On Friday, January 9, 2014 the House of Blues Myrtle Beach hosted the kickoff of an impressive tour featuring Islander, Kyng, Seether and Papa Roach. Spanning three weeks and 22 cities, this tour was destined to be action packed with hard rock and sensational stage performances. The venue was packed wall-to-wall with feverish fans ready to get things started, as the listening room heated up and the alcohol flowed. Fans could be seen across the venue adorned in their favorite band merchandise, from tank tops and t-shirts to hoodies and hats. The lights began to dim and a hush fell over the audience as the festivities began.
Greenville, S.C. natives Islander officially kicked things off, opened things up with their high-impact song “Counteract”, the first song off their major label debut Violence & Destruction. Front man Mikey Carvajal wasted no time tearing into the stage and pumping up the crowd. New guitarist J.R Bareis could be seen dreads flying freely as he romped about the stage wearing a blue stuffed dinosaur tail with spots. Bassist Chris Doot could also be seen stage prowling and head banging along as the band ripped their way through a set list consisting of some of their best tracks off Violence including, “Sadness of Graves,” and “Cold Speak.” The guys got especially amped when it came to playing “Criminals,” a song they recorded with Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. for their album. Carvajal has never been one to separate himself from the full performance experience and has always gone full contact when it comes to interacting with the fans. So, of course he had to crowd surf a little, allowing the masses to support him as he walked/ rolled across them before being returned to the stage. Wrapping up their set, Islander closed up shop with their hit single “Coconut Dracula” which climbed the Billboard Active Rock in 2014.
Kyng took the stage next and cracked open the smoky and smoldering guitar sound of days long past. The great thing about watching these guys live is literally watching the sweat drip from their pores as their dive head first into their music. Drummer Pepe Clarke could be seen at the back of the stage drowning in perspiration under the stage lights as he wailed away on his kit. Frontman Eddie Veliz was also visibly drenched as his danced on the fret of his guitar and he howled tunes off Burn The Serum, their 2014 release, into the microphone. The audience got the chance to join the action in the singing and jamming along to Kyng’s 2014 hit single “Electric Halo. The band also rocked out to a cover of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” and “Falling Down” off their 2011 release Trampled Sun. Veliz took a minute to talk to the crowd in between songs about their 2014 success, being on this tour and his definition of success. According to Veliz, he’s just happy that the band has finally made their way onto a real tour bus and hopes that it’s a sign of more good things to come.
When it was Seether’s turn, the band made sure to give fans a mix of the old and new with songs from across their catalogue. Vocalist Shaun Morgan stood stage right next to bassist Dale Stewart belting out song after song as the crowd sang and screamed along. Drummer John Humphrey could be seen tearing away at his kit, hair flying freely. Morgan was focused and absolute in his concentration and intensity as he worked his fret and howled into the microphone. The guys played a set that consisted of a little something for everyone including “Fine Again,” “Words As Weapons,” “Country Song,” “Same Damn Life,” “Fake It,” and even a more solemn moment with “Broken.” After a rousing set that saw Stewart interacting with the crowd, Morgan throw himself into his performance and Humphrey’s high-flying, hair-whipping wailing drive the crowd wild, the guys rounded out the evening with an oldie but a goodie- “Remedy” from 2005’s Karma and Effect.
Finally, it was time for Papa Roach. Led by the energetic and charismatic Jacoby Shaddix, P-Roach has established a reputation of being a band that wears its heart on its sleeve, as stated by bassist Tobin Esperance in an interview with zoomdune.com. With that in mind, it makes sense that Shaddix and company seem most exhilarated to be on stage and really came alive the minute the lights hit them and they broke out into their latest single “Face Everything And Rise.” Shaddix himself was rife with enthusiasm as he leapt and bounced from one side of the stage to the other smiling, waving and singing to fans in the crowd. the entire venue seemed to brighten as P-Roach brought the rock and soul. Like their predecessors in Seether, having such an extensive catalogue of material allowed the guys to play a plethora of songs from across the spectrum. the guys also indulged the audience with such songs as “Getting Away With Murder,” “Broken Home,” “Scars,” “To Be Loved,” and “Burn.” The biggest surprise came in the form of two songs fans didn’t expect to hear. the band debuted to a second song off their upcoming album F.E.A.R titled “Broken As Me” which seemed to be well-received and had the a catchy enough hook to have the crowd singing along with some success. The next and biggest surprise came in the form of “Infest” the title track off their 2000 album which, according to Shaddix, the band had not playing in almost 12 years. As the night wound down P-Roach fans of all ages got a lovely parting gift, the band’s breakout hit single off Infest “Last Resort.”
There are still plenty of dates left on this tour and between the tightness of sound and the raw energy and passion of all involved it’s one of many great ways to kick off the 2015 concert year. You can find the full photo gallery here.