Concert Review: THE END IS HERE TOUR with Dangerkids, Dead Girls Academy, Motionless In White, ISSUES, Falling In Reverse

Kicking off their tour, The End Is Here, on January 13th in Tempe, Arizona at the rock venue near Arizona State University, Falling In Reverse took the headliner and brought along co- headliner's Motionless In White, ISSUES and opening bands Dangerkids and Dead Girls Academy. All of them: the perfect mash of all types of rock that complemented each other and brought a crowd-swelling room more than once to the buzzed up frenzy of rock n roll!

Scads of Hardcore, Metal, Goth, Punk, Rock n Roll 'fiends' lined themselves up outside the venue doors, down the parking lot, over the bridge, and across the road over the Tempe Salt River waters. Many adorned themselves to show who their favorite band was by wearing dark heavy makeup, torn jeans, multicolored hair, spiked boots, short skirts, leather, piercings, altered ears, and of course, their band's t-shirts from previous shows. It was great seeing the mixtures of fans and listening to them chatter with anticipated excitement that they were to be the first on the tour list to see it all kickoff and did it ever! It was a hell-ah good show!

It wasn't long after the venue's doors opened and everyone shuffled quickly through security that the ground floor before the stage was wall to wall fans. Some of the crowd made their way up to the balcony, which is 21 and over only, to settle in. Both top and bottom were tight with the opening night tour of anxious fans. They chanted for Motionless In White, ISSUES, Falling In Reverse- these fans were ready to welcome the night of music. 

Their pleas were heard and right on time, the first opening band, Dead Girls Academy hit the stage. A five-piece band, that had the young girls screaming, and lead by vocalist frontman, Michael Vampire, formerly of Vampires Everywhere, took the stage and shook the crowd. Impressive. Dead Girls Academy is nowhere near as theatrically fun as Vampires Everywhere, but they still have a nuance that directs to the early days of Escape the Fate and Falling In Reverse. Their set was hard, bleeding and spot on. It tore at your soul. Not much can be found on this band as scouring the internet kept the connections running back to the former band, but if what they are creating in this new directive under Mister Vampire continues the metalcore/goth/alt world has a strong contender. If felt good to hear.

As their set came to a close, and the audience in unison showed appreciation for DGA, the stage hands came on and quickly the Dangerkids began their set. One of the most notable things about Dangerkids is once you hear them, you're addicted. They deliver a tight mix of tight driving hardcore/clean and unclean vocals. Opening their set with their live debut,

“Things Could Be Different” was the helium high that tore a hole in the rock ozone. The crowd went beyond insane with fists pumping, metal signs raging and crowd surfing. The too short set of only six tunes left every single person hungry for more. Bringing in another layer of rapping mixed in their signature style of identification, “Paper Lines” is an anthem that beats true.

Hitting it hard Dangerkids performed the tune, “Kill Everything” from their new album Blacklist out January 27th on Paid Vacation Records. With the skills seemingly in their mix these band members, Andy Bane, Tyler Smyth, Jake Bonham, and Katie Cole are another perfect link in this tours chain.

Maybe, since this mix is so freaking right... The End Is Here Tour... isn't too far off.

With another quick stage change, and about a twenty minute passing period, the crowd was now packed so tightly against the pit guard that security was passing out waters over the railing to the crushed-heat exhausted fans. Even as the soft purple colored lights flowed across the stage, the fans continued to push forward as the members of Motionless In White entered the domicile. With a thunderous roar from the MIW fans rushing and forceful mounting gridlock of rock n roll bodies, it almost seemed that it would overpower the railing.

There the stage was on full display in shadows and lit jack o lanterns with candles flickering, but a silenced death whisper: Chris Motionless' presence made its entrance onto the stage and immediately all seemed to calm down. It was as if a dose of a magic concoction had been administered over the clamoring fans and everyone closely bound together stopped the shoving and began to sing along as MIW opened their set with their speed metal and screaming vocals. “570” their first single released off their soon to be coming album, Graveyard Shift. 2014 was the last released album, Reincarnate, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart.

Having won over fans from all genre crossovers, what Motionless In White offers is an aggressive, and expressive creativity form of energy. This imagery is infectious and undeniable for this band out of Scranton, Pennsylvania who took the realm of metal in 2005 and hasn't let up since. Now signed with Roadrunner Records, bandmates Chris Motionless [All Vocals]; Ricky Horror [Guitar]; standing in on this tour Marie-Christine – Keyboards (Josh Balz had left the band several days before the tour began after 10 years with the band); session and touring mate since 2014 Vinny Mauro [drums]; Ryan Sitkowski [Guitar]; and Devin "Ghost" Sola [Bass] MIW is set.

Kylie Devyn joined MIW and became a part of the stage performance. Dressed in a mocking- horror clown outfit, with fishnet stockings, a short skirt and a taunting attitude Kylie began throwing singular candy pieces out of jack-o-lantern and into the crowd. As the song, “Everybody Sells Cocaine” began, she showered the elated crowd of reaching fingers and flailing arms in miniature candy bars. All throughout the show, Kylie came out in a variety of get-ups and even brought out the heavy duty water gun and unleashed her water streams over the beckoning crowds.

It was at the climactic moment of the show when MIW performed their cover of System of a Down's “Chop Suey.” From the rafters to the stage lights, to the sway of the stage curtains, to the pounding upon the venue floors, this song was the night's highlight. The waves of body surfers were almost flying over faster than the security people could manage. The pulsating emotion breathed in exultation as this was Chris Motionless' finest vocal moment, and the band's resounding triumph that Ricky, Ryan, Devin, Marie-Christine, and Vinny could hold was the inner sanctum of belief. Debuting their song, “Eternally Yours,” MIW went right into their final song, “Reincarnate” and the crowd was completely satisfied.

