Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Parkway Drive + Emmure & The Word Alive - London Roundhouse 17th November 2012

Before I start let me just state that while the rest of the gig went absolutely fucking horribly as I will explain below, I plan to stay as unbiased and professional as possible when discussing the bands and their performances. Please be aware that I am not attacking anyone in my article below, I am merely relaying my experiences from the other night in an attempt to inform and educate.

And now, to business...

In recent years Parkway Drive have been one of the few bands to keep me interested in metalcore, ever since the horrible change in style that saw bands adding irritating pop-punk style clean choruses and breakdowns every other second whereas before the music was tastefully written and contained actually pleasant vocals. Parkway Drive chose to follow on from As I Lay Dying's template of minimal to no clean vocals and a fast paced breakdown ridden but well structured song style. These 5 Australians had got me interested in metalcore again and I was grateful. After seeing their excellent set at Sonisphere UK last year and hearing their great new album Atlas I thought it would be nice to see them again.
Trekking down to London with a couple of friends who wished to see the band having never done so before, we made our way to Camden, familiar territory for me, and after a quick bite to eat, we arrived at the roundhouse. When we got inside the surprisingly packed venue despite tickets still being on sale at the box office we had no idea what was in store for us.

Cuz we're the bestest :D
Within minutes of us arriving and finding a spot in the venue The Word Alive (5) took to the stage, and I can safely say I was not impressed. This 5-piece from Arizona reminded me of everything I can't stand about metalcore nowadays. Generic, repetitive breakdowns, random synth samples thrown in which sounded ridiculous and horrible cringe-inducing choruses. Unimpressive.

When Emmure (7) take to the stage things start to improve. Now I can't stand Emmure in general, I find them tacky and uninteresting, apart from the hilarious "Drug Dealer Friend". But they manage to get the crowd interested which is better than nothing.

However, around this point I started to notice things going wrong, more people were crowding in where there wasn't really the room, everyone was becoming far more aggressive and jostling for room, making it hard to concentrate on the music let alone enjoy it. I thought nothing of it for the time being.

I must also point out the majority of the fans there that night are people I can only describe as "Core Kids".  Most of the crowd consisted of either very effeminate looking guys covered in shitty pointless tattoos and wearing skinny jeans, plimsoles, vests and snapbacks. Or older guys who were keen to make sure everyone knew how they were "hardcore as fuck". Lots of others were sporting check shirts and slicked back hair in a clear attempt to imitate Winston McCall. All of these people annoy me immensely without even trying but the way some of them behaved is ridiculous, however I'll get to that shortly.

When Parkway Drive (9) took to the stage everything was great. The band played a very good set comprising most of my new favourites along with classics. Winston even dived into the crowd during "Carrion". However, it was around this time that shit started to "go down" as it were. Around the middle of the set fans seemed to have given up moshing and just started fighting each other at some points. All the aggression was becoming a little unnerving, and then my best friend noticed his phone had been pick-pocketed, putting a damper on the evening's festivities. At this point the restless children around me became too much and I started to shove back a few times only to get threats and a couple of swings taken at me. Now I may not be much of a fighter but I took martial arts and played rugby for 8 years each. If there's one thing I know it's that my size is an advantage against mouthy little cunts trying to climb over me and jab me in the ribs. After a while it all became too ridiculous and we left after a quick search for my friend's phone, discovering in the process that several other people had also had their phones relieved of their person. Our trip home to sunny old Suffolk wasn't any easier either thanks to problems with the northern line forcing us to get a replacement bus service which was quite frankly shocking. I have never been more glad to get home in my life.

All I can say is that while I enjoyed Parkway Drive I was appalled by some of the fans, I have now discovered a fan had received a broken arm and was just left on the floor to fend for himself at some point in the night. I can definitely say I'm not in a hurry to go to a gig like that again.

Parkway Drive Setlist:
  1. Sparks
  2. Old Ghosts/New Regrets
  3. Sleepwalker
  4. Karma
  5. Wild Eyes
  6. Boneyards
  7. Romance Is Dead
  8. Deliver Me
  9. Dark Days
  10. Dead Man's Chest
  11. Swing
  12. Idols & Anchors
  13. Blue & The Grey
  14. Home Is For The Heartless
  15. Carrion
Atlas is out now on Epitaph Records


  1. Why would your friend have his phone with him wtf?? i leave all my valuables in my jacket at the coat room.

    the level of moshing was amazing at one point 2 circle pits were going on in different directions

  2. My friend had his phone in his pocket. Myself and my friend in question have been to lots of gigs for bigger/heavier bands than parkway drive and we've never had anything stolen. Therefore neither of us saw the need to put our stuff in the coat room when all we had on us were our phones and wallets, both of which were in our pockets.

    And as for the moshing I enjoy it most of the time, but when I getting people trying to put me on the floor instead of just moving around next to me I don't tend to enjoy it as much. A friend of mine got smacked in the head by someone behind him for no discernible reason, and then when he turned round to say something the kid in question threatened to hit him again. All completely unnecessary. As much as I love gigs with lots of moshing if I'm not in the mood or people are going to be pointlessly agressive then I don't like it. Somebody at one point threatened to floor me merely because I was taller than them and had been blocking their view. I've been plenty of brutal pits and people have always looked after each other and if someone gets hurt it's an accident cos people are just moshing to get adrenaline going, not to fuck each other up on purpose. That's not brutal, it's just fucking stupid...