Last night at the Gothic Theatre was more than a rock show — it was a full-blown aerobic workout. From start to finish each band’s set was a nonstop adrenaline rush led by front men who never stopped moving, ending appropriately with the antics of Atreyu lead vocalist Alex Varkatzas, who is notorious for being a fitness maniac on the road.
The energy from the opening bands helped fuel the Sunday night crowd through the show, though if it wasn’t for a strong showing from Atreyu, the five-band lineup might have been a little too much to hold everyone’s attention all night. Endless Hallway, Architects UK, Chiodos and Bless the Fall rounded out the night’s support, each bringing their own variation on the screamo, post-hardcore, nu-metal phenomenon that is showing up on almost every metal tour around, but each band’s set was perhaps a little too much like the one before.
Although Bless the Fall is thrown into into the mix of these screamo bands who all look and sound alike, they do stand out as one of the more memorable in the genre. Led by front man Beau Boken, the Arizona quintet has a way of impressing everyone from the most devout metal fans to the 16-year-old scenesters who flock to post-hardcore shows.
Atreyu hit the stage at 10 p.m. leading off their set with “Stop! Before It’s Too Late and We’ve Destroyed it All” from 2009’s “Congregation of the Damned.” The set pulled from a variety of the band’s albums including crowd favorites “Bleeding Mascara” and “The Crimson” from 2004’s “The Curse” and “Doomsday,” as well as “When Two Are One” and “Becoming the Bull” from 2007’s “Lead Sails Paper Anchor.”
The Orange County metalcore band has appeared as support during their last couple of trips to Colorado, closing the side stage at the Mayhem Festival this summer and appearing with Hollywood Undead last November at the Fillmore. Neither set came close to touching how well they performed last night. The duel vocal performances from Varkatzas and drummer Brandon Saller were incredibly on point and the band’s overall set exceeded expectations. It was a great showing for fans who were seeing Atreyu for the first time as well as those who caught their last few sets around town.
Paige Montgomery is a Denver-based freelance writer. Check out more of her work on MySpace.
Todd Radunsky is a Boulder-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.