By Julio D. Anta
Photos by John Frank Dieguez
As the humid clouds pull away from Ft. Lauderdale’s skyline, the walls surrounding the Culture Room become a who’s who of the South Florida scene. Everyone from local band members to your average scenester, are fashioned in the latest pair of Nike Dunks, and band tee’s. The event:Emery’s headlining tour in support of their latest album I’m Only A Man featuring Mayday Parade and As Cities Burnalong with opening acts Pierce the Veil and Cry of the Afflicted.
Once the doors finally open, the sold-out crowd slowly pours in and Cry of the Afflicted starts off the night with their generic and overdone brand of melodic hardcore. It’s a shame too: the band’s latest – and experimental – albumCome Now Sleep topped rock journalist’s “2007’s most anticipated album of the year” lists and was greeted to extremely mixed reviews.
Unfortunately, this didn’t make for a good live performance and most of the audience seemed bored. The follow-up act Pierce the Veil turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the night, and the crowd was practically begging for Mayday Parade to hit the stage.
Once they did, the band erupted with a roar of energy. Playing tracks off A Lesson In Romantics,Mayday Paradehad the best crowd participation and response of the night. Crowd surfers, stage dives and everything else the venue forbade abounded once they hit their first note. Looking like a mix between Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain and Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara, the band’s vocalist Derek Sanders provided most of the energy as they breezed through fan favorites like “Black Cat” and “Three Cheers for Five Years.”
Around 10:45 p.m., the moment most had been waiting for arrived. The lights went black and Emeryopened their set with “Rock-N-Rule,” the first track off their latest album I’m Only A Man. As the night grew longer, Emery continued with a set full of their greatest hits. “Playing With Fire,” “The Party Song,” “Studying Politics” and of course “Walls” were all played to the sold-out crowd.
From the moment the band walked on stage to the moment they walked off, it was clear that the band’s years on the road had certainly paid off. Only true veterans of the touring scene can pull off high energy and tumultuous sets while keeping it polished and flawless all at once.
Finally after a long night, music blared from the house speakers, signaling an end. This show further solidified my theory that touring club shows should only allow up to four bands a night. Just a word of advice to bands planning their headlining tours: Once you get to the fifth and sixth band, it all sounds the same. To recap, Emery and Mayday Parade killed it – As Cities Burn, better luck next time.