By Evan Leong
Electric. That would probably be the best word to describe a We Came As Romans live show. Boundless energy, headbanging, cheering, singing and screaming were all a part of a live experience I won’t be forgetting any time soon. When I arrived at Irving Plaza in New York City, the line for the doors stretched all the way around the block. It was about 35 degrees and raining, but fans still chatted excitedly about the chance to see the band perform songs off their latest record, Darkbloom.Read more
As we made our way inside, deathcore band Brand of Sacrifice opened the show. Though I’m a big fan of heavy music, I can’t say I’ve listened to much deathcore. But the band had me headbanging and making the classic “stank face” through the entirety of their set.
Next, metalcore band Erra took the stage. They’re a recent discovery of mine, but I’ve had their song “Gungrave” on loop for the past month. It’s got one of their most catchy, melodic choruses, an absolutely insane breakdown, and one of the coolest riffs I’ve ever heard played on a guitar. Erra was fantastic live and I couldn’t help but sing along to a handful of their songs.
The crowd was deafening when We Came As Romans finally took the stage. They led the way with “Daggers,” one of the heaviest songs from Darkbloom. It’s a loud, frenetic way to open a set. In other words, it’s the perfect way to open a metalcore show. It didn’t stop there; lead vocalist Dave Stephens then hopped atop of the barricade to sing with the crowd, much to their delight.
I initially became a fan of WCAR, as they’re known to fans, after the release of their 2017 record Cold Like War. Watching them play songs from that record made me nostalgic. The energy was unrelenting, especially when the band played fan favorite songs “Lost in the Moment” and “Wasted Age.” The band then dived into some classics from their earlier records, thrilling longtime listeners.
I appreciate headlining artists who genuinely enjoy interacting with fans, and WCAR certainly fits the bill. In a heartfelt speech, Stephens said that after the release of the band’s 2015 self-titled album, the band hit a significant low. They couldn’t agree on what direction to take, and they had a major identity crisis. They didn’t know if they could continue making music. But overwhelming fan support encouraged them to persevere, so they began to write again. The outcome? The critically acclaimed LP Cold Like War, one of my favorite metalcore records to date.
This is the Darkbloom release tour, so the band saved some of their most popular songs from the record for last. “Plagued” was phenomenal, and the band followed up with the cinematic “Darkbloom” and one of their catchiest tracks, “Black Hole.” For the last 3 songs, it felt like everyone in the building was singing along. I definitely was. I spent the train ride home with a post-show hangover, but it was worth it.
For photos from this show, head over to our concert photography Instagram! And for more live music coverage, stay up-to-date with our blog, and make sure to tune in to 88.7 WRSU-FM radio. Until next time!