Blessthefall live in Florida 2018

On September 9th Blessthefall hit The Orpheum in Tampa, FL with their Hard Feelings tour. Not only did this Phoenix, AZ based metalcore band show up, they brought a few friends along with them. Opening for them on this tour are The Word Alive, Ded, Thousand Below, A War Within, and a local band from Orlando, Fl. Lies Behind Your Eyes. With all these bands under one roof, you know it’s going to be a great show!
Blessthefall US Tour 218 poster

The first band to take the stage was Lies Behind Your Eyes. This four-piece group from Orlando, Fl. features Ky Dixon on vocals, Eric Shreds on guitars, John Taylor on bass, and drummer Mikey Chinchilla. With so many great bands on the tap tonight, the downside is the set lists are going to be short. This really came into focus with this local group. As I had never heard them before, I was really impressed. With vocals being shared by several members, and tons of energy being brought to the stage. I was really impressed with these guys and wanted them to keep playing!
After a quick a change over, it was A War Within’s time to play. Made up of Spencer Maybe (bass, vocals), Nikhil “Nigel” Rao (guitar), Zac Bardsley (bass), and Roy Guldenpfennig (drums), these guys from Detroit MI. know how to rock. Mixing up clean vocals with rough ones they keep things fresh, aggressive and exciting. As the crowd kept coming in and building, everyone was enjoying what they brought to the stage. Just two bands into tonight, for sure this was shaping up to be a fun and exciting show.
The next band to take the stage was Thousand Below. Hailing from San Diego CA., this quintet features vocalist James De Berg, guitarist Devon Chance, guitarist Josh Thomas, bassist Josh Billimoria, and Garrett Halvax on drums. This is one of those bands that you know has big things ahead for them. The vocals swapped between James DeBerg and Josh Thomas is really cool. Their voices are very similar so when they swap parts it’s almost like they are throwing their voices. At this point the place is packed and the crowd is soaking up everything that are putting out.
When Thousand Below was done, it was Ded’s turn to show the crowd what they’ve got. From Phoenix, AZ. The guys in the band are Joe Cotela the singer, guitar player David Ludlow, Kyle Koelsch the bassist, and Matt Reinhard the guitarist. Their stage setup was great! With banners with their logo on either side of the stage that were backlit and spot lighting on the members at key times, visually it was stunning. On top of that the guys had contacts in that covered their pupils, so things had an extra wild look to them. This group was obviously a fan favorite. When it came time for them to play their hit single “Anti-Everything” off their album “Mis-An-Thrope”, the crowd went nuts! This is definitely a group I wished had a longer set time! With singer Joe Cotela prowling the stage and bass player Kyle Koelsch in a power stance and his hair flying around this was such a fun band to watch!
Now it was time for the final opener to take the stage, The Word Alive. Based out of Phoenix, AZ. The Word Alive is made up of Telle Smith on vocals, Tony Pizzuti on guitars, Zack Hansen on guitars, and Matt Horn the drummer. On this tour they are supporting their new album “Violent Noise”. These guys know how to rock! Their show was high energy from start to finish. Playing songs from several of their albums, everyone was loving what they were playing. They could easily be a headlining act themselves.
Finally, it was time for the band that everyone was here to see Blessthefall! Yet another band based out of Phoenix AZ, obviously there must be one hell of a music scene there as many of tonight’s bands are from there. This quintet features Beau Bokan the singer, Eric Lambert the guitarist, bass player Jared Warth, drummer Matt Traynor, and Elliot Gruenberg on guitar, as well. With the crew setting up risers at the front of the stage and running their own lights as well, this had the makings of a great set! Opening with “Wishful Sinking” from their latest album “Hard Feelings”, Beau Bokan was moving all over the stage with tons of energy! As their set progressed they played songs such as “Cutthroat”, “Hollow Bodies”, “Youngbloods”, “Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad”, “Melodramatic”, “Exodus”, and “Sleepless in Phoenix”. While the band was playing all these songs the energy they were putting out fed the audience. Everyone was going nuts. A mosh pit started, then soon after the crowd surfing and stage diving started. Seemingly the whole night bodies were being tossed all over the place and everyone including the band loved it. They continued with “Keep Me Close”, “40 Days…”, “Promised Ones”, and “You Wear a Crown but You’re no King”. When Beau announced that is was the Matt Traynor’s birthday, members of the audience proceeded to start buying him and the rest of the band shots and pass them up on stage. They ended their set with “Welcome Home” and for their encore they played “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted”.
With five bands on one bill, and three of them easily being headliners, there was a lot of great music for the fans tonight. With The Word Alive and BlessTheFall both supporting new albums made things even better. If you get a chance to get to see the Hard Feelings tour consider your self lucky. It’s not often that this many bands go on tour together.