, Line, and Sinner”). Texas In July’s newest release, entitled “Bloodwork,” is now available on Equal Vision Records and is the first studio release with Cavey behind the microphone.
Betraying the Martyrs was next after Texas In July, and was met with the same high-energy crowd that greeted them at the All Stars Tour just a mere couple of months before. Like Within the Ruins and Texas In July, this band has a new album out as well. “Phantom” was released on July 15th of this year on Sumerian Records.
Minnesota’s own Reflections took the stage after Betraying the Martyrs and, despite some technical difficulties, were met with the same love and energy they always are met with at a hometown show. Reflections surprised the crowd by playing two old songs that had not been a part of their setlist for quite some time (“Ceilings” and “An Artifact” off the 2012 release “The Fantasy Effect”). This performance was also the Twin Cities debut of the band’s new drummer, Nick Lona. Lona, who had filled in on a previous tour, was contacted quickly following the departure of former drummer Cam Murray. Due to difficult circumstances, he was unable to perform on the Scale the Summit tour this past summer, but nevertheless it is clear from this performance that Reflections made an excellent choice in choosing a new drummer. Reflections currently has two albums released: “The Fantasy Effect” released independently, and “Exi(s)t” released on E1/Goodfight Entertainment.
Sydney, Australia’s Thy Art Is Murder took the stage following Reflectinos. The Australian outfit has become a favorite of many in the United States, and has come through the Twin Cities many times as a result. Including crowd favorites such as “Shadow of Eternal Sin,” “The Purest Strain of Hate,” and “Doomed From Birth,” the band provided the hellish background needed for some of the most vicious pits ever seen in Skyway Theatre’s main room. The band closed with the single “Reign of Darkness” from their 2012 release, simply and accurately entitled “Hate.”
Following Thy Art is Murder came the second group of hometown heroes and the headliners of the night: After the Burial. Playing a very satisfying mix of the very old to the very new, After the Burial played one of the best sets many in the Twin Cities had ever seen. Their set included crowd favorites such as “Cursing Akhenaten,” “A Steady Decline,” “My Frailty,” “Encased In Ice,” and “Your Troubles Will Cease and Fortune Will Smile Upon You.” There is only so much one can write about an After the Burial performance. It is fairly common knowledge within Minnesota (and outside of Minnesota as well) that After the Burial are leaders of the genre, and are sure to put on a perfect performance every time. After the Burial’s most recent release came at the end of 2013; it is entitled “Wolves Within” and was released on Sumerian Records.
As it was mentioned before, Studio B was filled with an array of excellent local bands that deserve to be recognized. Rochester, Minnesota’s Chorder brought 9 strings of heavy to the stage as they played their progressive brand of heavy music, and included the crowd favorite “Tremors” in their set. In the Line of Duty also played a noteworthy set. The band has been seen more often in the scene recently, and seems to improve with every show they play. In the Line of Duty recently released their second independent album, “Bury the Past.” It was a monumental day for new progressive act Mithya, fronted by a friend of many in the scene, Lee Mintz. The band played their first show to a nearly packed Studio B, and was met with a highly enthusiastic crowd. Closing Studio B was a favorite of many in the Twin Cities, Countermeasure. Returning from a hiatus, the band played to an energetic crowd and included many old favorites in their set, closing with none other than “Castaway.”
List of all the local bands that played Stuido B:
Upon His Flesh
Truth Inside The Silence
In The Line Of Duty
So Long, Orion
This was a show not to be missed. For those who remain disappointed that Born of Osiris was unable to perform, however, the band has since announced that they will be doing a makeup show on November 9th at the Amsterdam in St. Paul. The band will be releasing additional details on their Facebook page as the show draws nearer.
Photos were shot with a Canon 6D:
a Canon 35mm 1.4:
and a Canon 85mm 1.8: