Happy New Year, rock fans! A new year means new tours and that means lots of new rock show coverage for you all to check out! We were lucky enough to cover the first night of the Juggernaut Tour this past Saturday, featuring headliners Periphery along with supporting acts, Nothing More, WOVENWAR, and Thank You Scientist at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC.
The cold weather didn’t stop fans from lining up outside the venue hours before doors opened--that front row spot is pretty important. The doors to the venue opened at 6:00 pm to finally bring shelter from the cold to fans and to allow them to grab their spots for the night. A quick 30 minutes later, first opener, Thank You Scientist, took the stage. With all the background equipment along with their own, the 7-piece from New Jersey had little space to work with, but that definitely didn’t stop them. Playing songs from their record Maps of Non-Existent Place the band kicked off the tour with a unique sound, incorporating a violin, trumpet, and saxophone in addition to the typical guitarist, bassist, drummer, and vocalist line up. They danced and jammed along to songs including “Feed The Horses” and “My Famed Disappearing Act”. Vocalist Salvatore Marrano not only showed off a couple of his dance moves on stage but also integrated a hand puppet into the show. By the end of their set, fans were cheering and asking for more; it definitely a great way to start the night.
After the hustle and bustle of switching out band equipment, WOVENWAR made their way onto the stage. Featuring members of As I Lay Dying and Oh, Sleeper, the band was met with cheers and excitement from the crowd. It didn’t take long for the band to become totally comfortable on stage, feeding off the audience’s energy. The band played six songs off their self-titled debut album including “All Rise” and “Prophets”. Vocalist/guitarist Shane Blay had a huge grin on his face throughout their entire set showing that the band really has just as much fun at these shows as the fans do.
Following WOVENWAR’s killer set, the 4-piece from San Antonio, TX known as Nothing More take the stage. This was my second time seeing this band and they are honestly one of, if not the, best live performances I’ve ever seen. The amount of energy this band brings to the stage is indescribable (but I will do my best). The band walks out one by one, getting the audience revved up that much more as each member takes their place on stage. In addition to the drum kit in the back manned by Paul O’Brien, there is another drum that takes part in their live show and this one lives front and center and is played by vocalist Jonny Hawkins. Starting out with their intro of strong riffs and aggressive percussion, Nothing More open their set with “Christ Copyright”, a song you really can’t help but headbang to. The entire band puts their all into their live show and it is not something that goes unnoticed. The whole time, Hawkins is either running around on stage or climbing onto his drum while also doing an amazing job on vocals. Not only does the high energy bring an entertaining aspect to their live show, but the band also incorporates a bass solo, where the bass is placed on a rack of sorts on top of the front drum, followed by bassist Daniel Oliver, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, and Hawkins all playing it at the same time. Not only do they do the bass solo, but they also incorporate a drum solo/performance in the middle of “Salem” where literally each band member has their own drum and they are playing them together, creating a thunderous blast of music hitting you square in the chest. By the time the set was done and the band had played through songs including “Mr. MTV”, “Jenny”, “The Matthew Effect”, and “This Is The Time (Ballast)”, every single audience member was hooked and had the look of awe on their face. If you have not yet seen this band live, you need to make sure you put them on your list of bands to see. Their albums do not do their live performance justice, nor do live videos. Their energy is really something that every rock fan should experience for themselves!
Before long, it was time for the main event, the headliners, Periphery, to finally take the stage. This tour is meant to promote their new album, Juggernaut, set to be released on January 27th. The band hadn’t even taken yet and the crowd was already jumping around in anticipation. As their predecessors, the band members walked out on stage one by one, with the cheers from the crowd getting louder and louder with each addition. After taking their place, the American progressive metal band from Washington, D.C. opened with “Icarus Lives!” and brought on the loudest rock of the night. Fans were headbanging and singing along, connecting with the band in their own person way. Periphery fed off the energy, interacting with the audience throughout the show. Vocalist Spencer Sotelo jumped off the stage and onto the railing to rock out with the fans and give them an experience that they wouldn’t forget. The bright light show on the stage added to the show aspect and provided a backdrop that matched the aggressiveness of each song. The set list included “Make Total Destroy”, “Psychosphere”, and “Scarlet”. An encore of “Ragnarok” and “Masamune” closed out the night and the first show of the Juggernaut Tour.
If you are fans of any of these bands, you definitely need to make it a point to see this tour. The first night set the tone for the rest of the tour and it certainly did not disappoint!