Saturday nights in the Ybor City District have historically been epic and this past Saturday night was no different as headliner Atreyu with supporting cast Memphis May Fire, Ice Nine Kills and Sleep Signals rolled into town with a stop at the historic Ritz-Ybor. The line formed early as eager fans wrapped around the building waiting for a chance to snag one of the coveted spots along the pit wall.
From the onset, there was a buzz in the air, a sense of nervous energy filled the sold-out venue as the legions of faithful fans waited for the metal circus to unleash that high-octane sound they craved. Sometimes the toughest spot in the lineup is that leadoff position and Sleep Signals crushed it and set the tone for the evening.
The Minneapolis, MN-based rockers Sleep Signals continues to thrive as a band in 2018. The band has toured heavily in support of their latest EP, At the End of the World, which was produced by Grammy-nominated producer, Justin Rimer. Led by vocalist Robert Cosgrove the band delivered an inspiring high-energy 30-minute opening set that is bound to make them new fans wherever they play. Included in the band’s set was a cover of Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”.
The guys from the band could be spotted throughout the evening patrolling the merch area as they chatted with fans and snapping the occasional photo. The band’s current lineup is Robert Cosgrove (vocals), Cody Hess and Sean Fitz (guitars), Alex Nikolas (bass) and Clay Barnum (drums).
Fresh off their success on the final Warped Tour, Ice Nine Kills is out on the road promoting the band’s latest album The Silver Scream released in October via Fearless Records. All of the album’s 13 anthems are based on 13 respective horror classics. The band strategically released the new record in conjunction with the Halloween season. Festivities included a listening party at Michael Myers’ house, the St. Vitus album release performance, and a private party at the Screamhouse.
The boys from Boston, MA’s Ice Nine Kills and their aggressive post-hardcore sound filled with nasty guitar hooks, soaring melodies, and dual vocal attack did not disappoint the crowd. The band is comprised of Spencer Charnas (Vocals, Screams), Justin DeBlieck (Guitar, Screams), Justin Morrow (Bass) and Conor Sullivan (Drums).
Memphis May Fire joined the party on the heels of their most recent release, Broken via Rise Records. The American metalcore band from Dallas, Texas consists of Matty Mullins (vocalist), Kellen McGregor (guitarist), Cory Elder (bass), and Jake Garland (drums). Formed in 2006, they have released six studio albums and two EP’s to date.
The band’s latest release consists of hard-hitting lyrics revolving around anxiety and depression. However, on this night Memphis May Fire did what it does best, which was a fiery, heavy, in your face set that left the crowd wanting more.
On most evenings, the crowd would have had a complete night but not on this night as the headliners, Atreyu made their way to the stage as smoke machines filled the room with giant clouds of smoke. Formed in 1998 and hailing from Orange County, California, the American metalcore band consists of Alex Varkatzas (vocalist), Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel (guitarists), Marc McKnight (bass), and Brandon Saller (drummer/vocalist).
Like the two previous acts of the evening, Atreyu has recently released their latest album In Our Wake through Spinefarm Records, which is the band’s seventh studio album. The band performed a solid mix of both old and new music including a cover of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” with help from the crowd. Varkatzas commanded the stage on this night including multiple trips off the stage to get up close and personal with fans.
The evening was a total success as each band stepped up to deliver an amazing evening of music and I highly recommend that you seek out a stop on this tour and treat yourself to an early Christmas gift!
Review and Photos by Steve Carlos