As I Lay Dying at Upstate Concert Hall, December 6th

When most  bands go out on a big national tour they usually welcome the scheduled night off.  Fortunately for the packed house at Upstate Concert Hall on December 6th, As I Lay Dying and Memphis May Fire didn’t feel like they needed the rest from the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour headlined by Asking Alexandria.  This tour has taken the bands to Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and between the Montreal and Philadelphia shows… Clifton Park!

As I Lay Dying’s bassist, Josh Gilbert, should have taken the day off, being hospitalized earlier in the day due to trouble breathing. Despite the discomfort, he sat toward the back of the stage in a chair playing to the fans.  He managed some vocals but was out of breath for most of the show and was supposed to head back to the hospital after the band’s set.  What Josh lacked in energy was more than made up for by frontman, Tim Labesis.  Tim’s powerful vocals pierced the crowd and drove hundreds of young headbangers wild.  Tim looked like he’d be just as comfortable at Gold’s Gym next door to the venue or on the set of Sons of Anarchy.  Long sweat drenched hair, beard, covered in tats and built like a brick shit-house.  There were times where I thought a vein might pop in his arms during a particular gut-wrenching scream. The rest of the band spent some time in the gym, too.  Lead guitarist, Nick Hipa, gave new meaning to the term shredded guitar.  If he hit the strings any harder or faster the vibrations would have set off a small earthquake in the region.  The band played songs from their new album, Awakened, released on September 25th and they also went back to their early years to tap into some mosh pit anthems, like “Forever” and “94 Hours”.

Waves of crowd surfers carried by the sea of young metal heads only to be spilled at the front of the stage.  Often met with a fist bump from Tim and a big nod of approval from the band.  The band fed off the energy from the crowd and likewise the crowd devoured the energy from the band.

Opening bands included three from the Albany area.  They were The Less We Know, The Siege of Masada and The Primrose Path. Tour support band Memphis May Fire will be back at UCH on January 29th opening up for For Today.

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