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ASKING ALEXANDRIA, MEMPHIS MAY FIRE, THE WORD ALIVE, NERV In Salt Lake City, UT

By Breezy Bird, Idaho Contributor
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 @ 8:43 AM


The All My Friends Tour Hits The Depot On May 8th

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It's been about 14 years since I last visited The Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah. As the name suggests, the venue is a historic Union Pacific train depot. The stage, located up a narrow flight of stairs, sits in front of a diminutive pit area backed by an island of high tables and chairs. It felt so much smaller than I remember. A mezzanine lined with chairs skirts the upstairs area giving attendees a bird's eye view of the show. On this night, concert goers would be treated to ASKING ALEXANDRIA and the All My Friends Tour (5/8/2024). For this show, I elected to leave my camera at home to take in the show as a mere spectator.

After attending the meet-and-greet with ASKING ALEXANDRIA, my husband and I found ourselves next to familiar faces from a previous show, Justin and his son Jacoby. Despite Jacoby's tender age of 10, he's no stranger to concerts, his eyes were lit up with excitement for the night ahead. His father's unwavering support adds an extra layer of warmth to the scene, painting a picture of an unbreakable bond and shared passion. The only image I've chosen to include in this review encapsulates Jacoby's youthful exuberance, throwing up the horns in a moment that will undoubtedly be etched into his memory forever. Interactions like this make my heart so happy.

The band NERV is a quartet currently residing in California consisting of Dillon Jones on vocals, Scott Buchanan and Jordan Gokett on guitar, and Tyler Clark on drums. Due to the excessive amounts of equipment consuming the entire stage, they were confined to a tiny strip of real estate across the front, but that didn't stop them from moving around and engaging with the crowd. Their seven-song set was electrifying, enticing the growing audience. Although I wasn't familiar with the band, I enjoyed their sound and vibe.

Setlist

  • "Bad Nature"
  • "Not the One"
  • "Blue"
  • "Demon"
  • "Fake"
  • "Low"
  • "Bad Habits"
After a short intermission, THE WORD ALIVE took the stage. With roots beginning in 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona, the band has undergone some significant changes to its lineup over the years. The band consists of sole original member guitarist Zack Hansen, vocalist Tyler (Telle) Smith, Daniel Nelson on drums, and Jose Del Rioon guitar. I thoroughly enjoyed their recent album titled Hard Reset, even including it on my Top 10 Albums of 2023. Having seen THE WORD ALIVE previously, I had an assumption of what to expect. But you know what they say about assumptions! I was totally unprepared for the ferocity of the set and the remarkable vocal range of Tyler Smith. The heavy setlist incited an early mosh frenzy much to the joy of Telle. I enjoyed THE WORD ALIVE so much that I even bought one of their shirts after the show!

Setlist

  • "2012"
  • "Nocturnal Fire"
  • "Play the Victim"
  • "Hate Me"
  • "New Reality"
  • "Slow Burn"
  • "Life Cycles"
  • "One of Us"
Another brief break saw equipment leave stage, making more room for MEMPHIS MAY FIRE. As we waited, generous security guards passed out cups of water those of us along the rail so we wouldn't lose our highly coveted spots. To be completely honest, I was relatively unfamiliar with the four-piece band out of Denton, Texas. I mean, I know who they are, but oddly enough, they have somehow flown under my radar. From their start as OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN in 2006, they have experienced significant lineup changes. Touring in support of their most recent album Remade in Misery, the band currently consists of lead vocalist Matty Mullins, Kellen McGregor on lead guitar, bassist Cory Elder, and Jake Garland on drums. They blasted the enthusiastic audience with a hard hitting 12-song set that lasted almost 45-minutes. The setlist perfectly encompassed the musicianship and energy of the quartet, leaving the crowd hanging on every note while our eyes were captivated by the lights, lasers, and geysers of smoke.

Setlist

  • "Make Believe"
  • "Left for Dead"
  • "Bleed Me Dry"
  • "The Old Me"
  • "Somebody"
  • "The Sinner"
  • "Vices"
  • "Chaotic"
  • "Miles Away"
  • "No Ordinary Love"
  • "Misery"
  • "Blood & Water"
Finally, the stage went dark and became enveloped with fog as five shadowy figures took their place on stage. The set started with the screamer from their early years titled "Closure" from the 2011 album Reckless & Relentless. Call me what you want, but I'm admittedly not a fan of old school ASKING ALEXANDRIA. Although I will listen to it, I don't have an appreciation for anything before From Death To Destiny. I know that their sound has significantly morphed since their 2006 inception, and unlike many of their hardcore contingent, I love the new direction (but that just might be my old ears talking). With a current lineup including Danny Worsnop on vocals, guitarist Cameron Liddle, bassist Sam Bettley, and drummer James Cassells, ASKING ALEXANDRIA has also had a shakeup in its members with the departure of Ben Bruce and the addition of a fill-in guitarist. Despite the different faces, the band still puts on one hell of a show. This was one of the heavier ASKING ALEXANDRIA shows I've seen with a lot of growling, which Danny does extremely well. Liddle is always a great showman, positioning himself in the perfect light patterns to accentuate his profound expressions and flowing dark hair.

We were treated to a brief duet with Tyler Smith from THE WORD ALIVE for an impressive performance of "Into The Fire". In the middle of the set, Worsnop stood alone on the stage with just his guitar as he slowed things down for a sing-along of BACKSTREET BOYS' "I Want It That Way". How so many metalheads knew the words is beyond me, but they did and they sang along unapologetically! The acoustic session concluded with "Someone Somewhere". After the momentary slowdown, the pit erupted once again as crowd surfers were passed to the front of the stage. There's nothing like a stinky size 12 Chuck Taylor to the side of the head to remind you that the rail is best place to be! As the show reached its finale, fans were treated to favorites "The Final Episode (Let's Change the Channel)" and "Alone In a Room". And just like that, it was over with nothing left to do but drive the long trek home.

Setlist

  • "Closure"
  • "Alone Again"
  • "Bad Blood"
  • "Down to Hell"
  • "Into the Fire" (Appearance by Tyler Smith of THE WORD ALIVE)
  • "Where Did It Go?"
  • "Dark Void"
  • "I Want It That Way" (Backstreet Boys)
  • "Someone Somewhere" Acoustic
  • "Moving On"
  • "The Violence"
  • "Let Go"
  • "To the Stage"
  • "A Prophecy"
  • "The Final Episode (Let's Change the Channel)"
  • "Alone in a Room"


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