Print Edition: April 9, 2014
Four metal bands — Crown the Empire, We Came as Romans, August Burns Red, and Asking Alexandria — came together on one stage at The Vogue theatre in Vancouver on April 6.
Once inside the building, ticket in hand, I got lost. Nevertheless, I found a seat up on the balcony with a perfect view of both the stage and the growing mosh pit below.
Soon enough the lights dimmed and the show began with Crown the Empire. Instantly I was hit with bright lights, and the drummer was hitting the skins with enough strength to rock the balcony. The guitarists, bassist, and vocalists joined in and before long the song was in full swing. Heads whipped back and forth, both those in the audience and in the band. As someone who enjoys metal music — although not a huge fan of the growling variety — the rough screams came as a sudden shock; however, my five-second stun quickly turned into me pounding my foot along with the beat.
Once the first set ended, We Came as Romans graced the stage. The crowed was rowdiest during the set for this band, with a large wave of people crowdsurfing in an attempt to get onto the stage. Luckily, security guards were there to snatch the surfers and direct them back into the pit. Hilariously, the security did nothing to stop people from continually trying to vault onto the stage — I have to admit the crowd became more intriguing than the band during this bout of time. There is something so comically fascinating about watching people slide across other people, occasionally kicking some stranger in order to touch a band member. The lead singer did nothing to quell the audience, and instead he invited the mosh pit to try and get on stage — much to security’s chagrin.
By the third band — August Burns Red, which gave The Cascade an interview and free tickets to the show — the crowd was in an uproar, running into each other in the general direction of the lead singer, fists flying, arms flailing, people continuously pushed and shoved. As brutal as this may sound, I also noticed that if someone had been hit particularly roughly, the hitter would hug their victim — which seemed to ease any hurt feelings even if the bruises would be felt the following morning.
As for the band itself, August Burns Red certainly had the best light display. While flashy and eye-catching, the series of lighting contraptions were designed to not blind the audience, which was much appreciated. Like the other bands, August Burns Red added to my feeling of worry as they too shook the balcony with their sound.
Finally, Asking Alexandria took the stage. The screams in the crowd were enough to deafen any ear that had stumbled across the building, had the blaring music not done so already. Once again, the crowd vigorously tried to mount the stage. One man succeeded, skipping across the right corner of the stage much to the consternation of security. Regardless of the fans’ intent to climb aboard, the band continued to shake the house with loud music and flashing lights. Of all the bands, Asking Alexandria had the nicest setup with multiple backdrops that change after a couple songs, brilliantly blinding lighting, and a raised stage for the drummer. The mosh pit was at its highest rowdiness with Asking Alexandria; people fought everywhere, taking sides and charging at one another in the name of metal.
A glorious concert complete with battles, this foursome has an exciting remainder of their tour to look forward to if the other crowds are anything like those of Vancouver.