EHM: noun. Electronic Hardcore music; A term Sumerian Records' I See Stars claims as their sound in the music world and encompasses on every tour including the Red White and Black Tour.
The tour's first stop was in Buffalo on Tuesday night, which seems to be a common occurrence as of late.
"Personally, after a week of being home I get anxious about not playing shows for a while," said I See Stars' clean vocalist Devin Oliver. "We were home for around a month and a half so it's been way too long. I hope Buffalo is ready."
Oliver's restlessness was unleashed as soon as he got on The Waiting Room's stage to play "New Demons" with his band mates. The whole band was sweating before the third song of the night even kicked in. Screamer Zach Johnson traveled the stage gracefully, interacting with fans one minute and going over to his keyboard the next. Of course, Oliver's interaction with the fans was met with teenage girls close to tears. One girl even put her hand under Oliver's tank top as he teetered on the edge of the barrier-less stage.
I See Stars' set was mostly comprised of tracks from their newest album New Demons since it was released this past October. While some fans weren't familiar with the new material, the room still moved in respect for the band. Everyone knows how many times the album release date was pushed back and how hard the band worked to put the album out.
"We were so happy with Digital Renegade so we had to make New Demons perfect," Oliver said. "We felt like we were being rushed and there was so much on the record that wasn't where we wanted it to be. I'm glad we took the chance and pushed the release date back, it brought the album to life."
Digital Renegade was certainly a staple in the set list with half of it being played. "Digital Renegade," "Filth Friends Unite," "Gnars Attacks," "NZT48, and their collaboration with Cassadee Pope "Electric Forest" kept fans dancing and hitting each other from wall to wall. Electronic hardcore music is like a gateway, it entices both hardcore kids and electronic kids. I See Stars is blurring genre lines in the best way possible.
While the band's energy and stage antics were applaud-able with Devin Oliver's charisma as a front man in the spotlight, their musicality had some flaws. Oliver's singing was off at times on pitch and tempo but that could have been due to his in ear consistently falling out. He was moving so much and being an entertaining vocalist, that his focus wasn't completely on vocals. One of the guitarists also paused in the wrong section of "Gnars Attacks" which didn't look good. However, it was the first night of the tour and mistakes are bound to happen. The Waiting Room was alive with energy and smiling faces which is all that matters sometimes.
I See Stars also took the time to play "The Common Hours" off their debut album 3-D for the die hard fans in the room. The track should be played every set, it was the root of their career and every I See Stars fan has heard it.
We were soul searching from 3-D to End of the World Party and even to Digital Renegade, Oliver said. "But with going from Digital Renegade to New Demons the search was over and we went full force with everything that we've learned from the 3-D days and on."
"Murder Mitten" was the fake ending of the night as it's currently one of the more popular I See Stars tracks. After the obligatory "One more song" chant, the band came back on stage to the electronic heavy beats of "Ten Thousand Feet" which they just released a music video for. It was one more chance for Buffalo to show why I See Stars needs to come back more often. Open water bottles flew over the crowd and it had the vibe of a rave- a great ending to the night.
Local metalcore band A Breath Alive opened the show but failed to deliver their normal performance. The lineup changes within the band are a huge factor as only two of the original members remain. We can only hope that the progress back to the level they were once at when they won a chance to perform at Mayhem this past summer.
As for the other openers, it was a mix of hardcore acts and EDM acts. Oliver was interested to see how the fans received Razhiel as the intermission DJ. Unfortunately, most of the room became bored since they couldn't mosh to it. The Electronic music lovers were ecstatic though and didn't take smoke breaks.
When Like Moths to Flames played, The Waiting Room became chaotic. People were becoming human punching bags in the mosh pit with LMTF's vengeful lyrics that a lot of Buffalo fans could relate to. "GNF," "The Worst Of Me," and "You Won't Be Missed" are the band's most known tracks which the audience screamed back at vocalist Chris Roetter with enthusiasm. Someone had their nose broken and another fan screamed the lyrics of "You Won't Be Missed" at his ex girlfriend who was also in attendance. Like Moths to Flames brought the violence that most hardcore shows need to have.
After this tour, I See Stars is playing The Skate and Surf Fest in Jersey followed by a summer tour that Oliver couldn't release details to except that it will be announced soon.
"We are always writing and then come together to actually make the song happen and be I See Stars worthy," Oliver said. "We'll actually have some new jams for a summer release."
I See Stars knows how to stay busy with the drive to consistently tour and write new material. They won't be going anywhere for a long time.