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The Unconditional Tour with Beartooth, Memphis May Fire and More @ The Trocadero.

March 6, 2014

memphis_3Text by Gabi Chepurny. Images by Jesse Marass.

The Unconditional Tour stop at The Troc on Tuesday was an event kids dream of – stage diving band members, fans wearing shorts and tank tops in 14-degree weather and lots of swoopy hair that everyone kept pushing away from their eyes.

Needless to say we (me and Jesse, the photographer) felt both out of place – even in the 21-and-up balcony – and as if we were 16 again all at the same time.

The show opened up with Beartooth, whose lead singer, 21-year-old Caleb Shomo (previously of Attack Attack!) demanded that the audience mosh. When people told him they would get kicked out for doing so, Shomo asked, “Then what’s the point of having a hardcore show?”

Before launching into the next song he said, “Everybody have a nice, safe circle pit and nobody do anything that gets you kicked out. We’re here to have a good time.”

This was only minutes before guitarist Taylor Lumley scaled the speakers to reach the balcony railing so he could dive into the crowd from it.

Hands Like Houses kept the show moving, but at a slightly slower pace. The Australian six-piece had us with the accent, but lost us with the performance.

California’s A Skylit Drive brought the show back up to speed. While lead singer Michael Jagmin took command of the stage, drummer Cory La Quay periodically threw his head back to send mouthfuls of water up in a mist. We’re not sure why some musicians do this and we’re even less sure of why it happens to actually look cool.

Phoenix, Arizona’s The Word Alive brought aggression to a new level and the crowd responded accordingly. Lead singer Tyler Smith made sure to take the time to call out a young male in the crowd who allegedly hit a female concertgoer. Smith said the man was a “real pussy” if he felt that he needed to hit a girl while in the pit, and then threatened him with physical harm. This was the part of the night where everyone directed their middle fingers at the nameless dude and a chant of “asshole” began.

Headliners Memphis May Fire – don’t be fooled, they’re actually from Dallas, Texas – thrilled fans with their light show and stage antics. We were slightly worried about the one dude moshing by himself in the balcony. We realized this band was even a hit with parents as a mom wearing a MMF T-shirt walked by.

They all may have looked like regular dudes but the Unconditional Tour bands – with their interactive performances and stage-diving musicians – brought us true showmanship at its finest.

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