Escape the Fate and SLAVES turned a small venue downtown into a haven for metalheads and alternative rockers. In an unexpected turn of events, the Beautiful Human Tour, originally set to be in Laredo, found its way to Austin.
Kyle Lucas opened the show at 6:15 to an audience of 47 scattered around the bar. The 32-year-old rapper took the Dirty Dog Bar by storm, remixing songs by well-known underground bands like Sleeping with Sirens and presenting his own originals, managing to get the crowd to bounce and sing along with him.
Drowning in red light, Set to Stun were let loose to wreak havoc. Living up to their name, they left their audience shocked and in awe as they climbed polls and rolled on the ground. Fans even joined them onstage, taking the mic and screaming the words. By far the most insane band of the night, they left everything on the stage and didn’t look back.
In comparison to the group before them, Picturesque was a breath of fresh air. During the 7-song set, vocalist Kyle Hollis showed off his impressive range, belting notes that not many male singers in the post-hardcore scene can deliver. Playing tunes from their only full-length album Back to Beautiful, a couple newer singles, and an unreleased track, this little band from Kentucky left the crowd wanting just a little bit more.
Famous Last Words welcomed everyone to limbo starting their portion with “Council of the Dead,” from their second LP. Guitarist turned bassist Tyler Myklebust tore up the fretboard and slapped the bass as if he’d been doing it his entire life, making up for the fact that lead strings had to be put on a backing track after losing a bandmate. Tracks were taken from all three of their concept albums, allowing fans to shout and scream whatever they knew best.
Escape the Fate began their portion in the spotlight with “Beautifully Tragic” from their newest album, I Am Human. Slamming drums and amazing riffs had the audience jumping throughout the set. There’s a reason that, lead guitarist, Kevin Gruft’s nickname is Thrasher. That man f*****g shreds. Throwing down during “You’re Gonna Die Alone,” Gruft’s fingers moved across the board with the ease of someone who had been doing it a hundred years. Former Blessthefall singer, Craig Mabbitt, delivered haunting melodies as well as monster-like screams. He switched with ease, causing a wall of death, then making the whole venue stop to listen as he serenaded the crowd with a cover of Linkin Parks’ “One More Light.” The alternative metal legends put on an unforgettable performance, proving that music was the most important thing that night, not the beauty and glam of what some think a concert should have.
With no crew, the musicians had to help each other move instruments and equipment between sets. Band dad Evan Foley, guitarist for Famous Last Words, kept a watchful eye on the co-headliners, making sure that mics were adjusted as needed and scurrying out to unhook a stuck mic cord, only to go back to hiding behind a speaker. This man was on a mission to make sure the biggest bands of the night looked as good as possible.
After leaving first Dance Gavin Dance then Emarosa, lead vocalist Jonny Craig finally found his place among SLAVES. With a smile on his face, he shook hands with fans throughout the set, happy to see that there was a decent turn out for the last-minute show. Fans hands pumped the air and screamed the lyrics, feeling the music in their bodies as they danced the night away. The 4-year-old band ended the night on a soft note with “The Pact,” from Beautiful Death, the audience swaying calmly to Craig’s words: “Let's make a pact right here, right now. You keep your hopes up that I can change. Well I stay honest, you do the same.”
There were no flashy lights, the lead mics went out a couple of times, there were no fancy pyrotechnics, but that didn’t take away from the emotion that was presented onstage. Each performer graciously thanked the crowd for coming out in the middle of the week to a show that was only announced 24 hours prior. It was a nice reminder that people can make the best out of an unplanned situation because we are all wonderfully, beautifully human.
Be sure to check out our interview with Famous Last Words on our YouTube Channel!
Famous Last Words Photos by: Alyssa Quiles