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The Era Of Issues Officially Comes To An End!

On January 28, 2024 Issues performed their last show at The Masquerade (Heaven) in Atlanta, Georgia. The day prior was supposed to be their last show, but due to high demand and the show selling out quickly, they added the 28th with special guests; The Funeral Portrait and He is Legend! The night was filled with overwhelming emotion, but Issues did their fans right by making sure they ended on good terms by setting up these farewell shows so fans can officially say goodbye to the Warped Tour alumni's.

Opening up the final night was; The Funeral Portrait. The musicians in this band during their set pulled off one of the most impressive sets I've experienced at a show with theatrical actors coming onto the stage, the musicians showing affection to each other, and overall make it difficult to top the energy that they set. I didn't know where to look cause each member was doing something eye-catching and I couldn't keep up trying to capture those moments. Even off stage, the band has such amazing individuals. The vocalist, Lee, was nice enough to place my camera bag underneath their merch table so I was able to photograph the rest of the show.

The band consists of Lee Jennings (Vocals) , Cody Weissinger (Guitar) , Caleb Freihaut (Guitar) , Robert Weston (Bass) , and Homer Umb (Drums). The Funeral Portrait represents those in the world that are considered "outcasts" and they clearly stated they are a safe space for those who don't feel accepted in society. Especially since that incident happened not that long ago when the band encountered an individual at one of their shows stating they wouldn't support them due to kissing of the two musicians on stage. So what does the band do? They actually made merch stating "I love when emo boys kiss" and they make it a point during their performance at the farewell show that they don't care about judgement. Caleb kissed Rob on stage to further drive the point and the crowd went absolutely feral. You can just feel the love and acceptance from the crowd and the members.

The one song that is currently the most popular at the moment is "Dark Thoughts" with over 1 million Spotify plays! And one of my favorite songs as well. Lee stated in an interview explaining what the song is about; "Dark Thoughts’ is a fun and energetic song meant to highlight our own mental health struggles. It is deeply rooted in feeling trapped in your own head, like you have no one to reach out to who would understand or have an answer. It’s a statement both about the band and our fans. Depression, anxiety and mental health crisis events are a ubiquitous experience for us and the people who connect with our art. It can be such a terrifying and daunting task to try to overcome, but we hope that by connecting with others, we can support each other as a community in times when things seem the most bleak."

Keep Up With The Funeral Portrait Online: Facebook / Instagram / Youtube /

Next up during the night was; He Is Legend! This band has been around since the late 1990's and they are considered an hard rock/heavy metal band from Wilmington, North Carolina! I've personally never listened to this band until that night and in surprise they caught my attention rather quickly. He Is Legend currently consists of; Schuylar Croom (Vocals) , Adam Tanbouz (Guitar ) , Matty Williams (Bass) , and Jesse Shelley (Drums)

He is Legend currently has 74k Spotify listeners with "The Seduction" being the most popular song with over 2 million Spotify plays off of the "I Am Hollywood" album in 2004. As I was walking around getting crowd shots, I met this man and he stated; "Man, I love these guys. Their music saved me in many ways. Yeah, Im a 6'4 guy with a beard down to my chest, but I do have feelings to and man like I said, this band saved me." I'm glad the bands performance allowed other individuals in the crowd feel safe enough to open up to strangers and not feel judged, that is the beauty of music; it brings us all together.

Keep Up With He is Legend Online: Facebook / Instagram / Youtube /

Now it was time for Issues to perform; another sold out event with hundreds of dedicated fans that's been listening to this band for over a decade. What's the best way to say goodbye to your fans? To have a farewell show in your hometown where you started. And to top it off, Issues had Brian Butcher from The Home Team fill in vocals for the farewell shows and they chose the right person for this opportunity. I give this band a ton of respect because they care enough about their fans that they know ending Issues will cause a lot of emotional pain, but they decided to set up these farewell shows to let fans say goodbye for the final time, even without their originating singer joining them. And these fans did not disappoint. You had 0 space to even move in this crowd. The amount of crying and the screaming of the lyrics by the fans was a beautiful thing to hear/witness because you can see some of these songs defiantly saved a lot of these individuals mentally throughout the years.

Issues currently consists of; Skyler Acord (Bass) , Josh Manuel (Drums) , and AJ Rebollo (Guitar). Throughout the performance there was meaningful speeches from every single person in the band, but mostly Skyler speaking and Brian also gave a speech on how much he appreciated the opportunity to perform vocals for a band that he's been listening to for 10 years. There was also other special guests to perform vocals on stage which made the show more memorable for everyone

Issues started performing recent albums and making their way down to the oldest albums. The two hour set was filled with every single song that was ever released from the artists.

The first special guest of the night was Jimmy Synder from the band Throat. Jimmy flew from San Diego to perform at this event supporting Issues and Brian! I've never heard of the band before, but once the show was over and on my 5 hour drive home, I had "Misery Take Me" on repeat for 2 hours straight! After Jimmy was done performing; he stated; "I want to crowd surf to that merch table over there. Can you guys get me there?" The crowd was able to safely get the vocalist to the merch table without dropping him

The last special guest of the night was Michael Bohn who use to be in Issues until departing in 2018. The second Bohn went on stage; the crowd went insane especially some of the women around me screaming "WE LOVEEEEEE YOU!"

Bohn and Butcher performed the whole "Black Diamonds" EP released back in 2012. The duos performance on stage was meant to happen. Both vocalists sounds blended so well together with Bohns uncleans and Butchers cleans

Thank you Issues for creating amazing music the last decade and not giving up on us fans throughout it. I know Skyler has previously stated the band almost gave up throughout the years, but I'm glad the band continued to make music everyone can relate to and escape to a different reality through upon listening. Everyone hopes for the best for each musician and patiently waiting to see if anyone creates a SOLO project. Hint hint. If you were there either night, you would know the answer!

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