LOS ANGELES — For the thousands of eager hardcore fans who gathered under the glittering florescent marquÃ©e, there was no doubt that The Wiltern Theatre at the corner of Wilshire and Western boulevards was the place to be Friday night.
That evening the 2,300-capacity venue played host to A Day to Remember as well as the bands of TourSick, including Go Radio, foreign act Enter Skikari and Silverstein, among others. Throughout the evening the mood in the audience was electric as the hundreds of show goers responded with enthusiasm and passion for the acts on the diverse lineup.
Pop-rock quartet Go Radio kicked off the evening’s festivities with a set comprised entirely of tracks from its new EP, Do Overs and Second Chances. Initially the crowd did not know what to make of singer Jason Lancaster’s stirring vocals and heartfelt lyrics, but it was not long before fans put down their phones and complied with his request to “clap your damn hands.” By the time the set came to a close, the line of concertgoers that had made the trek to see the band perform was winding out the door.
Foreign import Enter Skikari was next to take the stage, rousing immediate chants and cheers from the crowd, which was still buzzing fro the previous act. As the band’s spirited, synth-driven sound blared through The Wiltern’s speakers, lead singer Roughton “Rou” Reynolds leapt aggressively around the stage. Following his lead, two circle pits opened in the crowd, allowing those in attendance to run and thrash about in a frenzy. After entertaining the audience with songs from its latest effort, 2009’s Common Dreads, Enter Skikari stomped off stage to a lively chorus of “One more song!” Much to the crowd’s displeasure, the band did not oblige.
Next on the bill was Silverstein, which, as lead singer Shane Told pointed out, had not passed through Los Angeles in nearly a year. The energy in the room took a swift nosedive during the band’s first few songs, but picked up again when it launched into fan favorite “Smile in your Sleep,” a track off of its second studio album, Discovering the Waterfront. The band attempted to keep the excitement of the crowd at a high by hammering out “My Heroin,” another track from Waterfront, but by that point the sweat-soaked crowd seemed anxious for the Ontario natives to conclude their set and make way for the remaining acts.
August Burns Red then stormed the stage to thunderous applause and deafening screams. Soon enough the Pennsylvania quintet embarked on an odyssey of its hits from 2007’s Messengers LP as well as its most recent effort, Constellations. With each song the energy in the room seemed to increase exponentially, and dozens of water bottles and missing shoes flew overheads the crowd surged and swayed. Illuminated by the strobe lights above, the band members closed the set with their arms spread above their heads in a gesture of thanks while cries of disappointment from the crowd echoed through the room.
Soon the lights in the theater dimmed and a projection screen was lowered over the stage, and the members of A Day To Remember filed onto stage and picked up their instruments. Wasting no time, the band kicked off its set with “The Downfall of Us All,” the first track from its latest release, Homesick. There was no stopping the chaos as fans pushed and clawed at one another to be closer to the stage. True to form, the band plowed its way through the remainder of the set with increasing fervor, playing songs from And Their Name Was Treason and From Those Who Have Heart. When it came time for the final song, “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle,” the crowd’s roar reached a crescendo, and lead singer Jeremy McKinnon leaned over the monitors to sing head-level with the crowd as smoke billowed out from behind him.
Following the show’s end, concertgoers compared cuts and bruises as they filed out of the theater and poured onto the sidewalks of Los Angeles as the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction radiating from the exiting mass could be felt for miles in every direction.