Center Stage was bustling on Friday, May 19, with each portion of the venue booked. However, the place to be was at the Loft to see Vamps in Atlanta on their tour showcasing their newest album Underworld. Joined by Palaye Royale and Darke Complex on their tour, this was the first show Vamps has played in Atlanta with each of their previous tours passing our fair city. Before doors even opened for the show, a line of eager fans wrapped around the block, some hailing from nearby while others came from far and wide, including one couple from South Carolina that was seeing Vamps for the third time this year. When the Loft finally opened up for the night of mayhem to ensue, fans immediately found spots near the stage, claiming their territory for the night. Others made their way to the merch tables to snag their souvenirs. Everyone was there for rock and roll, maybe a little metal and mayhem, with anticipation building by the second for notes to fill the venue.
The anticipation instantly faded as Darke Complex broke the still air with their jams. From the first song, the crowd was head banging and thrashing to the solid metal being pumped out. Darke Complex had a cohesive stage presence that really brought their music to life. Even with a few technical audio errors, the band killed their set. Their drummer really held down the fort with his uncanny pocket drumming while the guitars and bass battled it out over slick guitar licks and bass beats. And a shout out to their vocalist, who exhibited a wide vocal range of talent. Darke Complex overall displayed promise as a new metal band in the music scene.
As the bridge between Darke Complex and VAMPS, Palaye Royale took the stage to change the pace of the evening from metal to rock and roll. To give you a visual of the band, think of crossing The Clash and Sex Pistols but leaning more towards the Johnny Rotten side of things. Before their set, Sebastian Danzig, the band’s guitarist, said the band “sounds like we dress, good old rock and roll”, and upon hearing them perform I can only nod my head in approval. Remington Leith, the band’s vocalist, looked almost at home while on stage cracking jokes with the crowd between killing it with his mad chops. Sebastian and some guest performers took over the guitars and bass to really bring home that classic rock sound people crave. And we can’t forget the drummer Emerson Barrett who kept the night moving with his impeccable beats. The band played through many originals that got the crowd bumping. They have a true classic sound, one that blends the traditional roots of blues rock with the culture of punk rock. When they played a cover of My Chemical Romance’s “Teenagers,” everyone at the Loft joined in. It was a refreshing take on a tune that most rockers have heard. Overall, Palaye Royale is definitely a band going places and not one to miss if touring through your city.
When VAMPS took the stage, all eyes were instantly on Hyde and K.A.Z, the lead vocalist and guitarist respectively. The crowd instantly went wild when K.A.Z struck the first chord of “Underworld” off their new album, turning the Loft into a frenzy of fans that made a cozy venue seem like a roaring stadium show. Hyde took the stage over with his contagious energy while adorning a hood that covered his face. When he removed his hood to reveal his trademark hair styling, the crowd went nuts and kicked the show into full gear. Hyde was in full performance mode, in his element, showing why he is an icon in the world of metal. There were people head banging and moshing like no tomorrow. When “Calling” was played, the entire crowd joined in, creating a feedback loop of energy between the crowd and Hyde. K.A.Z’s guitar solo during the song brought this to a screeching, silent halt as his fingers playfully tickled his guitar to make it scream with pleasure. However, the silence abruptly ended with the audience helping Hyde finish out the band’s most recent single. Following, the band played a mix focusing more on their most recent album drop. However, Vamps played a few of their classics “Bloodsuckers”, “Redrum”, and “World’s End”, which somehow brought even more hype and energy to the already killer show. To round out the night, Vamps finished with “SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL”, keeping their stage presence at rock god tier until the very last note. Vamps overall has a solid stage performance and savage sound that puts them at the helm of modern metal music.
Not a single frown was seen in the crowd after the show, only longing for more music, one more song from Vamps. To see what you missed out on, check out the future tour dates for Vamps at http://concerts.eventful.com/VAMPS.