As some of you may know, I myself have been a shitty performing musician since I was about 18. Way back when (in March of 2010), my shitty little band was the opening act for this fucking amazing tour that someone had crammed into Underworld, a little shithole on the east side of downtown Montreal. The tour featured the chick thrasher legends Kittie, metalcore’s Mighty God Forbid, and this little up and comer progcore band by the name of Periphery. Now if you’re a wee bit confused, it’s ok, you gotta be a certain kind of special to wanna read my shit anyway. I’m not here to tell you about one of my last great performances on stage (it was still shit but whatever), I’m here to tell you about how that little up and comer progcore band is now completely fucking up music for the rest of us in the best way possible. Ladies and Gents, its a pleasure to recollect for you the Juggernaut Tour.
Saturday night, the 7th of February, started off with my shitting my pants in the incredible cramped backstage of the Corona theatre for reasons that you will witness online (more than likely you’ll know why sooner than you’re actually going to read this shit). Shortly after that, the avant-garde/progressive-rock phenoms known as Thank You Scientist graced the stage. Something was in the punch the day these Rochelle Park, NJ boys decided to try and hash some shit out, because this performance was fucking brilliant. Think Coheed and Cambria if Claudio took the blue bill and started playing with horns (ha, phrasing!) and violins and shit. Just do yourself a favor and find their shit somehow, because attempting to describe and properly recite to you how gorgeous and refreshing this act was would end up taking up all of my word count, which I’m going to blow anyway, but fuck off.
Up next was an act that any self respecting Metalcore fan has been anxiously awaiting for since the dawn of the painfully depressing Tim Lambesis debaucle (yes, I’m still crying). It is with great pain that I witness the former boys of one of metalcore’s most innovative acts, As I lay Dying, in their phoenix incarnate supergroup, Wovenwar . I want it to be known that everything I say from this point is with a very heavy heart, as I’m a long time fan of every member of this mostly San Diego, CA act. But my opinion of this act is painfully and uncontrollably biased, considering my experience with each member and their respective origin acts (AILD and Oh, Sleeper). Musically speaking, I can take nothing away from how incredibly tight these dudes were, which is of course to be expected considering the caliber of musicians on that stage and the talent that becomes them. My problem is that from my eyes, I’ve seen the lot of them let loose a hell of a lot harder than what they were doing in this case. Everything felt stiff and prerecorded (both metaphorically and somewhat literally speaking as well). My final note on this topic is simply that I refuse to give a concrete opinion on it without a full set, this time being only about 20 minutes long after set up issues.
Last up on the opening bill is quite possibly the reason why I’ll never be able to call myself “crazy” on stage again, Nothing More. I originally thought something was a little funky in New Jersey; APPARENTLY somebody slipped straight up LSD in Nothing More’s punch bowl. As I recall, at first I didn’t get it, and to be honest I’m not even sure if I do now. But I will say this: I have seen some out-of-this-existence stage shows, and these cats made it look like they wrote the book on being fucking bananas. This was some bananas shit, complete with strange surprise drum rigs around the whole stage, a fucked up, turn-a-bass-into-a-giant-xylophone apparatus, and a really spastic shirtless frontman (who seriously had me questioning my fitness choices. Thanks asshole, I WAS enjoying poutine week). Now you might think after seeing something that mentally frustrating, that the music wouldn’t be that good. Yeah, I thought that, but I was really fucking wrong. In the words of the late great Robin Williams, “Bangerang mother fucker.” Progressive/alternative/experimental rock turned up so far past 11 that it will very much leave you drooling, which I kinda haven’t stopped doing… Thanks again assholes.
All that sexual tension was finally released as Washington, DC’s finest prog-core export finally hit the stage. Periphery came out doing what they do best: EVERYTHING. They dropped a new album, but still opened with their first hit. If you haven’t heard “Icarus Lives,” then fuck your Redbull; you don’t know what it is to have wings. Everything about this set makes you wanna cry and quit music a little bit (well, at least it did for me.) Even if you thought they were fucking up, turns out they just decided to throw some jazz in there like complete dicks. Despite every member getting violently ill at some point in their tour, they still just stood still, all God-like, and fucked our shit up that way! It’s ok, we won’t complain, because they’re Periphery! And we LOVE THAT SHIT!
Alright I’m done being jealous. Every moment of this set was really and truly flawless: from the self titled album all the way to both ends of their new release Juggernaut: Alpha and Omega; from sound mix to crowd response; from drummer Matt Halpern’s deeeeeep V-neck to singer Spencer Sotelo’s pink/faded purple hair (which made you question your sexuality). Everything about this show was just burned into your skull, making you beg for more. Say it again kids, Periphery- Love. That. Shit.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Eric Brisson Eric Brisson Photography