Rapidly following MIW, the stage was set and presented for ISSUES to take their “Intercoastal Heavy Pop” sound to the masses. ISSUES is always such a fun band to listen to and watch perform. Having been along on the 2016 Warped Tour, and integrating our beloved Pokemon, the band had formed in 2012 out of Atlanta and the Los Angeles area. Heck, everyone loves ISSUES music, what is there not to love? They are fun, energetic, 'hooligan-ish,' and the skater community is completely hooked. These guys are lit.

ISSUES wasted no time taking the wheel and driving their sound as they opened with the powerful hard heavy rock tune of “Blue Wall.” Their mix of clean vocals, Tyler Carter (2015 AP Award Best Vocalist Nominee) and unclean vocals, Michael Bohn, is the quintessential bit of nu metal, heavy-core sound. “COMA” continued to showcase the masterful guitar work of Adrian "AJ" Rebollo and the soft vocal quality Carter possesses. With only two studio albums to pull from, ISSUES (2014) and Headspace (2016), and a few EP's, ISSUES has squared a space for themselves. The drum work by Josh Manuel crushes it on their next track performed, “Princeton Ave.” ISSUES live debut of their latest album, Headspace, connected the bridge as bassist Skyler Acord (2016 AP Award Best Bassist Won) took their tune, “Home Soon.”

There is an undeniable stamp of approval as ISSUES continues their affiliations with Monster Energy, Hot Topic, Journeys Shoes, Live Nation, and others. They are identifiable to today's youth and they meet the demands of a wide range of music listeners. Their music isn't easily placed in a box to be called this or that. It can be said ISSUES is Heavy Pop, Nu Metal, Punk, and Rock. That is why they have such a diverse and extensive following.

Turning it up to the boy gets the girl, loses girl, motocross racing tune of driving force, “The Realest.” In 2013, ISSUES released their stand-alone single with a video, “Hooligans” and it was this song that set everything in motion for ISSUES. The perfect completion to their set. Having been on Warped more than once, and sharing the stage with some of the biggest names along the way - Bring Me The Horizon, Of Mice & Men and others - ISSUES has made and continues to make their mark clear on the history of music timeline.

The 'end' was now near, as the night opening for the tour “The End Is Here” gave way to its final band that night. The lights went down and the momentous intensity the crowd had been waiting for hit the stage, Falling In Reverse, was in the house. A blonde Ronnie Radke dressed like the days of Kurt Cobain rocked the stage and the presence of somewhat in musical style took on more of a Chris Fronz likeness.

The set opens with the anthemic track, “Sink or Swim.”

It is a well-known fact that Radke has had his issues and it would seem as any engaging artist with an eclectic mess can generate, and does, a most intuitive response. The definition of a chemical reaction is Radke. Who cares whether you love, hate, admire, or are repulsed because Falling In Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke is one of those rough around the edges, unpredictable at times, prick, but brilliant minded, and rock n roll operative like none other. Many see him as both equal villain and hero, it depends on who has either had their feelings hurt over his reactions/actions or who has stood there gobsmacked realizing he has laid it all on the line. Take him or leave him. Radke is. Falling In Reverse continues to break every rule. That is what makes them who they are and it makes for good music.

Right into the next song, “God, If You Are Above,” it seems to have been written straight from the Radke speed dial; “The spirit's stuck between two roads and waiting there on me, The first path is the way to go, the life I want to lead, The second road's my crazy past, The darkest points I've tried to mask...” From the album, Fashionably Late, Radke's energy sprang forward like a tight wound clock. Bouncing all over the stage. First, left-then-right, his legs could have been pogo sticks and there wasn't any stopping Radke from there. Tightening the cord and plunging the liquid screamo hardcore rock FIR brought “Chemical Prisoner” to a rapaciously roaring crowd of believers. Total elation and voices rang out along with Radke's as “Game Over” took its turn. Such a fun song that takes you right back to those early days of pop punk rock fun.

Falling In Reverse debuted three new tunes from their forthcoming album, Coming Home, on this tour with the titled single, “Coming Home.” A rich melodic song that cuts in deep to the emotional side and beauty. Falling In Reverse with this new album is taking some by surprise as it's a different direction for the band. It has a mature sound, that shows the vocal development clearly of Radke and the strength that is solidly bound in each band member: Derek Jones – [rhythm guitar, vocals]; [Ryan Seaman – drums, percussion, vocals]; Zakk Sandler – [bass, vocals ]; Christian Thompson – [lead guitar, backing vocals].

Next, from the new album, “Loser” began and the crowd's reaction was overwhelming. There was a thread of trust and emotion that flowed between the lyrics leaving Radke's lips and the receptive ears of those in the audience. It was moving and unworldly charged. The last debut came with the track, “Departure” which lends itself more to the side known to FIR fans, yet it speaks ostentatiously to the order of FIR. Still one of the most humoristic tunes thrown into this set had to be the 80's punk soundtrack, “The Drug In Me Is You.” Just a crack whoring great tune. Overall, and through it all, maybe it Falling In Reverse is back to not only sounding like they are having fun but actually living like they are.

The End Is Here Tour is continuing on through mid-February, and then the bands take a shift and head on into other tour dates. Falling In Reverse will be out on the road at least through July and making it over to the Chicago Open Air Festival. ISSUES will be connecting with A Day To Remember, Sleeping with Sirens, Pierce The Veil as they are out and about through June. You will be able to find Motionless In White all over the place in the states through May, then they head over to Europe and have several dates slated. Dangerkids will be chilling through February on this tour, and then they certainly must have other plans in the making along with Dead Girls Academy because there is no way any force of nature is going to stop those two bands.