The Kool Haus in Toronto was the place to be last Friday for metalcore. The Devil Wears Prada came through town playing one their last dates of the Dead Throne tour. The tour had a scheduled 37 dates across North America before taking a 6 week break before heading off to the UK for an additional 12 shows.
Supporting bands for the North America tour are For Today, Enter Shikari, and Whitechapel. Obviously, coming from a Christian music perspective, my interest in attending was to see For Today and The Devil Wears Prada.
Opener for the night was Iowa band, For Today. For Today is no wannabee when it comes to metalcore. The band formed in 2005 and has been on the road since, doing over a thousand shows on 4 continents and performing in 19 countries. Mattie Montgomery, lead singer For Today, is a powerful vocalist offering his raw death growls that carry up to shrieks. For Today’s purpose as a band is solely to proclaim the word of Christ. Speaking with Montgomery prior to the show he said that “if I wasn’t performing music with a committed Christian message, I would be preaching”. Of course, preach he does with more conviction that I’ve seen portrayed any other band. Lyrically all of the band’s songs portray the message of Christ. Between songs, Mattie passionately told of his commitment to Christ and encouraged the audience to seek Him.
During their set Mattie put out a challenge to the crowd to come and touch his hand. The audience took up the challenge. Crowd-surfers stretched out above the crowd, then passed over the barrier mounted in front of the stage. Security staff in front of the stage had a busy time catching bodies as they dropped over the barrier.
Now on their third album, 2010’s Breaker, For Today’s two previous releases, 2008’s Ekklesia and 2009’s Portraits, had songs featured in their set.
The band finished their set with the incredible “Devestator” from their current album, Breaker.
Tracklist – For Today:
- Saul of Tarsus (The Messenger)
- The Advocate
- Isaiah (The Willing)
- Ezekiel (The Visionary)
- White Flag
- Arm The Masses
- The Breaker’s Origin
Audience was participation was extreme from the capacity crowd. I can relate this from a personal level as I was crushed between the barrier in from of the stage and the surging crowd behind, while taking a few photos. My bruises tell the story very well. At least I didn’t get stuck in the circle pit behind me! The only reason that I was pleased to see the end of For Today’s set was to be released by the crowd to search out a place to sit down.
Following For Today, Enter Shikari then Whitechapel took the stage, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m just covering the two Christian bands on this tour.
The Devil Wears Prada
Mike Hranica, lead vocalist for TDWP explained the reason for the band’s name in his Myspace blog:
It’s the same concept as our lyrics “emeralds hold no hope” and many many others. What we believe it to mean is that possessions don’t matter at all and someday everyone will realize that this is true. When standing before God, He won’t care about your sweet Prada scarf or Gucci shoes or whatever. It’s a Christian reasoning for the name, we didn’t name it to attempt at being fashionable or whatever.
The Devil Wears Prada takes commands on the stage. The crushing crowd again surges up towards the stage. I decided to play it safe and hang out on the outskirts of the audience. TDWP went straight to the tile track of their new album, Dead Throne. The band progressed through a huge set and the concert-goers were over the top to see the headliners for the night.
I loved the multi-level stage setup of the band and the Dead Throne illuminated backdrop that changed intensity and colour.
Friday was a special day for TDWP vocalist Mike Hranica’s, namely his 23rd birthday. The crowd had some fun by serenading him with the birthday song.
The band seems to have no lack of energy to spare. After a blistering 12 song set, I thought the night was over, but no. TDWP came back for a three song encore. “Chicago”, which is my personal favourite from the new album, was the first encore. While the song is out of character from the rest of the album, this post-rock track is a stand out song. “Constance”, also from Dead Throne followed. The Devil Wears Prada finished up the night with “Danger: Wildman” from With Roots Above and Branches Below.
Tracklist – The Devil Wears Prada
- Dead Throne
- Born to Lose
- Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?
- HTML Rulez D00d
- Assistant to the Regional Manager
- Dez Moines
- Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over
- Danger: Wildman
An epic night that was well worth the trouble of being crushed in the crowd, after all this is hardcore.