Last Wednesday night wasn’t just any old night in Virginia. As the waves crested and the gentle breeze blew, Shaka’s Live could be heard well beyond the shoreline. Located in the heart of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, hundreds of hungry fans were housed and dowsed with a lineup so lit, folks came from all over to join this metal-ution.
Before the last in line rolled in, VA beach local bands Give ‘Em Hell, Kid and I, Ohms also Richmond’s O, House of Jacob, came ready to make more than an impression, they made their mark. The reception from the crowd was nothing less than metal-tastic.
The first band on the bill to shake Shaka’s stage was Lorna Shore (Outerloop Records.) Celebrating the release of their latest album Flesh Coffin, this Jersey foursome turned the hype-meter to snap-yo-neck and rage. Following close behind were So Cal natives Capsize (Equal Vision Records,) and they were just what the post-hardcore doctor ordered. Vocalist Daniel Wand’s cleans, brilliantly complimented the dark lyrics with deep intensity. Their live performance ignited every emotion as the crowd hung on to every note. But then Metal/Hip-Hop mix masters, Fire From The Gods (Rise Records) broke the spell and shit got real. Front man Aj Channer, was a force on the mic and lyrically took no shame in musically reaching out to the underdog. With thunderous energy, the pit went full-on fuego as FFTG flipped the genre expectations on its face. From rafter to railing, bodies crashed into bodies no matter the lack of space in the crowded house.
Next to turn the fire up to inferno was fan faves, Ice Nine Kills. INK took the stage and as the first notes of “The Plot Sickens” began, every voice could be heard singing in sync with the band. Rock horns held high in the air, heads thrashing about, as “Hell in the Hallways,” ”Connect the Cuts” and “Enjoy Your Slay” followed suit. As each song proceeded the next, the lot below seemed almost metal-maniacal. Lead vocalist Spencer Charnas stood high on a riser, through the dark and foggy room, as he reached for the hands that reached for him. Ending the set with “Communion Of The Cursed,” off their album Every Trick In The Book, was the perfect send off. The foundation shuttered and the atmosphere felt palpable, as every soul succumbed to the music. In those moments of time, the world seemed to fall away and the mortal felt almost immortal as nothing else existed but that song, in that place, having the time of their lives.
But the night wasn’t over and Miss May I was headlining. Performing songs off their latest album release Shadows Inside, via Spinefarm Records, MMI has been hitting the stage hard all over the country and have come to bring Virginia Beach to their knees. Levi, Ryan, BJ, Justin and Jerod started the set with “Lost In The Grey.” Benton’s signature screams and Neff’s cleans made this timeless track off their latest album just the right song to shift the night into high tide. To follow next with fan favorites, “Deathless,” and “Masses Of A Dying Breed,” the hundreds attending responded with fist-pumping praise. A mosh pit broke out in the loaded room, limbs flailed to and fro, all the while shouting in unison. For this tour MMI threw in a few more songs from Shadows Inside, called “Under Fire” and “My Sorrow“(my absolute fave,) which was a great addition, because the new album is one of their best ever recorded. I stayed close to the left side of the barricade to avoid crowd surfers, so I could grab a few shots of MMI facing the hungry mob. Levi stood high above the barricade with raised arms, the light behind him shined through his lions’ mane-ish locks, as Ryan began to sing the last song, “Relentless Chaos.”
“Take my misery I give all of it.
Take one chance I’ll be there.
Offering all of myself I give everything for my last opportunity.”
The fog covered the room, purple and yellow lights broke through like lasers, like something out of a bad ass sci-fi-ish metal concert in a dungeon. Levi’s screams sliced through the heavy haze with “
Emery stones demonstrate and achieve what I wanted.
Relentless chaos is all that has been.
Thoughts of being greater have fallen fast.
This highland contains whatever may come.
How senseless can you be?
How confused can you be?
“Relentless chaos is all that has been.
Look at us now higher than before.
Desire to emulate and create all.
Remember bringing this down?
How could you bring this down?
Please tell me why you tried so hard knowing this would happen one day.
Take my misery I give all of it.
Take one chance I’ll be there.
Offering all of myself I give everything for my last opportunity.
Concentrated on destroying this vision.
Try to live this down when I find you begging at my feet.
(The congregation chanted)”All your words have fallen to the ground where they belong”
Blood, sweat and tears were left on that stage that night, and the fans bled right along with them. Each band that performed gave 100% of themselves to the crowd and proved to be more than worth the drive out-of-state. If you every have a chance to see any of the bands on this bill in a live setting, take advantage of the opportunity. I can guarantee you won’t be sorry.
Miss May I – Chaos Rising Tour at Shaka’s Live
Ice Nine Kills – Chaos Rising Tour at Shaka’s Live