The Crowd Surf America Tour hit Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, NJ August 17 for what was set to be an amazing night. The show featured Chiodos and Blessthefall with support from I Killed the Prom Queen and Capture the Crown. Fans flooded into the venue ready for one of the best line-ups for heavier music of the summer. Chiodos and Blessthefall are both well known for their energy and intensity during performances but for those who do not know I Killed the Prom Queen and Capture the Crown are also fantastic with getting a crowd involved and engaged from the first note which made them the perfect support bands for the tour.
Capture the Crown was the first band on the tour package to take the stage and they did so with energy that is not always found in an opening act. They had fans screaming along and moshing from the first song up until the very end of the last song. The group has been around since 2010 but has the stage presence of a much more experienced band. Capture the Crown played a good mix of new fan favorites off of their 2014 release, Reign of Terror, and older favorites such as their debut single, “You Call That a Knife? This Is a Knife!” Frontman Jeffrey Wellfare consistently encouraged fans to crowd surf and jump around to the songs which fans seemed very receptive to.
I Killed the Prom Queen took the stage next with another fantastic live performance. Frontman Jamie Hope was all over the stage and out to the edge of the crowd all throughout the set, which really seemed to get fans going wild. The intensity picked up considerably during their set as the setlist seemed to consist entirely of fan favorites. With a highly extensive discography the band had many options to choose from when compiling the setlist. The majority was based around their new album Beloved which came out earlier this year including “Thirty One & Sevens”, “To the Wolves”, and “Bright Enough”. Older favorites “Sharks in Your Mouth” and “Say Goodbye” which they closed with were also on the setlist and really seemed to be enjoyed by seasoned fans of I Killed the Prom Queen. When these two songs were played it was clear the crowd was filled with fans that have supported the group for years as well as newer fans who have quickly grown to love the work of I Killed the Prom Queen as a whole. Not only did they encourage fans to get involved in the set by calling for crowd surfing, moshing and walls of deaths, their clear passion for performing also built the hype and energy from the crowd.
Blessthefall took the stage with one of the most engaging sets a band has put on likely all summer. Not only were fans encouraged to crowd surf and mosh as is typically at a metalcore show but frontman Beau Bokan also told girls to get on guys shoulders during one song and instructed all of the newer fans to Blessthefall to crowd surf up to the stage and high-five him. The entire band was moving nonstop and played with an energy that was sure to have the crowd engaged but their highly fan-dedicated set was what really stood out. Constantly talking to the crowd and engaging with them, whether it be singing to them at the edge of the stage or calling for their participation, truly made it a more interactive and enjoyable. Blessthefall also did a great job of mixing new and older favorites into the set. The setlist leaned more heavily towards new favorites off of the album Hollow Bodies (2013) including the songs, “ Exodus” and title track “Hollow Bodies” which kicked off the group’s set. They closed the set out with the ever-popular song “ You Wear a Crown But You’re No King”. In between songs like “Guys Like You Mae Us Look Bad” off of His Last Walk (2007) and “2.0” and “What’s Left of Me” off of Witness (2009) gave seasoned fans a throwback to past favorites.
Chiodos closed out the night with a set fans won’t forget. They are group that take the stage with passion and intensity that cannot be matched every single set. Frontman Craig Owens took the stage with the spotlight on him as Thomas Erak shredded up a fantastic guitar solo. All throughout the set Erak put on a show with his outstanding guitar work proving he is absolutely one of the most skilled guitarist in the genre, and likely in music. Normally the frontman is responsible for antics, which will rev up the crowd, which Owens most certainly does, but he does so with the help of Erak. Erak is constantly demonstrating his unmatched ability to engage the crowd and play the guitar in interesting and different fashions, even behind his head at some points, all without missing a note. Owens does a fantastic job of connecting with the crowd all throughout even without reaching out to the crowd which he does as well simply by the raw emotion visible on his face. They too have an extensive discography filled with hits and fan favorites. They seemed to pull together the most well received setlist of the year on this tour as the energy never waivered once they took the stage. Songs such as “A Letter from Janelle” which will always be a fan favorite were complimented well by newer favorites such as “3AM” which allows Owens to showcase his outstanding vocal abilities beautifully. The most intense moment of the set came during the song “Expensive Conversations in Cheap Motels” as Owens encouraged fans to do something they cannot really do anywhere else; at the top of their lungs the entire building seemed to scream the lyrics “I, I fucking hate you” as they were directed, which was a cathartic and chilling moment for all involved. Chiodos is a band that never fails to put on a highly memorable and enjoyable set whether it be in a midsized venue like Starland Ballroom, a smaller more intimate venue, or a massive venue as they will be playing on the Parks and Devastation tour. Be sure to catch them on the road this fall!
The Crowd Surf America tour was certainly a night to remember and left fans feeling highly satisfied as they flooded to the merch tables and out to meet their favorite artists. All four bands in the tour package put on phenomenal sets that everyone seemed to very much enjoy. The tour was the perfect combination of talented metalcore bands with outstanding stage presence and passion for music that is evident when they take the stage. Each band is one to see on up coming tours as they put on sets that fans always seem to love.