Saturday, March 5, 2016

blessthefall at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

Beau Bokan
Metalcore band blessthefall began in 2003 with teenaged high school friends in Phoenix, Arizona. Initially a Christian-oriented screamo band with some hip-hop and nu metal influences, the band's popularity grew partly due to exposure on Warped tours. To Those Left Behind, blessthefall's fifth album, was released on September 18, 2015. The band presently consists of vocalist Beau Bokan, guitarists Eric Lambert and Elliott Gruenberg, bassist and co-vocalist Jared Warth, and drummer Matt Traynor.

At Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom tonight, blessthefall performed a blistering, dynamic set that while entertaining, showed how much metalcore bands tend to sound and perform alike. A heavily tattooed, messy-haired lead vocalist and another vocalist traded clean vocals and growls, prowled the stage and continuously exhorted the crowd surfers to slap a high five at the stage. The heavy-bottomed music regularly paused for breakdowns and other changes in rhythm, and crunching guitar chords were more generous than guitar solos. Even the staging was standard issue, with spotlights relinquished in place of back lights flashing constantly into the audience, dry ice fog further obscuring stage visibility and two risers for the front line to stand on to generate cheers. From the opening "Hollow Bodies" to the closing encore, "Open Water," the band offered a fierce 14-song set that could have pulverized concrete blocks and smashed heads. The musicians in blessthefall did this very well, but in the end it sounded kind of samey.

Visit blessthefall at www.blessthefallmusic.com