Photo Credit, Dirt Junior
Battlecross opened the show to a quarter filled crowd at the Ventura Theater with the lead singer announcing, “We came here to prove the first band doesn’t suck.” This was proven pretty much true as the band proceeded to put on a solid and energetic performance. At 8.10 exactly, however, darkness descended and it was time for one of the night’s favorite acts, Oakland-based outfit All Shall Perish.
Lead singer Eddie, with his wild hair and ‘Hella high Oakland’ shirt, asked for a circle pit and half-heartedly the filling up audience began one for him. But, as the set wore on and the band warmed up, the crowd got more and more into All Shall Perish’s energy and brutal sound. Part way through the performance Eddie had the lights lowered and the crowd held their lighters and phones high, while the band played a mix of heavy hitters, both old and new for a crowd that was gathering enthusiasm with every minute. The stand-out song in the set- list was probably “My Retaliation” which the band dedicated to openers Battlecross, with Eddie telling us all how much he thought the band’s label, Metalblade, had done a good job with them.
“Ladies and Gentlemen we are In Flames from Sweden,” announced vocalist Anders Friden needlessly as In Flames opened their set to a crowd going wild with “Sounds of a Playground Fading” the title track off their album of the same name, following it up with “Where the Dead Ships Dwell” and ‘Pinball Map.” “Thank you very much, thank you and good evening,” Friden told us “I want to stay here forever! We are heading for Canada and it’s f#%king cold, can’t we just cancel this tour and stay here?” The crowd cheered as he continued “You’ll come here day after day after day. I’ll let the tour manager set it up.” The band played a long set of around 15 or 16 songs, including “Drifter Embody the Invisbile,” “Deliver Us,” and the grand finale “My Sweet Shadow.”
Check out our interview backstage with guitarist Niclas Engelin!