Every Time I Die, The Ghost Inside Glass House 11/15/14
When bands as widely ranging as the ever-altruistic Hundreth, British mathcore frontrunners Architects, Buffalo, NY mainstay Every Time I Die and L.A.'s own The Ghost Inside come together, it makes for a lineup worth driving out for. Held at the Glass House in Pomona, the sold-out show seemed to be as energizing for the bands as it was for their fans, no matter how far they came for the show, or if they were only attending one of the tour's two-night residency at the venue.
Maybe it is best that Los Angeles proper doesn't have a metal venue suited to acts like Every Time I Die and The Ghost Inside -- rare is it that you can find great sound, solid staff, reasonable-if-not-free-parking, a well-organized layout (with an actual mezzanine) and an in-out policy all at the same location. With Hundreth playing the role of hungry young guns, which they did with aplomb, and Architects playing like the arpeggiated, finger-tapping tour de force that they are, the co-headliners showed their establishment in spades.
Every Time I Die, at their core, have never sounded more cohesive than they do now. Since the release of From Parts Unknown, a record that showcases the band in their most technical manifestation, their live show has been honed to a razor's edge. the songs are faster, their transitions are almost null and void in this setting, and stage antics abound. Guitarist Jordan Buckley stood at stage right throwing his ESP guitar in the air while vocalist Keith Buckley stood in front of the crowd. Bassist Stephen Micciche and guitarist Andy Williams stomp around, hammering on their instruments. Though it's clear they're enjoying themselves, there are few smiles from Every Time I Die here and fewer moments of respite -- a welcome onslaught for the ravenous fans in the crowd and a clear reminder that these guys do what they do really well.
While their setlist featured a significant amount of new material, the band was sure to play at least one standout from almost all of their past records, including "Floater," "The New Black," "Roman Holiday" and "Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space." Closing with the piano-laden "Moor," however, was a treat that many were convinced they wouldn't hear, as well "Idiot," which features one of Keith Buckley's best vocal performances with this band.
Local boys The Ghost Inside, complete with Kings vs. Ducks rants in hand, acted as headliners for the night. While more breakdown-heavy than Every Time I Die and with less guitar pyrotechnics than Architects, The Ghost Inside's set provided a strong reminder that not a lot can stand in the way of classic, metal songwriting. With their brand new record Dear Youth dropping in just two days, frontman Jonathon Vigil led the melodic hardcore band through a flurry of classics while also extolling the virtues of their latest offering, without the slightest hint of seeming contrived. It was obvious that The Ghost Inside knew they were playing in their wheelhouse, Vigil playing the role of Justin Williams in the Staples Center, and the crowd responded in accord. Here, the band let it be known that this homecoming show was less business than pleasure, as Vigil cracked a grin from time to time throughout his set as the audience, much like during Every Time I Die's set, screamed every word right back at him.
There's no such thing as a perfect show. Sometimes, however, a lineup as stacked as this one can come damn close, but it's really up to the fans to make it all worthwhile. This was as friendly a metal show as I've been to in a while, though one reveler did lose three of his front teeth while spilling a quart of blood on the ground, and was picked up right after he went down. As any fan of hardcore will tell you, it's a community, evidenced by the bands themselves as much as the kids in the pit. You just might not understand it until you're in the middle of the chaos yourself.
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Personal Bias: This is my fourth time seeing Every Time I Die. I've written about them a lot. I spent way too much time in the pit during their set. There's not a lot they can do wrong in my eyes. Objectivity may have been skewed here.
Overhead In The Crowd: Equally shirtless, equally tattooed dude and I screaming in each other's faces, halfway through Every Time I Die's "The Marvelous Slut": "FUCK YEAAAAAAH." We couldn't help it.
Random Notebook Dump: There are fewer joys in life than going to shows with your brother. As much as we love the Kings, we'd rather be on the venue floor.