"I want to make you as pruney and gross as your grandma!" Craig Owens, vocalist of post hardcore band Chiodos screamed at the crowd before kicking into "Behvis Bullock" off their newest release Devil.
After lineup and record label transitions, Chiodos returned last year to make all of our high school memories reignite at Warped Tour. The Buffalo, NY date was the first stop on The Devil's Dance Tour - a sold out show, which every band remarked on and praised the Buffalo music scene.
"What's cool about Buffalo is that kids are excited about music here and they're supportive of touring bands," said Chiodos drummer Derrick Frost. "Buffalo supports music differently than other cities, the people go to shows because they love music not just to be seen."
The hour long set consisted of tracks from every Chiodos release with the exception of 2010's Illuminaudio, the only album of theirs with Brandon Bolmer as the vocalist instead of Owens. There is no official reason why they don't play anything off the album, but Owens obviously wasn't a part of it.
The decision to bring Craig back into Chiodos came with him asking Frost to come back as well. Naturally, everyone was nervous to bring back the original lineup but they wanted to make this vision work.
"It's like riding a bicycle," Frost said. "You never forget how to ride one."
Fan favorites "Baby, You Wouldn't Last a Minute on the Creek" and "The Words 'Best Friends' become Redefined" from All's Well That Ends Well were greeted with screams and girls hyperventilating in the corner. Owens twirled his mic around and utilized all the space he could. The Waiting Room doesn't have a barricade so Owens simply climbed into and on top of the crowd that held him up like a king. The instrumentals have only improved since the album's release with original drummer Derrick Frost back and the addition of Thomas Erak from The Fall of Troy on guitar. Erak provides technical riffs that integrate seamlessly into Chiodos' theatrical sound.
While the room was full of "O.G fans" as Owens put it, newbies were nodding their heads but exploded when songs off Devil played. "3 AM" and "Expensive Conversations in Cheap Hotels" were mostly performed by the crowd. Owens couldn't keep the smile off his face as the room screamed the lyrics "I F***ing hate you!" at the stage. A massive push pit/circle pit erupted in the middle of the venue and took down a few people in the process. Of course, the band made sure everyone was alive at the end.
The greatest thing about Chiodos is that they excel in both slower songs and bangers. "Intensity in Ten Cities" was a highlight of the night with Owen's voice flowing and meshing with fans' voices. It was placed in precisely in the right spot before they closed their set with "'Ole Fishlips is Dead." Also, "Under Your Halo" fits nicely in the set list. Having those two slower songs in their arsenal is a deadly but sweet weapon.
Of course, The Waiting Room was chaotic when "The Only Think You Talk About" from Owens' side project D.R.U.G.S kicked in. We can only hope that one day D.R.U.G.S will pen some new material and having one of their songs in the Chiodos set list gives a faint glimmer of hope.
Opening for Chiodos was '68 featuring The Chariot's former vocalist Josh Scogin, Our Last Night, and Emarosa.
'68 put on a solid performance and kept the memory of The Chariot living on. While most of the crowd weren't familiar with their songs, they respected the band's performance. Unfortunately, Our Last Night was mostly a disappointment. They stuck to newer tracks when fans were hoping to hear "Elephants" or anything off We Will All Evolve. However, the crowd began to warm up to OLN when they played "Fate" and their cover of "Dark Horse" originally by Katy Perry.
The Devil's Dance tour is the first tour in the past three years that Emarosa has embarked on. With drama surrounding Jonny Craig and the elusive hunt for a vocalist, it has been a tough journey. But their new vocalist Brandon is impressive. Sure, he's no Jonny Craig but his runs were almost as chilling and perfect. "A Toast to the Future Kids!" showcased why Emarosa is still relevant and why they were a great choice for this tour.
"We chose our openers because all of them are really hard workers and genuine, nice guys," said Frost. "Our Last Night are our buddies, Craig and I wanted to work with Emarosa, and having Josh have this experience with his new band is awesome."
If one thing is for sure, Chiodos made show goers sweaty, gross and pruney like their grandmothers. Buffalo was a success on the first night of the tour and it can only improve as the dates continue.