Story & Photos by Andy Lyons, Editor-in-Chief
Armed with tracks that would make up a greatest hits album, metalcore icons All That Remains stopped at The Truman in Kansas City last week with support from Unearth, Big Story and The 9th Planet Out. The group brought the intensity they are known for despite a small Thursday crowd.
Lead vocalist Phillip Labonte hit the stage with his hat low and immediately roared into “Fuck Love,” the lead single from 2018’s “Victim of the New Disease.” The crowd stayed pretty static through the beginning of the set, when Labonte asked “How many of you like ‘The Fall of Ideals?’ If we play some songs off it you gonna move around a little?” The crowd responded with one of the loudest cheers of the night and Labonte held up six fingers – signaling the title of the next song.
As ATR played through “Six,” “Not Alone,” and “The Air That I Breathe” from their breakthrough 2006 album, the crowd showed their appreciation for “The Fall of Ideals” by finally moshing and singing the hook from “Not Alone” as loud as Labonte – and the energy was reflected right back from the band. Bassist Aaron Patrick and new lead guitarist Jason Richardson were all over the stage while Labonte made his way to risers on either side, bending toward the crowd while unleashing impressive screams and sending fans on the rail into a frenzy.
Late in the set, Labonte prompted fans to get their phones out and shine their flashlights on the band they were going to play the mellow “What If I Was Nothing.” The crowd swayed and joined Labonte again in singing the harrowing track, but flipped like a light switch as ATR finished with the blistering “This Calling” and “Two Weeks” – the two tracks drew the biggest most pit of the night and closed the show with thunderous applause.
The show kicked off just after 7 p.m. with The 9th Planet Out hitting the stage in stride. The independent group from Minnesota played like seasoned vets, and despite some issues with fans up front unable to hear the vocals early on, the group has a great sound and energy that really got the show moving as soon as they went on.
Big Story kept the energy up and was really the surprise of the night. Vocalist Randall Stephens has a huge range and didn’t miss a note. The group blends a lot of melody with their music and fans seemed to really enjoy them. Having bassist Pat Seals running, skipping, and leaping off a riser on stage definitely added to the energy, and the group pushed the crowd to open up and rock out a bit.
If Big Story were the ying then Unearth were the yang. The band hit the stage primed to melt faces. They rarely broke between songs so their set was a visceral 40 or so minutes of in your face metal and the crowd virtually exploded. While they did head bang and throw up some horns during the first two bands, they were definitely moshing for Unearth.
ATR brought the show home, never missing a beat. While the crowd may have been small, the big sound from all four bands and reaction from the Kansas City fans made for perfect Thursday night show. The tour continues through June 15 where it concludes at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, New York. For more, follow All That Remains on Facebook here.
View our extended gallery from the show at beyondthefrontrow.smugmug.com.