Bands like some of the ones I saw at the Hoosier Dome on Friday make me believe that there will be a day when metal is once again the top genre, and bands that push camaraderie and believing in your dreams will take to the forefront instead of asswipes who are only in it for the money and were put together in a corporate boardroom by a bunch of suits.
Another Day Dying was up first in front of a sparse crowd who stood far too still for my liking throughout the whole night. Their sludgy death metal was splendid, and despite standing still for most of the set, had spots where their character as a band shined through. The drummer left a bit to be desired but I would rather see a drummer not exactly get drumming with two bass pedals than see one who nails double bass with a cheater pedal. Their guitarist was just amazing; I don't think I've seen a guitarist that good in a long time. Another Day Dying had some minor problems like any young band; their guitarist's strap fell off and left the poor guy wrestling with it for an entire song, though he recovered quite nicely. Then, their drummer dropped his sticks mid-song and made an enormous amount of racket recovering them. THEN, their guitarist played throughout the breaks between songs, making it impossible to hear what the vocalist was saying. But, Another Day Dying gave a pretty good set.
Black Dali was almost a whiplash change from Another Day Dying. They were very melodic; they brought to mind Smile Empty Soul or Rev Theory. Black Dali had great stage presence, and was one of the better two of the night. They had a really tight set and were really entertaining. The guitars were magnificent; the drumming was spot on, everything meshed fantastically. I loved them, I loved their sound, I loved their set, and everything about Black Dali was glorious.
Hollywood Romeo was the reason why I was excited for this show. They started out with a cover of Crashdiet's "Breakin' the Chainz" and it was pretty good, but I liked their original material a lot better. Mid-set, vocalist Jacki DiVine recorded a video if the crowd saying good luck to his friend Lizzy DeVine of Vains of Jenna fame. I almost had a heart attack upon hearing this, because I freaking love Vains of Jenna and the fact that I am now in a video that Lizzy will see will make my days happier for the next few weeks. Immediately after, Hollywood Romeo launched into a gorgeous cover of Vains of Jenna's "Hard to Be Vain." VoJ have got to be one of the hardest bands to cover due to Lizzy's distinctive voice, but HR nailed it. The only two things that niggled me a little about HR was the fact that I was almost right in front of the stage and I could barely hear the backing vocals and at times not at all, and I would have liked to see some more energy, sometimes it dragged a bit musically. Overall, though, I really liked Hollywood Romeo. They were, with Black Dali, one of the better two bands of the night.
When All Hope Fails closed out the night. They seemed very familiar until I realized I have heard their sound before - when I saw Crown the Empire a few months ago. The only thing different is that When All Hope Fails doesn't have a synth machine. Simply put, I didn't like them. Their clean vocalist was pitchy, and their sound was very generic and overdone. I counted three different vocalists attempting clean vocals throughout the set, which was inconsistent and confusing. And, apparently the audience was most, if not all, made up of the band's friends, because for about ten minutes they just took a break and carried on conversations with the audience, which was insanely frustrating to witness. The band patterned their entire stage presence after Motionless In White and Crown the Empire and it was almost insultingly obvious they were attempting to look like them.
So, a great night of amazing bands unfortunately had to end on a sour band, but the other three bands were strong enough that I don't consider the night a loss.