Philadelphia, PA – The Theater of The Living Arts (TLA) in South Philadelphia hosted Wage War on a beautiful night for a sold-out show as the smell of Philly Cheesesteaks filled the air.
The venue was packed to capacity as three other metal bands opened the show to lather up the fans for the headliner. With three opening acts, each more intense than the last, the concert was a long haul. When all was said and done, nearly five hours had passed from the time doors opened to when the lights came back on. Dayseeker, Polaris and Like Moths to Flames were an excellent choice of heavy hitters to lay the groundwork for what was to follow.
Dayseeker who originates in Orange County opened the show with charisma and class as front man Rory Rodriguez and his band took control with hard hitting thirty-minute set. Gino Sgambelluri (guitar), Mike Karle (drums), and Ramone Valerio (bass) worked the crowd. Rory has an excellent vocal range and carries both charm and contagious enthusiasm. They have four albums under their belt and covered a wide range of material. See their video for “Sleeptalk” HERE.
Polaris flew in from “Down Under” Australia to also join the party. At this point in the evening bodies started flowing up to the pit. Daniel Furna (drums), Jamie Hails (lead vocals), Rick Schneider (rhythm guitar), Jake Steinhauser (vocals, bass), and Ryan Siew (lead guitar) bring it hard and raw. Check out the video for single ”Lucid” off debut album, The Mortal Coil.
Like Moths to Flames followed and indeed kicked it up another notch, as the body surfers really started overflowing into the pit area. Chris Roetter (lead vocals), Aaron Evans (bass, backing vocals), Jeremy Smith (lead guitar) and Zach Pishney (rhythm guitar) served up an appetizer before the main course. Playing “Nowhere Left to Sink”, “You’ll Burn” and “Bury Your Pain” left no doubt these guys have been in the game for a while.
With nearly ten years and three albums under the Fearless Records label, Blueprints in 2015, Deadweight in 2017, and my favorite album Pressure in 2019, as well as touring all over the world, Wage War did not disappoint. Briton Bond (lead vocals), Seth Blake (lead guitar), Cody Quistad (rhythm guitar), Chris Gaylord (bass), and Stephen Kluesener (drums) gave their loyal fans, a mix of millennials, and seasoned rockers just what they came to see – pure musicianship.
The band continued to heat up the frenzy in the mosh pit. Arms were flailing, deodorant was failing, and crowd-surfing bodies void of any gravity seemed to bounce off the fingertips of the supporting crowd. Next time I will need to strap a Go Pro onto one of these fans so I experience the true grit without fear of head wounds.
What I love about hardcore metal is the sincerity of the music and the fans, it’s not tainted by media and money, it is just so real and straight from the heart.
WAGE WAR Setlist:
Who I Am
Don’t Let Me Fade Away
Me Against Myself
WAGE WAR Photo Gallery
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Show Date: 10/11/2019