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Parkway Drive Sets NYC Ablaze With Fiery Performance On “Monsters Of Oz” 20th Anniversary Tour

Parkway Drive brings full pyrotechnic display to North America for the first time with support from fellow Aussies The Amity Affliction, Northlane and Make Them Suffer

First up on the 'Monsters of Oz' tour, fans are welcomed by Australian deathcore band Make Them Suffer. Make Them Suffer gives fans a glimpse of a symphonic, progressive metalcore vibe. The band originates from Perth, West Australia and has been around since 2008. Members consist of Sean Harmanis (Vocals), Nick Mclernon (Lead Guitar), Jaya Jeffery (Bass), Jordan Mather (drums), and Alex Reade (Keyboards/Vocals). The band started strong by kicking off their set with their latest single titled “Ghost of Me'' which was released back in May 2023 via Sharptone Records. Even though they played a shorter set, they immediately amped up the fans for what was to come later in the night. At the start of the set, Harmanis immediately called the crowd to form a mosh pit and let me tell you it was the most intense crowd I’ve seen for an opening band.

Towards the end of their set when the band performed “Erase Me” from their album ‘How to Survive a Funeral’ Harmanis called all the people in the pit to all get off their feet and all start crowd surfing. He mentioned “During this next song, I want fifty of you to crowd surf once the song starts” and watching that from the crowd perspective was very entertaining seeing all the tall people in the crowd lifting everybody one after another. Honestly I felt so bad for the security guards considering they had to catch so many people at once at the same time, but you can also tell they were also having a fun time just like everybody else.

Musically, the band was at the top of their game. Harmanis’ screams paired with Reade’s soaring vocals created an intense energy that kept the crowd singing and screaming along for the entirety of their set. Mclernon’s crunching guitar riffs along with Jeffery and Mather holding it down in the rhythm section sounded as good as ever. Together, the band proved they are one of the best sounding live bands in metalcore today.

Keep Up With Make Them Suffer Online: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

The second band on the bill was progressive metalcore band Northlane. Formed in 2009, Northlane is composed of Marcus Bridge (Vocals), Jon Deily and Josh Smith (Guitars), and Nic Pettersen (Drums). Before the music started, the stage was covered with smoke, which told the fans that it was time for the chaos to begin. This perfectly set up the introduction for their first song of the evening called “Plenty” from their 2022 album entitled “Obsidian.” This song set the tone for the rest of their set, as it brought an energy that had fans jumping and singing along from the moment the band took the stage. Throughout the band’s 7 song set, their musical prowess was on full display. From Bridge’s flawless transitions between screaming and clean vocals to the technical excellence from the rest of the band, fans were in awe of the band’s pure talent. The progressive and electronic element to Northlane’s music makes for a unique and exciting live experience.

The energy that the band brought on stage was reciprocated in the crowd. From the beginning of their set to the very end, the crowd was active, with many seen jumping, dancing, and even doing push ups in the pit. The security and fans at the barricade were also given a workout, as there was a seemingly never ending flow of crowd surfers, which was much to the delight of Bridges.

The connection between the band and the fans was an integral part of the energy of Northlane’s set. Bridges was constantly interacting with those in the front row that were singing along, and he encouraged fans throughout the venue to dance and have a good time. Coming from a fan’s perspective, I always love it when a band is clearly having a good time on stage and when they encourage the fans to do the same, even if they have never heard the band’s music. This set proved that Northlane will be a fan favorite in the progressive metalcore scene for years to come.

Keep Up With Northlane Online: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Taking the stage next was The Amity Affliction. The Amity Affliction have been mainstays in the scene since their formation in 2003 in Gympie, Australia. Currently signed to Pure Noise Records, the group is led by frontman Joel Birch (Lead vocals), Ahren Stringer (Bass/Backing vocals), Dan Brown (guitar) and Joel Longobardi (Drums). The powerful connection between them and their fans is unlike most other bands. The Amity Affliction built this impenetrable connection through their emotional lyrics about loss and mental illness which have been deemed life saving by the fanbase.

