A crowd surfer’s paradise at Arizona Pete’s as Fit For A King and company deliver hard-hitting performances.
Arizona Pete’s – Greensboro, NC – 26 November 2017
We all know Metalcore shows can be fucking insane, with the multitude of pits and the feet flying in the air from crowd surfers. So, when this tour was announced, especially with this line-up, I knew it would make a pretty awesome experience and it was at one of my favorite local venues, Arizona Pete’s.
Now, for you to understand this venue, I must describe it to you. Normally, Arizona Pete’s is a country western themed bar/nightclub, but on select dates, you won’t see any cowboy hats or boots in the building. However, you will see more than enough band shirts and long hair. The stage is raised about 4 feet off the ground, allowing great views of the bands from any point in the venue. What the club lacks is acoustics in terms of sound, but it makes up for that in its pretty fucking good lighting setup, making photographing the bands on stage easy. So, because of those reasons, it moved up on my list of venues at which to shoot.
The first band to take the stage on this particular night was California quartet, Phinehas. The band recently released their newest record, Dark Flag, delivering a mixed set list of both new and old music to the metal hungry crowd. Frontman Sean McCulloch delivered his brutal vocals with ease as the rest of the band delivered high-energy performances. It was around the band’s third song that the seas parted, and the circle pit opened up in the center of the large dance floor, to stay for the remainder of the band’s set.
The next band to hit the stage to deliver another energetic performance was Ohio metalcore outfit, Like Moths To Flames. With the recent release of their fourth record, Dark Divine, the band played a mixed setlist of some of their older fan favorites and their newest singles off of the release. Helping to keep the high levels of energy up in the building, and keeping the fans moshing and crowd surfing their way to the stage, Like Moths To Flames, left everything that they had on stage, giving the fans their money’s worth.
By far the highlight of the night was Aussie Metal Band, In Hearts Wake. This band is probably one of the most exciting bands that I have seen live this year. Their crowd interaction is stellar, and they make their performance more into a free-for-all party than just another show. It was towards the end of the band’s set that they broke out “Patchy the Boat”, an inflatable raft that the band has been traveling with throughout 2017. It’s a cool little memento for the band as they have all of their VIP meet-and-greet attendees sign a section of the raft, but this thing is more than just a place for people to sign. Jake Taylor uses it to crowd surf his way to a flag at the back of the venue. Before leaping onto the raft and beginning his voyage across the crowd, he announced, “please don’t drop me, it’ll hurt like hell”. Luckily, the crowd didn’t drop the frontman and he successfully completed his journey back to the stage wielding an In Hearts Wake flag. With the release of the band’s new record, Arc, the record has given the band a chance to tour the world in support of the release. So, be prepared to see “Patchy” at a venue near you.
Closing the night out, Fit For A King hit the stage demanding every last bit of energy that the fans had left in their tanks. Let’s face it, from my perch side-stage, I could tell the audience was exhausted from the way that they were dropping crowd surfers on the floor. No one was injured, but you could tell the crowd had given their all to the bands on stage. Touring in support of their new record, Death Grip, the band had plenty of new material to give to the fans. Firing on all cylinders, Fit For A King ended the night in the best way possible.
The tour has a few weeks left, before ending in Texas. If you have a chance to go check this one out, you have to, or you will be pissed that you missed it. Just make sure you have enough rest the night before because you are going to need it.
All images © James Geiser