I saw Parkway Drive and a bunch of other bands a couple of months ago. The other bands were so memorable, I can't remember their names*. But really, it doesn't matter, because Parkway Drive was freaking awesome. I hadn't really listened to them much prior to going to the concert, although one of the friends I went with swears by them. After the show, I'm a big fan; they're heavy, driving, and angry as hell. It's the kind of music that'll make you want to shotgun a beer and then punch a dude in the face. The lead singer is doing all of the hard work, where as the rest of the band could have been replaced by studio musicians and I don't think anybody would notice. They're Australian, so their sense of metal showmanship isn't quite aligned with the North American aesthetic. Case in point: towards the end of their show, they shot bright multi-colored confetti into the crowd at certain points during the chorus, and they don't wear all black. This isn't to say they aren't a "true" or "legitimate" heavy metal band, but rather to point out that certain particulars of the metal "scene" aren't universal. Highlights include "Carrion
" and "Deadweight
More recently, I saw HELLYEAH and In Flames and some warm-up band that wanted so hard to be Tool is was embarrassing for everyone involved. For those that don't know, HELLYEAH is Chad Gray (the lead singer from Mudvayne) and the musicians from Nothingface. They have a "nu metal cowboys" motif, and it doesn't really work on any level. Plus, Chad Gray's vocals are very distinctive, and the entire show I couldn't help but think about how much more I'd rather be at a Mudvayne concert. Enjoyable live, but nothing I'll listen to in my spare time.
In Flames is a strange band. They've been around for almost two decades, and the constant turn-over of the line-up has produced three distinct "eras" of their music: the early adventure metal (all vikings and dragons and such), the middle metalcore (incorporating keyboards and more introspective), and the later hard rock (mostly bland and same-ish). I'm a fan of the metal core stuff, although I appreciate the early stuff as well. Unfortunately, as they just released a new album which they're on tour promoting, they played most of the newer bland rock. But they played enough of the old/middle era stuff to satisfy the fans of those albums, and the hangover I had the next day must indicate that I had a good time. Some of my favorite songs include "Cloud Connected
", "Reflect the Storm
", and "The Quiet Place
". One of my favorite metalcore bands, and a very large and obvious influence on later bands in the genre. * This isn't strictly true: one of them was We Came As Romans, who I only remember because they seem to open for every show they can possibly book. However, they're not worth mentioning, except in this explanatory footnote.