Summer Concerts Review

Kayleigh Paskiewicz


jEarlier this month, Arizona metal-core band Blessthefall came to Toad’s Place in New Haven with the To Those Left Behind Tour. The tour was in support of their new album To Those Left Behind that came out in September. Support for the tour included newcomers Cane Hill, English rockers Oceans Ate Alaska, Emarosa and Stick to Your Guns.

If you’ve never been to a concert with a lot of opening acts, just know that chances are the first band will probably be the worst. In this case, it was true. I admire the members of Cane Hill for working hard to be able to go on tours around the country, but to be completely honest, I would’ve gladly waited until they were done before even entering the venue. You could barely hear the singer over the deafening screeches from the guitars. I wouldn’t recommend seeing them.

Oceans Ate Alaska is fairly new. With only one album and a feature on Fearless Records’ Punk Goes Pop 6, they have a decent sized fan base. I went to the concert knowing one song and left as a huge fan. The energy and passion from the band transferred perfectly to the crowd.

I am a huge fan of Emarosa. In fact, they were the selling point of this tour. I even had the chance to meet Bradley Walden, the lead singer. On stage, the band was absolutely amazing. Walden had jumped into the crowd several times, climbed and dangled from the rafters and even picked up the guitarist and spun him around. The energy from Emarosa was unlike anything I had ever seen. I would highly recommend seeing them live. Whether a fan or not, the energy and passion from the set would captivate anyone.

Stick to Your Guns has been on the scene for a while. Doing stints on Warped Tour with Blessthefall and with the lead singer featured on a song from Blessthefall’s fourth album, it made sense for them to hit the road together. Although the singer, Jesse Barnett, spent a lot of time between songs discussing his interpretation of the lyrics, there was always a constant buzz of excitement. The fans were rowdy and enthusiastic for every song.

After four bands, the headliner Blessthefall hit the stage. The lights, smoke and sound from the stage encompassed everyone. With Beau Bokan, lead singer, jumping in the crowd (he held my hand for about twenty seconds, it was so great), there was no shortage of energy. The crowd sung back lyrics, jumped around and embraced everything that was happening.

I would highly recommend seeing all of these bands, except Cane Hill. The best part about a small venue like Toad’s is the intimate interactions with the bands you don’t get at other venues and concerts. I would give this concert a 10/10 and to be completely honest, I want to go back and wait another three hours just to get into the show. I would do it every day of my life if I could.