The Amity Affliction played most of their top streamed songs, starting with “Death’s Hand” which is off their 2014 album “Let The Ocean Take Me”. Death’s Hand is a fan favorite for its iconic breakdown call out which Birch let the crowd takeover. The crowd deafened the whole venue by screaming “HEY DEATH, GET F****D” as the crushing breakdown sent the crowd into a complete frenzy. That moment sent chills down my spine as it exemplified how devoted their fanbase is.

That was only the beginning of what was to come as the fans in the pit made their mark. The pit was full of energy and countless shenanigans. People were linking arms and spinning around which ultimately led to them all slipping and falling, but not without a light spirited laugh as they got back up.. Multiple people were pairing up and dancing together similar to how a bride and groom would dance during their solo dance. Not too long after a “row pit” formed which is when the fans sit on the floor in a large group acting as if they are rowing a boat while chanting “ROW…ROW”. I wish I joined in on the antics as it looked like everyone was having the time of their life.

The Amity Affliction got the best crowd reaction when they played their most popular song “Pittsburgh” which is also off “Let the Ocean Take Me” as well as multiple new songs off their latest album “Not Without My Ghosts” which was released on May 12th, 2023. The Amity Affliction never fails to disappoint with their live performance as they get better each time I've seen them. Stringer within the last year has perfected his backup screams to support Birch in their live performance. They have become a more cohesive unit in their live performance and it has shown a noticeable difference. The Amity Affliction once again have shown why they are juggernauts of the scene and will continue to be for years to come. Their performance was the perfect warm up for tonight's main event.

Keep Up With The Amity Affliction Online: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Alas! It was finally time for Parkway Drive to make their appearance on the stage to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band’s formation.

Parkway Drive is an Australian metal band whose members consist of Winston Mccall (Vocals), Jeff Ling (Lead Guitar), Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick (Rhythm Guitar), Ben “Gaz” Gordon (Drums), and Jia “Pie” O’Connor (Bass). The band was on fire (literally) from the moment they hit the stage until the final note was played. They opened with “Glitch” from their newest record “Darker Still.” Once the breakdown hit, the whole room was set ablaze by the band’s extraordinary pyro display. This set the tone for the rest of the night by foreshadowing what was to come. The energy in the room that night was truly electrifying. From the moment the band hit the stage, it was evident that this was going to be a night to remember.

During their set, I noticed a fan holding up a sign that read “I survived Blue Ridge.” This was due to the weather cancellation of Blue Ridge Rock Festival, which Parkway Drive was scheduled to play. Many fans were disappointed to be missing Parkway’s set that weekend, so you could feel their energy as they finally got to witness the band’s show.

Midway through the set, the band slowed things down to perform the title track to their latest record entitled “Darker Still.” The room was lit up with everybody’s phone lights as Mccall serenaded the crowd accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. The song slowly built up until the whole band came in to provide an epic climax to an emotional song. This beautiful moment was truly one of the highlights of an otherwise chaotic and energetic night.

Another highlight of the night was the pyrotechnic display, which was one that is unlike any other. As part of the encore, Gordon played his thrilling drum solo. This was not like any normal drum solo, as Gordon was strapped into a machine that turned him upside-down while he was playing. As he was upside-down, the whole stage was lit on fire, adding to the raw intensity of Gordon’s drums. Once his solo was over, the band transitioned perfectly into the hard-hitting song “Crushed,” while he continued to spin. This song was the highlight of the night for many, as there was fire shooting from every direction imaginable, which created a dazzling visual display for all those in attendance.

What truly stood out to me, besides their incredible musical talent and thrilling production, was the band's connection with the audience. Mccall engaged the crowd, making everyone feel like they were a part of something special. For the final song of the set, the entire band came to the front of the stage to sing along with the crowd to “Wild Eyes,” one of the band’s most iconic songs. This continued for the duration of the song, which made for a thrilling conclusion to an unforgettable night. The fans left truly satisfied, as they continued to sing as they were leaving the venue.

Parkway Drive's performance was nothing short of breathtaking. Their stage presence and musicianship were on full display as they delivered a high-octane setlist that had the crowd on their feet from start to finish. The combination of Winston Mccall’s powerful vocals, Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling’s blistering guitar riffs, and Ben Gordon and Jia O’Connor’s thunderous bass and drumming created an immersive sonic experience that left everyone in awe.

Keep Up With Parkway Drive Online: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

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