All My Friends Tour in Richmond, VA

All My Friends Tour in Richmond, VA

Nerv, The Word Alive, Memphis May Fire, and Asking Alexandria at The National Photos by Nicholas Uribe and Review by Olivia Rozinski

Opening the night was Nerv, a California based metal core band with recent collabs with Awaken I Am and Archers. Having seen them multiple times, I can assure you- this band just keeps getting better. Every time they put on such a great show and always bring such great energy when performing. To the point that I’m not sure how the guitarists, Jordan Grokett and Scott Buchanan, stay on their feet with the amount of absolutely aggressive head banging they do during their set. And this run I absolutely could tell their excitement at upcoming releases. They debuted a new song on this tour, “Fake.” I was beyond happy to hear this as it’s their first song with unclean vocals and what a fantastic debut it was. It didn’t lose any of the melodic tone that the band is currently known for but only added unclean and grittier aspects to their repertoire.  I can’t wait for it to be released so I can have it on repeat and for it to attract new fans for the band who might want that grittier tone. "Fake" showcases the best parts of this band- their ability to make crazy catchy melodies with a metal core vibe, the energy of the band, Dillon Jones’ amazing vocals, and now Buchanan’s and Tyler Clark’s, their incredible drummer, fantastic unclean vocals. It’s also a genuine delight that these guys are just as nice as they are talented. 

Following Nerv, The Word Alive came on with headliner energy and a light show to match. I’ve seen them a few times now and am constantly impressed with the amount of energy they keep bringing to each show. It could be the first night of the run or it could be the last of a 6 week tour, and you would never know based on how all the members are jumping around the stage and the energy they’re throwing out. With a good mix of both newer and older material, the band constantly kills it for every kind of fan they have- new or seasoned- you won’t leave disappointed. Even on the songs with notable collabs like Julian Comeau, of Loveless, and Noah Sebastian, of Bad Omens, Telle Smith, vocalist, covers both vocals seamlessly. Combined with the energy from both Zach Hansen and Jose DelRio, on guitars, their show is consistently one I enjoy seeing. Whether they’re covering backup vocals or dancing around on stage, watching DelRio and Hansen is always a show in its own right. And it would be a wildly interesting show without their drummer Daniel Nelson, who has stayed my favorite drummer to watch play. I think he’s the only drummer I’ve seen play in long sleeves and a beanie but seemingly not break a sweat- the man literally makes it look easy to crush a killer show.

Memphis May Fire came on next with a slow but impactful start with Matty Mullins  singing solo as his band members slowly joined.  As this was my first Memphis May Fire show, I was immediately impressed with the accuracy and quality of his voice at a live performance. The crowd undoubtedly was as well. The Word Alive had done a fantastic job of getting everyone pumped up, and Memphis May Fire just said “hold my drink” and took it from there. While the crowd was going the entire night, even with a constant mosh pit going, the crowd was eating up Memphis May Fire’s performance and for a great reason. I’ve not been quiet or shy about the fact that I am an absolute sucker for a melodic metal band and Memphis May Fire has that recipe down to a T. I was honestly enthralled the whole performance which is saying a lot for Mullins’ stage presence and crowd control even when the speakers blew during their song, “The Old Me.” The crowd handled it like a champ, everyone was patient while it was obvious everyone was rushing to figure out what the problem was, and there was even an attempt at singing without the equipment- which, again, absolutely stunning voice- but I’m glad they held out as it was quickly resolved and the pits opened back up again.  The rest of the show went on without a hitch and it really was amazing. The whole band had such amazing presence and I’m genuinely just impressed and absolutely will be looking forward to catching them again as soon as I can. 

Also- side note for the crowd at The National. I haven’t been the only one to note that the metal community is a little less community than it once was, but man- watching everyone take care of each other in the pit warmed my heart. I watched someone fall in the pit and it was wild how quickly everyone around them dove in to protect them and pull them up to the point that the actually went higher than the crowd for a second before landing and getting right back to throwing elbows. It really was a thing of beauty. A++ for the Richmond, Virginia metal scene. 

Finally- for Asking Alexandria, you absolutely get more than just a concert. Danny Worsnop, lead vocalist, definitely has the innate talent for performing with his band, but doesn’t shy away from performing solo with a slight comedy routine (as I’ve been told he likes to think of it). With solid crowd engagement, Worship had the crowd wrapped round his fingers from the start. If Memphis May Fire’s Mullins’ voice was impressive, Worsnop’s is simply iconic. And if The Word Alive’s Nelson made drumming look effortless, Worsnop made performing look like second nature to him. Where the other performers brought energy to connect with the crowd, Worsnop walked on stage with the calm confidence of the seasoned veteran that he is. Even with a calm and collected walk across stage, he had the crowd going absolutely wild and singing along with everything. Again, with a solid mix of new and older material, everyone was singing along and was having a great time. With his band mates making up most of the movement and energy of the night, I have to give a shout out to James Cassells, on drums, because the crowd absolutely heckled him and he took it like a champ. Having listened to this band since their inception I really didn’t know what to expect. However, after chatting with several of the other touring members, I’m just simply in awe of this whole lineup and the amount of sheer talent that this tour had, one after the other. And to see Asking Alexandria live after being a fan for so long was absolutely such a gratifying moment for me and to have the whole band, and whole line up, live up to such immense expectations- It’s nothing but props from me. 

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