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Falling in Reverse’s headlining tour ‘The End is Here’ stopped at The National in Richmond, Virginia Thursday night. FiR delivered a killer set, flanked by Motionless in White, ISSUES, dangerkids and Dead Girls Academy.
Dead Girls Academy kicked off the show with a contagious energy that welcomed and amped up the crowd. DGA is a newer emo-esque metal band with a sound akin to My Chemical Romance, but heavier. The five-piece delivered an exciting and impressive set that is sure to build their fan base.
dangerkids, hailing from Dayton, Ohio were next to swarm the stage. The group built upon and intensified the energy from DGA and paved the way for the acts to follow. Drummer Katie Cole was a kick-ass beauty behind the kit. In light of recent events, witnessing the juxtaposition of her brutal performance and graceful presence emitted an overwhelming sense of ‘girl power’ and pride. The group left no part of the stage untouched and connected with the crowd on every possible level. Guitarist Alex Asch even made his way onto the crowd for the latter part of their set.
ISSUES set sail next with an array of pirate ship props. Drummer Josh Manuel’s kit was dead center of a stage-wide pirate ship, complete from bow to stern and mast. Playing an array of tracks from their newest album ‘Headspace’ to their self-titled and even ‘Black Diamonds.’ They began their set with ‘Coma’ followed by ‘Mad At Myself’ and ‘Princeton Avenue.’ Their stage presence was monumental – not only because of the pirate ship, but the lighting design was dramatic and perfectly aligned with the rhythm. Frontmen Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn were fireballs of vocal energy, stirring the crowd and forming a pit during ‘Yung & Dum.’ Carter began ‘Never Lose Your Flames’ acapella style and encouraged the fans to join in. For a moment in time, amidst the political turmoil raging outside those venue walls, every person in the room were one – singing the words as loudly as possible. Then the instruments kicked in and everyone lost their shit. The drums were brutal and the breakdowns were tight and heavy, just as they should be. They closed with ‘Hooligans’ and parrot came out on top of the ship to dance and crowd surf. ISSUES was a sight to see and a pleasure to hear.
Motionless in White made a visual impact long before they took the stage. The thunderous chants of ‘MO-TION-LESS’ paired with the extremely detailed set design were hauntingly beautiful. With an array of dripping candles atop their monitors and cabs, jack-o-lanterns eerily glowing from the floor, and a floor-to-ceiling backdrop, everyone was mesmerized. Their setlist included ‘A-M-E-R-I-C-A,’ ‘Death March,’ ‘Reincarnate,’ ‘Eternally Yours,’ and ‘Dead as Fuck.’ Chris Motionless was joined by Vampire Michael for guest vocals and Kylie the goth cheerleader/clown who squirted the crowd with water, brandished a flag, and threw out candy. MiW is much more than a concert, it’s a feast for the senses, visual and auditory. The ghoulish appearance and demeanor almost seems contrary to the way they interact with their fans – Chris Motionless was so sincere in his thanks and conversation. For their finale song, ‘Reincarnate,’ they were joined by the jack-o-lantern man. MiW was performance to remember.
Finally, post-hardcore headliner Falling in Reverse took the stage. Completely opposite of Motionless, FiR took to an empty stage with only a backdrop of LED lights. Though at first the band appeared dwarf-like in comparison to the mass of emptiness, they delivered a larger-than-life sound that engulfed every inch of the stage. Vocalist Ronnie Radke was sporadic in his movements, while his band created musical masterpieces around him. They started off with ‘Sink or Swim.’ FiR’s versatile sound comprises equal parts melody and heavy metal, sprinkled with a little rap and hip-hop influences. Their set included a range of songs old and new, ‘God, If You’re Above’ ‘Good Girls Bad Guys,’ and ‘The Departure’ were some to note. FiR delivered a powerful vocal performance with instrumentals to match. The band was attuned to the crowd and was enthralling to watch. The light display complimented their sound and created killer visuals of shadows and strobes. Falling in Reverse delivered a four-song encore including ‘The Drug In Me Is You’ and ‘Just Like You.’
PopD gives this show 5 out of 5 stars. See the full gallery here.