Asking Alexandria came to the U.S. on the Moving On tour in December with support from Blessthefall, Chelsea Grin, Upon a Burning Body, and Ben Bruce’s own The Family Ruin. They brought their tour to Webster Theater in Hartford, CT on December 17 for what was set to be a memorable night for all from the very start. Crowds lined up down the block hours before doors, excited to see each band that was set to take the stage.
The Family Ruin took the stage first on their first proper U.S. tour. The group was supposed to be a part of Crown the Empire’s fall tour but due to visa issues could not make it. This seemed like the perfect tour to start out the band in the states and for their first real full tour as it was with label owner and Asking Alexandra guitarist Ben Bruce and co-owner and tour manager for Asking Alexandria Kyle Borman. KBB was initially created to manage the group as the two believed that The Family Ruin deserved recognition and wanted to help them achieve that and developed into a label from there. The group took the stage with the confidence and command of a seasoned touring band. Fans throughout the ctrowd were familiar with the group and were singing along and those who were not were off their feet and having a fantastic time getting to know the band. The Family Ruin did a phenomenal job of getting the crowd into the show early; they did everything they are supposed to do as an opener and then some. They released their debut album, Dearly Departed, on KBB in the fall of 2014. The setlist consisted of songs from that record including with the opening track from the record “Bring Out Your Dead” which the group kicked off the night with. They also played fan favorites like “Cirque De Sin”, “Filth”, and “Lets Go”. They closed out their set with one of the strongest tracks off of the record, “Let it Burn”. If The Family Ruin is not yet on your radar, they need to be; big things are coming for them in 2015 including a short run with Mushroom head in January and a longer tour with Chelsea Grin in the spring! Check them out now, you most certainly will not regret it!
Upon a Burning Body took the stage next and kicked off their set with “Red Razor Wrists” off of their 2014 release The World is My Enemy Now. The album came out last summer on Sumerian Records. They also played “Pledge Your Allegiance” and “Scars” off of that record. Older fans were not forgotten as “Texas Blood Money” and “Sin City” were played as well off of their 2012 release, Red. White. Green. Frontman Danny Leal was joined for vocals for the song “Sin City” by The Family Ruin vocalist Johnny Mennell. Two vocalist put in interesting spin on the song as the two unique voices complimented each other very nicely. The group did a good job keeping the crowd engaged and certainly encouraged even more crowd involvement with countless crowd surfers. Security did a fantastic job catching the steady flow of fans that were coming over the barricade what seemed like non-stop. They really got the crowd involved and engaged with their last song, their cover of “Turn Down for What” from Pop Goes Punk vol. 7. It was a great idea to end their set with a song everyone knew and could scream along to and get involved with!
Chelsea Grin took the stage next with the heaviest set of the night. They kicked off their set with two songs from their most recent release Ashes to Ashes, “Playing with Fire” and then “Angels Shall Sin, Demons Shall Pray” and got the crowd engaged immediately. It was clear from the screaming and singing along that the crowd was filled with Chelsea Grin fans both new and old. The band had something for everyone including a song from their three releases prior to Ashes to Ashes, which was released on Artery Recordings and Razor and Tie. They played “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” off of the 2012 release Evolve, “The Foolish One” off of the 2011 release My Damnation, and closed out the night with what has always been a fan favorite, “Recreant” off of their first record with Artery Recordings, Desolation of Eden from 2010. Frontman Alex Kohler did a fantastic job of getting the crowd riled up and ready for the rest of the evening.
Blessthefall was direct tour support for Asking Alexandria and brought the crowd to a level they’d yet to reach all night with a high energy, high intensity set that had everyone in the crowded pit singing along throughout the evening. The majority of their setlist was from their most recent release Hollow Bodies from 2013 including their first song, “You Wear a Crown But You’re No King” which really got the crowd off their feet and into the set. The energy reached and entirely new level. They also played “Déjà vu” and “Youngbloods” off of that record. Old fans were not let down either as “The Reign” and “Bottom Feeder” off of Awakening along with “2.0” and “What’s Left of Me” from Witness. They did a phenomenal job of engaging the entire audience from start to finish. Blessthefall is a band that does a great job of putting on a set that everyone can enjoy from fans from the start to newer fans and even those who are not all too familiar with their music and everyone in between. The energy level in the building reached what was likely an all time high when Blessthefall closed out their set with the “Hollow Bodies”, the title track from their 2013 release on Fearless Records.
When Asking Alexandria finally took the stage the crowd was more than ready for the 14-song set that included a good mix of newer and old songs with the majority leaning toward their 2013 release, From Death to Destiny. They kicked off the set with two songs from that release, the ever-popular “Don’t Pray for Me” and “Run Free” which got the crowd singing along and moving around from the very beginning. Asking Alexandria is a band that has created a massive, loyal fan base throughout the years and the various releases; it was clear that most of the fans had come to see the set as everyone was singing along all through the set. Mid-way through frontman Danny Worsnop took an unplanned pause in the set for a very important interruption. A fan was called on stage and given the microphone. He spoke to a woman in the crowd, his girlfriend and brought her on stage to propose! The crowd went wild as she happily agreed to marry him. The two were congratulated by the band and crowd and happily returned together to the pit. It was such a touching gesture for the band to welcome fans onstage to make a very special moment of their lives even more memorable and special; it showed such dedication and care for their fans to be so welcoming! Fan favorites like “Moving On” and “Break Down the Walls” on From Death to Destiny were also played and had what felt like the entire room singing along. The crowd also sang along happily to “Someone, Somewhere” from Reckless & Relentless and “The Final Episode (Lets Change the Channel) from Stand Up and Scream. The band was barely off the stage when the crowd began screaming for one more song, however when Asking Alexandria returned they didn’t get one song, they got three! All three songs from From Death to Destiny. “Killing You”, “The Death of Me” and “Poison” had the entire building singing along until the very last note. From talk among the crowd fans seemed highly satisfied by the variety in the setlist and the performance all of the bands had given.