Get ready to rawk. The certifiably face-melting All Stars tour is making a stop at Reverb in Reading on Sunday, August 2, at high noon. With two stages and well over two dozen bands bringing the tunes over an eleven-hour period, you’re (unfortunately) not going to be able to see every single band’s full set. (Unless, you know, you’re an inter-dimensional time traveler, in which case, let us know how the show was… Also, NASA might want to chat.) So since you’ll have to be choosey, we’ll help start your schedule off. Here’s a quick list of must-sees:
First up is one of the few well-known metal/metalcore bands fronted by a female lead vocalist that still exists (alas, Otep!). Courtney LaPlante heads the band, swinging easily from scream to growl to shriek. iwrestledabearonce genre-hops more than a frog on hot asphalt. Through their career, they’ve incorporated elements from virtually every musical genre, ranging from electronica to synthpop. No matter how many genres they’ve pulled from, though, they maintain a sound that is consistently – if nothing else – unequivocally hard. In the past, they were known for practical jokes (as in telling fans they were going to be completely switching genres in order to make fun of metal purists) and giving some pretty out-there names to tracks and albums, including “Karate Nipples.” With the recent release of their newest album, “Hail Mary,” they’ve taken a turn toward the brutal. They seem to be trading in the gimmicks for a more grounded sound and deeper lyrics, and the results speak for themselves.
We never said anything about up-and-comers. This all-female band is just now breaking into the scene; Conquer Divide just dropped their self-titled debut album on July 24. Somewhere between rock and post-hardcore, they sound sort of like what would happen if In This Moment beat the shit out of August Burns Red in a bar fight and went drinking with Halestorm afterwards. Interestingly, they have not one but two vocalists; Kiarely does the clean vocals and Janel does… everything else, really, from growls to screams.
The members of Chicago-based band Oceano have made a name for themselves by being really pissed off about just about everything, which is a big achievement in a genre that often appears to be fueled solely by the collective fury of its participants. No fancy five-word descriptor for these folks; no, they’re death metal. Deathcore, if you wanna be technical ’bout it. Lead vocalist and frontman Adam Warren brings the rage with every track, so if you’re all about that face…-melting, their act is a must-see. Their most recent album, “Ascendants,” dropped in March, and it’s a continuation of a nearly decade-long tradition of metal.
Silent on Fifth Street
Silent on Fifth Street hails from southern Maryland. Following a long line of hardcore and prog metal bands before them, they tend to incorporate heavy bass under some yowling vocals and no small amount of mic distortion. This creates tracks that are foot-stomping and very headbangable.
Let the River Swell
This Johnstown-based band lands solidly in the metalcore camp, and what really sets them apart from the pack is their speed. Some artists like to keep things at a moderate pace – not slow enough to qualify for a black metal dirge, not fast enough for the drummer’s hands to fall off. Evidently the folks of Let the River Swell do not believe in moderation. Rapid-fire drummer Jeff Hunyady easily keeps up with vocalist Devin Kieta’s screams, and the guitar work’s nothing to sneeze at either. This one’s worth a watchful eye.
The All-Stars Tour hits Reverb (1402 N. 9th St., Reading) on Sunday, August 2. 12pm doors. $20 adv./$25 at the door. All ages/21+ to drink. Click here for tickets.