Crown The Empire
September 16th 2013 | Norwich Waterfront | Gigs
Words: Liam Forkes | Photo: Megan Roberts
Over an hour before doors were due to open, there was already a large queue of people outside the Waterfront. That night, two popular American bands were co-headlining a tour that visited the venue. Crown The Empire, a metal-core band hailing from Dallas, Texas, and Issues, another metal-core band from Atlanta, Georgia. Many people there were excited to see both bands, and both of them completely exceed any expectations.
First on the bill were slightly-more-local metal-core band With One Last Breath, who reside in York. From the second the band stormed on, the crowd went wild for them. By the start of their first chorus, fists and feet were already flying around. Lead vocalist Sam Graves wasted no time in screaming for the crowd to go wild, and the response was overwhelming. It seemed like every person in the place was moving in some way or another. This level of movement was matched by the band, with consistently high levels of involvement from all members. Bassist Joe Lancaster stage-dived more than once, and even lost the cable from his guitar. Musically, the band were perfect, with every note matching every other note played, however a special mention must go out to Graves’ vocals, which were highly impressive. A particular highlight was when the band’s merchandise seller came on stage to provide some unclean vocals during Hell We Create. Overall, one of the best support sets possible, and a good representation of what was to come.
Next up, Georgian-based Issues took the stage. Kicking straight in with 'Hooligans', once again the band encouraged the crowd to show their passion for music, and once again a barrage of violence greeted them. Front men Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn seemed to immediately connect with the audience, and used this connection to create a positive atmosphere both on and off the stage. As with their predecessors, the band took the stage and made it their dance floor, consistently moving around in time with their songs. Musically, the band did not falter for a second, blasting through a set of hits such as Love Sex Riot and Princeton Ave. The crowd continuously reacted to every single command screamed at them, and this gave a tremendous sense of unity throughout the set. It felt like the band and the crowd were one, and it gave a much more positive atmosphere. The combination of impeccable music and a tremendous crowd reaction led to an amazing set from an amazing band.
The stage darkened then as the harrowing introductory jingle of Johnny’s Revenge blasted through the speakers. Headliners Crown The Empire stormed onto the stage and instantly made it their own. As was becoming a trend that night, the band commanded the crowd to “go f***ing insane”, and once again the crowd obeyed without question. A set including Makeshift Chemistry and Voices continued to make the crowd violent, but the band only encouraged this. Constant demanding for circle pits and mosh pits fuelled the crowd further, adding to the intense yet positive atmosphere. On stage, the band continued the tradition of taking the stage, and making sure to perform on every part of it, migrating from one side to the other without a second thought. Musically, as with every other band on the bill, there were zero noticeable flaws. Flying through the heavy riffs and seemingly effortlessly transitioning from clean vocals to unclean vocals, the band really pulled out every imaginable stop to provide the crowd with one of the best shows to have graced the venue this year.
Overall, every single band on the bill completely outdid themselves. Be it because of intense crowd interaction and their reactions, or because of every band playing pitch perfect, or because of the endlessly impressive stage presence shown from every band that played, everyone to grace that stage proved, in their own right, that they fully deserve the success that they are getting, and all three bands seem set only to get bigger.