Article and Photos By: Adrienne Row – Smith
Montreal, Quebec — On one of the colder days of March, Metropolis was hosting the Rest in Space Tour. The tour was the first time that Falling in Reverse played Canada, and was reflected as fans outside the venue were lined up around either side of the building, with blankets and had thermoses of hot chocolate. But when it was finally time to enter the venue, the fans were eager for the bands to warm them up with their sets, and see what Crown the Empire, Falling In Reverse, and headliners Pierce the Veil had in store for them.
Up first for the evening were young guns Crown the Empire, who were a lively start to the night. Opening with “Zero” the title track of their newest album Retrograde, started an evening in which very few in the crowd would remain still or on their feet. Fans of Crown the Empire were spread throughout the crowd but everywhere I walked I could hear at least one fan passionately singing along. While the crowd was still recovering from being outside in the cold, some standing outside for 5 hours before doors, the band provided so much energy that it not only got the crowd moving but also caused one of their astronaut props to deflate. Undeterred, lead vocalist Andrew “Andy Leo” Velasquez to give it a high kick much to the crowd’s enjoyment before it was removed from the stage. Not to be out done, drummer Brent Taddie took some time to catch the crowds’ eye by doing some standing drummer work and inciting the crowd to step up to his level. Every member of the band brought their fair share of stage presence, and gave the crowd their monies worth. This was evident in their ability to get everyone in the crowd, as getting everyone that was within the venue to clap or engage with them on some level. During “machines” the crowd sang along, and also waved their hands back and forth in what was surprisingly synchronized time. While the band may have lost two members in the past year, their live show did not suffer for it as both guitarist Brandon Hoover and bassist Hayden Tree stepped up to fill in on vocals. They appeared to be a well-oiled machine, able to handle anything that came their way. In sum, Crown the Empire started the evening off on the best foot possible.
Following Crown the Empire, I was not sure if Falling in Reverse would be able to top the energy and antics that occurred in the previous set. However, given that it was their first Canadian tour and time in Montreal, it was clear that the band needed the evening to be a success (which it was) and did everything they could to ensure it. The band had an extremely packed venue to play to, with many in the crowd appearing to be dying to see lead vocalist Ronnie Radke, as they periodically chanted “Radke, Radke” whenever there was a break in the set. Having more lighting production than Crown the Empire the band heavily relied upon strobing and changing colour lights, which created an atmosphere that would transition from energetic to moody depending on the song being played. The crowd never rested during songs, singing every line to “Rolling Stone”, or “Loser” (which comes off their highly anticipated album Coming Home out on April 7th), but was most evident during “I’m not a vampire” when Radke sung “Hi my name is Ronnie and I’m an addict” to which the crowd shouted “Hi Ronnie”. Beyond singing some of the younger female fans took the opportunity to pay homage to the tradition of rock shows and tried to gain attention by throwing their bras onto the stage. However, to their dismay this was not appreciated by the band and they were thrown back into the crowd – but those who choose the safe route of crowd surfing Radke made sure to give them props or high five if he could. While the crowd was losing their minds, so was the band as each was a ball of energy, feeding off the crowd but with Radke really being the conduit for most of the performance. But the band made it clear that the stage is their domain and made sure that they provided the crowd with not just money’s worth but also memories. This was ensuring by throwing a pizza and its box, and full bags of chips for the crowd. It is clear that band take their work seriously, but can have a good time. When Radke strapped on a guitar, it indicated that the band was going to play something that the crowd was not expecting, a new song which channeled Hybrid Theory era Linkin Park. During their new song the band, most notably, Radke and drummer Ryan Seaman, lost their minds with Radke ending the song by slamming his guitar on the ground, solidifying the punk vibes of the song. In the final break of their set, Radke took time to thank the crowd for coming and security for doing their jobs, and made the joke about Canadians being kind by saying: Does Canada even charge for felonies? Or do you just say sorry and that’s it?”. But then he went on to ask the crowd how many of them were assholes, which led into their final song of “Just Like You”. For their first time here, Falling in Reverse did not just show any nervousness and did what they do best, they put on one hell of a show and I hope that they come back.
When it was time for Pierce the Veil to take the stage, they hung up a large banner in which they projected their name on it while set up was occurring behind. When the band was finally ready to play, they projected a mini video showing a rocket ship (Hence the Tour name) featuring items off the cover of their Misadventures album cover. Playing the intro into to “Dive In” from misadventures, the band entered from a prop space ship wearing space suits. When they finally began to play “Dive In” red confetti exploded and came down on them and the crowd, but it was not until lead vocalist Vic Fuentes began singing that the crowd collectively lost their minds. During their set the band played some of their most beloved songs that have come out of their ten-year career, and fed the energetic needs that the crowd demanded. Being in the pit at the start of the set was dangerous for all the photographers within, as crowds desperately needed to fulfill the need to crowd surf and both Fuentes and bassist Jaime Preciado getting very close with throwing their instruments in the direction of cameras (although this made for some great photo opportunities). The band themselves rarely spent any time in one position, moving to interact with both sides of the crowd and providing a high energy stage presence. When the band took a slight break from the high energy antics, and had bassist Jaime switch to playing piano while the rest of the band played acoustic versions of their instruments for “Stay Away from My Friends”. The crowd excited to hear the song, sang every word with Vic and some members of the crowd produced lighters to better fit the aesthetic. Once the song was over the band resumed their antics, tearing into their funky track “Bulls in the Bronx”, which got even those sitting in the balcony seats on their feet. Besides having a captivating stage presence and energy, the band also had some of the most phenomenal production, releasing what seemed to be perfectly timed confetti, air jets and strobe lighting. The band made it clear that they are a well – oiled machine, and deserve all the recognition that they have. Yet, while their high end production does not mean that the band has forgotten those fans that have been with them since the beginning, as they still bring a fan on stage and sing “Bullet Proof Love “to them. Before ending the “official” set the band again emphasized their love of their fans and the devotion they’ve shown over the 10 –year career. Choosing to end with “Hold On Till May” the band had to compete with the crowd who almost sang louder than them. At the end of the set, the crowd chanted pierce the veil while stomping their feet, creating a deafening atmosphere. When the band did finally return to the stage for their encore, they played their radio hit “Circles”, and had smoke circles permeate through the air. Before leaving the stage for good, the band showed that they had a good time and danced on stage while they handed out souvenirs to fans still waiting.
In the end, each band brought forth a show that was memorable, and dynamic. While the tour is almost over, if you have a chance to get any of the bands regardless of whether they are touring together, be sure to check them out!