CONCERT: We Came as Romans headlines raucous night of metalcore

Jack H. Evans

The Valarium was absolutely packed, and by 6:30, there was still a line stretching around two sides of the building. That caused many concertgoers to miss openers Close to Home, but the line sped up just in time for many to enter by the time Texas in July was finishing up its sound check. It might have been a bit early for some of the lazier audience members, but Texas in July didn’t miss a beat, with the bone rattling rhythm core of drummer Adam Gray and bassist Ben Witkowski being the most impressive feature. The fact that vocalist Alex Good donned a pair of orange pants a la Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley added to the awesomeness. Of Mice & Men chose the Star Wars theme for their intro song, but that’s just the beginning of what was probably the best set of the night. A massive mosh pit erupted seconds into opener “YDG!?” and didn’t die until the end of the set. “Second and Sebring” and “The Ballad of Tommy Clayton and the Rawdawg Millionaire” also impressed, but the best moment of the set came when vocalist Austin Carlile crowdsurfed from the stage to the backdoor. Miss May I had a hard set to follow, and it did take some time for the crowd to really get into the music. Sometime around the beginning of “Monument,” though, a pit opened up, and it wasn’t long before a wave of crowdsurfers swept across the audience. Miss May I was the heaviest band on the bill, and the crowd absolutely loved them. The tour, however, belongs to headliners We Came as Romans. Though their energy wasn’t quite as high as the openers’ and the clean vocals weren’t quite up to snuff, the whole crowd threw their support behind them in an effort to make this a memorable show. WCAR played a mix of songs from their debut To Plant a Seed and their recent release Understanding What We’ve Come To Be . The high point of the set and the night came when the entire crowd pressed up against the stage to sing along to the end of encore song “To Plant a Seed,” making for the perfect ending to a fantastic night of metalcore. We Came as Romans: 7/10 Miss May I: 8/10 Of Mice & Men: 9/10 Texas in July: 7/10