Photo Credit By: Julia Quesada
Written By: TIFFANY MITCHELL
Baltimore was chosen to be a stop on The Graveyard Shift Tour that was headlined and named after Motionless In White‘s (Roadrunner Records) latest album release, Graveyard Shift. Rams Head Live was to be thee spot on October 15th for many reasons, most likely for having the capacity for holding over 1600 people. 1,450 ticket holders showed up that night, and they stretched from the ticket window to the water fountain outside Powerplant Live. The last time I saw a line that long was… Hmmm, I don’t think I’ve seen a line that long in quite a while. As I walked inside to grab my photo pass and ticket for the show, I took notice of platform shoes and painted faces, spiked hair and studded bracelets, scattered throughout the sea of black band tees. The doors came open and the line began to move as my fellow photographers and I made light conversation and checked our gear. As we filed through the venue doors, the stream of people seemed to never end, as they filled every corner, balcony and bar stool. Rams Head Live has three other levels that span the length of the building with a bar complete on each floor. By time the first band came on, each balcony was lined with tiers of hungry fans, three rows deep, like rows of sharks teeth. Chompin at the bit, they anxiously searched for open spaces best to feast their eyes on the show to come.
As the lights went down, and William Control (Control Records/Artery/Sony) emerged from the side of the stage, echos of applause sounded off, like rogue turbulent waves. Beginning with “The Monster,” off his fifth studio album Revelations, satisfied what folks had been waiting for, and the swell of excitement grew by each song. Recently, Control has been winning hearts and gaining favor from musicians and music lovers alike, resulting in being added to the Motionless tour was proof he was exactly where he belonged.
Now Miss May I, (SharpTone Records) who’s one of the post-hardcore world’s most listened to bands, have been hitting the scene hard in the past few years. They recently headlined their own tour after the release of their album Shadow’s Inside and also supported Ice Nine Kills back in September. This was my fourth time seeing MMI in the past three months and like their last few performances, they gave performances nothing short of perfect. Front man Levi Benton and guitarist/clean vocals Ryan Neff, sounded flawless in their delivery of “Lost In The Grey, “Relentless Chaos” and “My Sorrow.” As they played all the fan favorites, a super-insane mosh-pit broke out and security had doubled in minutes. A steady stream of bodies flowed in waves from back row to barricade and fourth floor to front door. Everyone bounced, sang and headbanged along as MMI offered up an epically powerful set. They continue to outplay themselves and couldn’t have kicked ass any harder than they did that night. But you better hold on, because the The Amity Affliction had yet to claim the night and The Graveyard Shift Tour wasn’t finished with us yet.
From Brisbane, Australia to Rams Head Live, The Amity Affliction (Roadrunner Records) brought metalcore fans to their feet with their matchless melodic riffs and solid versatility. Right away they broke out with “I Bring The Weather With Me.” The gripping lyrics and emotively harmonic cleans, speak for themselves as it shakes your being into attention. TAA also added ” Lost & Fading,” “Shine On” and the gloomy number “All Fucked Up,” to their This Could Be Heartbreak” (the title track of their newest album) was the chosen tune that wrapped up their set, yet was just the right song to provoke the house into one-more-song-mode. Energy flowed straight out of the pop-punky chorus that boosted the atmospheric ready-for-anything meter. The Amity Affliction‘s moment under the lights came to a close and not soon after the lot was eager to see Motionless In White take the spot they’ve earned.
The stage went black. Inside the shadows, ghostly silhouettes of the crew quickly removed black sheets from props and gear, the sound system and instruments were also checked and placed in proper positions. A big white statue of an angel adorned each side of the stage and pumpkins were placed around to go with the Halloween colored drum set. Motionless walked out assuming their charge, while the room erupted into screams and whistles. Those familiar first few technical notes and beats of “Rats” resonated through flesh and bone, while streams of purple beams and white flashes turn to green. Beginning with “Rats”(a song off their latest album Graveyard Shift) was a damn good song to hype the house up with, but truthfully they could have started with any song from any album. They could have created a set list in any order and still the insane-awesomeness of a MIW live show will work for anyone. Now you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m betting on 99% agreement here. Frontman Chris Motionless worked the mic like only he knows how with his signature screams and vocal style. From day one, they have had a certain artistic craftmanship that has allowed them to dominate, make their mark and level up. They put together 16 songs for the Baltimore show and each one just as sick as the one it followed. Like “Reincarnate,” the title track off their 2014 album (named the same,) is one of those songs that is definitely on your playlist and an absolute crowd pleaser. If you were brave enough to join the multitude on the floor, you had best be prepared to get caught in the pit. If you were already in the middle or close to it, you became part of the push and pull and thrash and bash. But hey, that’s to be expected when you see MIW on tour and part of the fun too. Another song off the new album”Necessary Evil,” has that one line in the song that you can’t help but to say it louder than any other line or verse. Like when the music stopped and it came time to say the words , you heard…
“Imma have my cake and fucking eat you too”
with emphatic synchronicity. The foundation trembled as the riff-raff bounced in place with rock horns held high. Yellow and red beams of light cut like scissors through the dense fog that hung over the heads of the horde. MIW also pulled out a blast from the past called “Ghost In The Mirror.” It was “Ghost In The Mirror” and “Abigail,”(which they didn’t play) that made me fan and supporter for life and although they have had a few member changes over the years, 12 years if I’m correct, their music has grown, but their mission and message remains the same. As many times as I have seen them, their outward appearances make for great photo ops as well as a killer dramatic performance. Bass player Devin “Ghost” Sola, with his ever-changing personas, front man Chris Motionless and guitarists Ricky Horror & Ryan Sitkowski looked straight badass, dressed in black apparel, piercings, tattoos on the surface. Yet they wore their viciously wicked talent like hooded cloaks blinged-out. Time seemed to go to fast, because everyone coexisted with the music and each other. Just when you think the end is near and the hype-meter should be powering down, “Dead As Fuck” was served sick-side-up, with a slice of “Not My Type: Dead as Fuck 2“and a scary seven-foot ghoul to wash it down. I saw a few people get carried and walked out of the mosh pit, due to getting hurt or hurting someone else. Mosh pits can fun and brutal, yet painful all the same. Some can’t wait for certain songs to play so they can get in that pit and let go of things that weigh them down. A Motionless show without a mosh pit would change the whole dynamic of the experience. Talking about experience, it was about to end and it was time for the encore. There must be an encore, because peeps gotta get their chant on, and they did by shouting,”one more song, one more song.” Normally the encore would be that song that sends the audience home remembering they got to hear their absolute fave band play only a few feet away from them. And most likely the last injection is the most hype, the most brutal or the chart topper. Well MIW’s whole set was hype, brutal and praise-worthy, with The Amity Affliction, Miss May I and William Control included, it ended up being one of the tours this year people will talk about for years to come. If you didn’t get a chance to catch this one, no worries, you can bet on catching them on another one, I just can’t promise you that they will all be together again like this one.
But you can follow all the bands on their social media below.
Motionless In White’s official video for ‘Necessary Evil feat. Jonathan Davis’ from the new record Graveyard Shift – available now on Roadrunner Records.