From First To Last, Every Time I Die, Chiodos
Orlando, FL Oct. 15, 2006
by Jen Cray
"I love the music, but hate the scene," was the the general theme of duality going on within the crowd at Atreyu's World Championship Tour's Orlando stop. A gaggle of "manly men" were harassing a school of emorexic effeminate boys about their girl jeans.
"I thought only girls wore capris."
Funny, I thought that only girls and gay men knew what capri jeans were, I thought to myself.
The mashup of metal, emo, and hardcore that has flooded the tour circuit this past year has long been bubbling on the edge of violence. The audience of opposites that these bands attract make for- by far- the most obnoxious crowds, and there is always a moment of clashing between the young, girly teen boys and the drinking-age more masculine males.
"If you don't like the scene, stay home and listen to the cds- don't come to the shows," a teenage girl with heavy eye makeup mumbles under her breath in regards to the near fight about to explode in front of us.
All of this is happening, unbeknownst to the bands onstage. Chiodos, with their tight-shirted vocalist who makes the girlies scream, plays on, oblivious to the tension that mounts. Every Time I Die, the band closest to the title of Metal on the night's bill, distract the older crowd long enough to maintain 30 minutes of crowd surfing oblivion. The band also puts on the most high voltage set of the evening with attitude and energy to spare. These moments of inner peace are evaporated when From First To Last appears.
Vocalist Sonny Moore looks like a miniscule version of Corey Feldman and the crowd is ready to eat him with a spoon. The Orlando-based band is a youth pleaser and jumps between the worlds of post hardcore/emo (on this tour), and full-fledged teenybopper fluff (last year they toured with Fall Out Boy). During their set the bars crowd up as the bracelet-ed post-21s in attendance head for some help to get them through the whiney set.
Atreyu looked a little out of their element on this, their first headlining tour of medium-sized venues. When the band came through at the beginning of the year as one of the main supports on the Taste Of Chaos Tour, they seemed destined for large stages. Big showmanship all around- from the animated guitar swings of Chris Thomson to the rockstar poses of vocalist Alex Varkatzas- the band was a standout on the overload of heaviness that was the TOC tour.
On their own stage, carrying the bill in their hands, they seemed less confident. The sound was spot on, Thomson was his ever-swirling self, but Varkatzas seemed to be holding something back. The audience didn't seem to notice, hanging on the band's every note and enjoying the community that these shows bring to the young and disenchanted. The show was one of the first of the tour, so maybe the band is still getting their tour legs. Give 'em a couple of weeks warmup and they'll be jacked up to full capacity.