First to take the stage of the night were rockers Failure Anthem from Greensboro, NC signed to Razor & Tie. When these guys took the stage they immediately got the crowd hyped up and energy levels began to rise. The Greensboro, NC quintet—JD [vocals], Ryan [bass, backup vocals], Kile [guitar], Zane [drums], and Wil [rhythm guitars] are impactful, invigorating, and their infectious anthems with hooks so robust that you will be singing them for days after their shows. Their sound very similar to Stone Sour with frontman Corey Taylor. Failure Anthem’s frontman JD even resembling Corey Taylor. Failure Anthem overall was an incredible beginning to the HardDrive Live Tour.
Next up was the Alternative Rock band, Devour The Day from Memphis, TN. The band consists of former Egypt Central members Joey “Chicago” Walser on guitar and Blake Allison on lead vocals as well as touring members Ronnie Farms on Drums and David Hoffman on guitar. Devour The Day would take the stage to a loud ovation, a ovation that would last their entire energy filled set. I must say that this is the most noise I’ve heard for a opener from start to finish in quite some time. Devour The Day would not disappoint those screaming fans as they would play a phenomenal opening set.
The Road Warriors signed to Razor & Tie is Metal band, All That Remains. Seeming to spend 365 days a year on touring, All That Remains are dedicated to bringing the best live show to audiences everywhere they go. Beginning their set with lights flashing ATR just as All That Remains bursted unto the stage. All That Remains knows what their fans want to see at a live show and they give them that and more. Their setlist of 13 songs, the most powerful and memorable moment was when they played their ballad, What If I Was Nothing? The fans swayed with the melody, hands in the air, lighters & iPhone Flashes lit and those who knew the lyrics sang their hearts, which was most of the crowd. All That Remains brings so much energy unto the stage, its mesmorising and very entertaining. Playing to the crowd, All That Remains featured tons of sing-along choruses, strong new material, and a stage presence that turned a lot of heads. It seems years on the road has made them one of the best live bands out there. Every member of All That Remains was incredibly active in moving around the stage and working to get closer to their fans. They sounded even more amazing live than they do recorded and were such a pleasure to watch. Everywhere I looked people were singing, jumping and head-banging. There was even a couple of small mosh pits going on, depending on the song. Frontman Philip Labonte put on a hell of a performance. His screams were as powerful as they have ever been and his vocals in lighter songs like “Hold On” and “What If I Was Nothing” were both crisp and clean. The rest of the band was tight and on time and hit every note while not missing a beat. Their tightness and pitch perfect harmonies were incredibly spot on and amazing to hear live. They had ended their set with fans favorites of, This Calling and Two Weeks.
This six piece metal-core band from Detroit, Michigan; We Came As Romans exploded unto the stage with their single, Regenerate off their newest Self Titled Album. As a whole band, they were very very energetic on stage. Both vocalists Dave Stephens and Kyle Pavone were interactive with the crowd and used every inch of the stage space to run around. Throughout their entire set, they had an amazing light set up giving a very unique light show matching their energy on stage. The constant battle between clean and unclean vocals that has made WCAR so successful creates interesting elements in their live show just as it does on their albums. David Stephens, who does unclean vocals, His screams crawl around the low register and are throaty, with tons of depth and character. Occasionally he brings his screams more into the full-voice range, but regardless where the scream was on the spectrum, he was spot on and shook the house. Balancing out Stephens’ screams was the other lead vocalist, Kyle Pavone, who sings clean vocals for the band. On the albums, Pavone’s high register has a very pure sound that is a great complement to Stephens’ low and powerful screams. Pavone put out incredible vocals as well making for a well mixed vocal set which is WCAR’s signature sound. This kept the show exciting, as the band almost directed your focus to the correct place depending on the part of the song. Overall, the show had a very polished feel – everyone knew where they should be at all times, and to the audience it was really quite impressive. Bottom line was that it was a very well put together, professional show that reflected how much time this young band has put in on the road. We Came As Romans just knew how to play the right amount of old and new songs making for every fan to have an incredible show.