Written By: TIFFANY MITCHELL
It’s been a minute since The Devil Wears Prada headlined a tour, so when the announcement was made I knew I had to cover the show. The title No Sun/No Moon comes from the documentary created of the making of The Devil Wears Prada’s last released album called Transit Blues. Vocalist, Mike Hranica, told me earlier that day in an interview that they were giving away a free download of the documentary for anyone who purchased a ticket to the show. So not only do you get to attend one of 2017’s sickest tours but you get an inside/in-depth look at how Transit Blues was created. I call that one hell of a deal! Lucky for us Baltimore was a stop on the tour schedule and my favorite venue, Baltimore Soundstage couldn’t have been a better home that night for the No Sun/No Moon Tour. Supporting The Devil Wears Prada, were quickly rising new comers, Thousand Below (Rise Records,) along with Silent Planet (Solid State Records,) and Veil Of Maya (Sumerian Records.)
Hailing from San Diego, California, Thousand Below have taken the post-hardcore world by storm. Recently releasing their debut album Love You Let Too Close on Rise Records, it’s clear to see why they were chosen for a spot on this tour. Being the opening band always brings a certain kind of pressure, but not for these guys, as they kicked off with the stirringly powerful song “Sinking Me.” Vocalist James DeBerg, formerly of the band Outlands, emotionally lit the stage with super-melodic riffs with brilliantly blended heaviness. Consequently, this set the rest of the night up for some perfect music domination.
Next to raise the metal meter was Silent Planet. I have seen Silent Planet a few times live, and each time more expressive and riveting as the last. Front man Garrett Russell, walked out bare foot, baring a smile as “Panic Room” began
“Lustrous lines obscured by opaque blinds
Frozen metacarpals tap tap tap the window glass
Syncopated staccatos with the broken clock
Synchronized with my post-traumatic ticks ticks
Talking to the space in the room that echoes back indiscernible
To my disconnected self, self
It’s self-consuming, what’s ensuing is my undoing
The nightly casualty of war
And it sounds like this War, endless war”
…followed by “Psychescape” and “First Father.” Emotively abounding in narrative and intent, Silent Planet’s lyrical assault reached into your psyche and shook it till it woke, all the while being delivered on a metal plane of existence. The depth and deliberation in every song performed was quite frankly captivating. For those unaware of the unspoken and unheard Silent Planet, was the beacon and for the many, the voice. “Depths II” was a fitting end as this verse refers to Revelations 2:17.
“This is the end of everything
We’ll lose our divisions and forget our names:”
Veil Of Maya came out to screams and cheers and they wasted no time delivering a verbal assault. Coupled with super-sick cleans and djents for days there was not a person within those walls who stood silent or still. As the barrage continued like heavy artillery the blast beats and pummel play calculated the onset of a mass-mosh-pit. Bodies were bounced hand over hand toward the front row, as security raced to catch them before they reached the stage. VOM broke out with a new song called “Overthrow” and vocalist Lukas Magyar laid down a lengthy growl-to-scream before asking the mob to raise their fist and chant “Hey, Hey, Hey.” Like a scene from a music video, the crowd obeyed with enthusiastic intent and as the night moved on, one couldn’t imagine it could get anymore lit than it already was. But the evening wasn’t over and The Devil Wears Prada was headlining the show.
TDWP has been a force in the metal genre since 2005, cranking out six studio albums, two EP’s and numerous other projects. They remain a positive influence for upcoming bands and have gained a massive fan base that continues to grow. They remain my favorite band for almost 12 years and counting. I had the awesome opportunity to sit down with front man Mike Hranica before the show to pick his brain for a few minutes, so don’t miss that interview below. Then, follow along with me as I tell you about Prada’s best live performance in Baltimore to date.
Cool, now that you’re back, let me tell you what happened after Prada took the stage. As I stood in the photo pit with the rest of the eager photogs, I snapped a photo of the set list taped to the stage floor. Seventeen songs were on that list, songs that haven’t played live in a long, long time. Tracks from albums such as Plagues, Dead Throne, With Roots Above and Branches Below and 8:18, as well as, the Zombie EP, Space EP and their newest album released last year Transit Blues. It’s been known that Prada doesn’t care much for their earlier work, but cared enough to make the fans happy with many of the favorites they knew would make for the most insane set ever. Equipped with full stage lighting, lasers and fog, TDWP walked out to an eruption of screams and the excitement. “Daughter” would kick the show off, and there wasn’t a moment’s pause as folks threw hands in the air with voices to follow. It was just the beginning, and the crowd was already hype, then “Sassafrass” came next and hardcore Prada fans got totally fired up. Some were singing, some jumping, others headbanging and fist-pumping, a mosh-pit had formed, and it was only the second song. Sounding the best I have ever heard them play, it was like they channeled the very best of themselves and gave us every bit. After the execution of “Assistant To The Regional Manager,” my time in the photo pit was over and I could stand on the sidelines and enjoy the rest of the show. “Planet A,” Worldwide” and “Born To Lose” all laid down with flawless ease, as TDWP did what they do best, dominate. You could hear the craftmanship of each song in the structure of a single verse. You could feel the intensity of its meaning in each members personal delivery. Most fans know that Mike Hranica suffers from anxiety and has mentioned he doesn’t do well-being around a lot of people. Well, it blew my mind to see him jump off the stage during the song “Dez Moines” and walk into the sea of fans. Still, as he screamed into the mic, he stood amongst the many who reached for him with pure adoration. Hranica took his place back with the band and went right into to “Reptar, King Of The Ozone.” After 14 songs, never losing their flame, Prada played with unwavering precision. Guitarist/backing vocalist Jeremy Depoyster belts out the chorus…
“We’re composing our funeral songs, note (note) by note (by note)
We’re composing our funeral songs, note (note) by note (by note)”
…and the house breaks out in one voice. When a show goes this well, it sucks to see it end and you know the last hoorah will always be one for the books. “Mammoth” began, everyone shot their fists up in the air once more, TDWP brought the roof down and folks were surely going to lose their voices. Not a single person that knew Prada shied away from engaging in celebrating the end of this tour. By now I’m sure the building’s bones show signs from an epic series of seismic shifts caused by the sickest tour all month and we are proud to have been a part of it all.