Date: November 28th 2017
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Support: Higher Power / Knocked Loose / Comeback Kid
With a career thus far that spans nearly two decades, a seemingly non-stop touring schedule that has seen them in intimate sweaty clubs in almost every corner of the world, and to date eight full-length albums, it’s no wonder that Every Time I Die have garnered such a wealth of respect, admiration, and allegiance from their fans and their contemporaries. So, with a headline tour once again running through the UK, it’d be beyond foolish to not attend.
Coming in as the only British act on the tour bill, Leeds based newbies Higher Power  certainly have an air of melodic hardcore about them, but with a twist. There’s a somewhat Beastie Boys quality to frontman J Town‘s voice, and though certainly refreshing in an increasingly stagnant genre, it just doesn’t sit too well. When the band reach ‘Soul Structure’, they manage to get pits moving a bit, but admittedly bassist Pete‘s over-enthusiasm onstage when he should be focusing on playing the song is a bit of a put off.
It turns to being a bit more about the aggression, the breakdowns, and the 2-steps for when Knocked Loose  take to the stage, and there’s no doubt that their set is forceful and formidable from front-to-back. But, what hinders it is what it lacks, and what it lacks is any form of versatility. Bryan Garris‘ screams are shrill and jarring, which makes for an intense listen, and guitarist Isaac Hale grunting “Move Manchester!” every two minutes gets annoying fast. A quick appearance from Alex Taylor of Malevolence adds a brief injection of refreshment, and ‘Deadringer’ is far more punishing live than on record, but ultimately Knocked Loose leaves you feeling Knocked Bored.
Thankfully, Canadian outfit Comeback Kid  allows the fun to come back, along with a fuck load of adrenaline and sweat, and just in time too. Even if you have no knowledge of the band’s work, it’s hard to not bang your head along to their set from start-to-end. The likes of ‘False Idols Fall’, ‘Wasted Arrows’, and ‘Die Knowing’ sound huge and dense, and frontman Andrew Neufeld stomps from one side of the stage to the other, screaming his grizzly vocals out to the wave of crowd surfers before them.
Just within the first few moments of their set, Every Time I Die  continue to maintain their reputation as an exhilarating live experience time after time, as guitarist Jordan Buckley dives right into the crowd with his guitar in tow, along with a walking cast strapped around his broken foot. Indeed, Jordan launching himself into the arms of their devotees with a leg injury on slightly sets the mark for what’s to follow.
His brother and the band’s charismatic frontman, Keith Buckley, sounds a lot more aggressive tonight than he does normally, as with great venom his spits and barks to the likes of ‘I Didn’t Want To Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway’, ‘We’rewolf’, and ‘Petal’. The band treat their fanbase of ETIDiots to a set that of cuts that span from across their entire discography, and one of the remarkable things about Every Time I Die and their work is that an oldie like ‘Romeo A Go-Go’ can slot right next to a fresh addition like ‘Glitches’ with neither of them sounding alien to one another, or overly dated or polished respectively.
It’s hard to remember a time when your adrenaline isn’t peaking when you’re watching Every Time I Die, even when they pull out the more melodic ‘Revival Mode’ or ‘Map Change’. By the time we reach set closer ‘Fear And Trembling’, which sees Bryan Garris of Knocked Loose come out to fill in Tim Singer‘s guest spot on the track, it continues to remain unquestionable that they are one of the greatest bands of our time.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.