WAR OF AGES. THE ALPHA TOUR.
Live in Newport, Kentucky
February 9th, 2018
Opening Acts: Earth Groans and Convictions
A review by Anthony Talanca
On February 9th, I attended The Alpha Tour headlined by War of Ages, with support from Convictions and Earth Groans. The tour started on Friday night where I saw them in Newport, Kentucky, and goes until March 10th, with the final date in Erie, Pennsylvania. The bands start in the midwest, then heads south, then head out west to the California area, and then end back in the midwest and east coast area. Basically, this tour is hitting all parts of the United States, so hopefully there is a date near you!
First up on the bill was Earth Groans from North Dakota. It was my second time seeing Earth Groans, with my first being last September with Convictions in Columbus, Ohio. Earth Groans is signed to Solid State Records, the same label that has produced popular bands such as Fit For A King, Silent Planet, and Phinehas. They have been around since 2015, and have an EP “Renovate” that came out last year in 2017. While classified as metalcore, Earth Groans is a super heavy live band that has a lot of hardcore and punk influences.
During the show, it was apparent that not a lot of attendees knew their lyrics, but man was the mosh pit active during their songs. They have a ton of breakdowns and the lead singer, Jeremy, actually sounds even heavier live than he does on the album. During their arguably most popular song, “The Estate,” Jeremy delivered some crushing lows and the crowd was responding well. Mosh pits started to break out and to Jeremy’s asking, a circle pit also formed for their last song. However, the most enjoyable element during Earth Groans performance was that they played a new song that will be released on their new album, which they said was coming out this year. It sounded like Earth Groans will once again be staying with their heavy presence and roots, and I expect this new album to make Earth Groans a known name in this genre.
Next up was Convictions, who are a top five all time favorite bands of mine. It marked my sixth time seeing them, and the fifth different state I have seen them in. They opened up with the first song on their newest album, “The Void Remains,” which took them directly into their next song “House of Lies.” One of the things you notice about Convictions right away is their fantastic stage presence. It does not matter if they are the headliner or if they are one of the bands in support. They bring crazy energy and passion into each of their performances.
At previous shows that I have seen Convictions, it seems like more and more people knew them and their lyrics. This show was awesome, because me and about ten other people in the crowd were at the barrier yelling the lyrics right back to their lead singer, Mike, the entire time. Mike and the band really fed off the crowd energy, and even gave the fans the microphone time after time to yell lyrics out. After “House of Lies”, they broke into “Charlatan,” which is probably their heaviest song.
I had not heard that song the last few times I saw them, so it was awesome to hear Mike’s devastating lyrics during this smashing hit of a song. The band played two more songs in “Doubt//Full” and “Brother’s Blood” before ending with their emotional album ending song, “I Will Become.” During “I Will Become”, you see firsthand live how important Christian faith is to Convictions. For me, this is the song live that is the most consuming, and the band pull it off great. It is the perfect ending song live for them, and the crowd responded excellent.
After they performed, I was able to talk to Mike and snag a picture with him. Their new album is finished and they should be releasing a new single in about a month or two.
Finally, to the headliner, War of Ages. When I entered the venue, I saw an older crowd than what I was used to seeing, and immediately knew they were here to see War of Ages. They have been making music since they formed in 2002, and are still going strong here in 2018. The band still has two original members from when they formed which Leroy Hamp on vocals, and Steve Brown on guitar. Immediately as War of Ages opened with “Cut Throat,” the venue started spinning. The mosh pit opened up and people started to lose their minds moving and singing the lyrics back to Leroy. It was my first time seeing War of Ages, but I could tell right away what a passionate fan base they have. When scanning the crowd, you could see teenagers and guys that looked close to 40 years old taking in War of Ages.
All together, War of Ages played around 10 songs and the crowd and band was into every moment of it. Songs like “Chaos Theory,” “Creator,” and “Collapse” were the three that probably had the most action during the mosh pit. Everybody in the crowd was moving and the band fed off that energy. After they finished, fans mobbed their merch table to talk to them and share their personal stories, signaling how popular and relatable they really are.
With the conclusion of the first night, the Alpha Tour is hitting the east coast now, with states like Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey up next. This is a concert that I highly recommend going to and seeing if it is in your area. The tickets are reasonably priced and you get to see three bands that really connect with their fan bases and are passionate about their music and relationship with God.
Be sure to look out of new music from Earth Groans and Convictions, who both are expected to release new albums this year!
I am very proud to host a review on War Of Ages’ concert in Newport, Kentucky by our Senior Editor and Live Reporter Anthony Talanca. To find out more about Anthony, sneak peek into his music background and bio at:
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