The well-known clothing line No Fear is sponsoring this solid tour with some of the major heavyweights in heavy music. While I was definitely excited to see headliner Killswitch Engage and knew what to expect from them, my concern was whether each band could contribute equally and make this a worthwhile show.
Let us start with the evenings’ opener, He Is Legend. I was rather excited to see what they had to offer since I really dug their first record I Am Hollywood. Lead singer Schuylar Croom looked like he could be the third Robinson brother from the Black Crowes, only with a better assortment of tattoos. Their set was rather short but full of energy as Croom lunged himself across the stage and into their small crowd of fans. I definitely heard some Southern influence thrown in the mix for sure. They even paid homage to the late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera with a snippet or “I’m Broken” within one of their last songs. The only downside was the vocals were cutting out and the power in his voice was sometimes lost. Still, they managed to give a solid set overall.
Chimaira was up next and now while I am not a big fan per se, I will always give any band a chance with their live show. I saw them last at the now-defunct Dallas club Trees with Soilwork and As I Lay Dying back in late 2004 so it has been awhile. They exceeded my expectations very quickly as the crowd came alive once frontman Mark Hunter appeared, dishing out a musical assault with new songs from their latest release, Resurrection. While Hunter seemed a bit reserved at times on stage, he concentrated his strengths more into his vocals and delivered plenty of power in each song. The result was a great show, definitely better that last time.
From the most skeptical to the most fanatical, DragonForce drew a lot of attention to their set. Now, I’m not a big fan of an endless amount of guitar solos so I didn’t know what to think when they started. I went from being mildly curious to being quite annoyed in a matter of minutes. Each song was so over the top and while that may have been what they were going for, I could not get into it. To me, they came off as Iron Maiden on steroids (which a friend of mine at the show took as a compliment). What was lacking was anything you could actually sing along to. While they are gifted musicians, they are also a bit overrated.