On a gorgeously cool February evening, Abigail and I set our course to Kansas City’s Beaumont Club in Westport. My bones are still aching cretins. Parkway Drive definitely showed up with their A game for this show. With thundering sounds laid down by Enemies Laid To Rest, The Warriors, The Ghost Inside, and Set Your Goals, they precursed what was to be a spectacular display of spine-shaking sounds from the mighty Parkway Drive.
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Well cretins, we will start our evening out at the one fact that separated this show from any other I have been to: there was no crowd control barrier. No fence between you and the stage. No ex-Spetsnaz giants guarding the band from the onslaught of the crowd. Nothing! I will give you a moment to think over what this means. Just take a minute to picture hundreds of fans pushing and shoving their way to the front of the stage. So what happens when you get there? The answer is very simple: hop up on stage, turn around, and take a flying leap through the air and onto the crowd!
The opening acts were well versed in their poise and prose. I give them all the credit in the world for keeping the show going, but I was beginning to notice an elephant in the room. I will call him anticipation because while it seemed the openers kept the crowd engaged and at bay, I could feel the tension mounting as we all waited song after song for our heroic headliners to hit the stage. Pinball and vodkas were not enough to quell my excitement for what lay ahead. I will say, thanks to Danimal, an old friend of mine and our superior sound tech, the quality of mixing was beyond anything I have ever heard in that venue. Usually, I am more critical about the mixing, but there really isn’t much more to say. Great job Dan.
The lights dropped dead. My heart rate just spiked and Parkway Drive began their set with “Unrest.” My feet began to follow my legs in an uncontrollable and subconscious move directly to the mosh pit, and it was at this moment I realized how perfect of a song “Unrest” is to open with. It was all I felt. I had to move. Lead singer Winston McCall is a fan of the stage dive and he cordially invited those who dare to get up and jump. Ok, I’m on my way. I took my leap during “Boneyards” from their previous release from Epitaph, “Horizons.” Again, the song captured the exact moment that I was in.
This was the first time I have ever done a stage dive. There was no hesitation, no second thought. I laughed a spineless laugh as I was flying through the air and was embraced by a mass of hands to carry me outward. It was utterly exhilarating. I descended down from the heights with my heart racing, and once again, my feet made the same uncontrollable run to the pit. Now we’re talking. “Sleepwalkers” starts to hit and so do I. But something was missing. I’ve done this dance enough to know what happens and I was beginning to become unenthused. So I took to the skies once again. And again. And again.
To sum it all up, Parkway Drive performed like sonic hitmen, accurately and efficiently executing each and every person attending. Cold, calculated, and confident, they hit songs from all three of their releases. I was personally happy with “Idols and Anchors” and “Siren’s Song.” The openers profoundly paved the way for our headliner and broke all inhibition with the lack of crowd control. I took my first successful, and many unsuccessful, stage dives and I am still aching. For while we may be brave, we are not without injury.
Here is Parkway’s set list:
Idols and Anchors
Dead Man’s Chest
Home Is For The Heartless
Romance Is Dead
Set To Destroy