The Rapids Theatre
Niagara Falls, NY
Tuesday May 14, 2013
Photos: Joseph Suto
Review: Robert Winans
“…Are you sad?…. cause I’m up here thinking I suck, and I’m trying to make sure people get their monies worth.” Singer David Draiman asked a stern crowd member, and that is exactly what everybody got when I saw Device headline at The Rapids Theater with guests Nonpoint and Gemini Syndrome. A great show that offered up a booming performance leaving the crowd blown away.
The mood was one of anticipation when the show started opening with newcomer Gemini Syndrome. They offered up a great performance with a lot of fantastic ethereal riffs bending between harsh coarse growling and melodic crescendos. They have what I view to be the right feel for something that may be on the uptrend of metal-core music finishing powerfully with “Pleasure and Pain” which left the crowd riled up. In a few more years, if these guys keep going the way they are, expect to see a lot more of them.
Next up was concert tour veterans Nonpoint. Vocalist Elias Soriano takes the stage and runs with it telling the crowd, “For those of you who don’t know us… we are Korn” getting a quick laugh and surprisingly connecting with the crowd instantly. From this point forward, Nonpoint does what they do best and get the crowd jumping, turning the crowd from individual spectators into a venerable mosh mob jumping together like they were a living entity. Their performance seemed to peak perfectly with “Bullet With Your Name”, setting the stage for the much anticipated Device.
The stage goes dark, and the crowd is getting bigger, pushing towards the crowded stage area of the Rapids Theater. Music begins to play as Device takes to the stage as Draiman calmly and coolly arrives on stage like a war general addressing his troops. To be honest I came in uncertain how the show would really go, and it was at that moment I was unprepared for how it would play out. Previously, I had reviewed Devices album citing its many successes. It is difficult to say how an album, with so many guest appearances from the rock world would work moving to a live setting. The production was phenomenal on the album, but difficult to say how it would be stripped down to a bare bones theater without the bells and whistles.
Draiman began singing, and from the start it opened with more of the ballad side of what the debut album had to offer. In all seriousness, even at that it seemed as if it was overpowering at first. Almost as if the theater was too small to contain that much power coming out of the dual walls of speakers, but oddly it was just the power of Draimans voice and the onslaught of cymbal crashes coupled with venomous and eerie guitar riffs. For the first half of the show the crowd was offered power and range of sound as if to have us bask in the skill of its diversity leaving the audience initially breathless then subsequently hyped from the emotion. Draiman spoke to the crowd thanking them for making all of what they do possible as well as announcing his soon coming newborn. It was quite a different approach for Draiman having seen him in Disturbed and usually not as personal with the crowd. It made him seem more human for a moment and less the superstar in the right way before continuing his set into the two week going number one hit “Vilify”.
Then, Device took their leave as the stage went dim and the crowd wisely stayed. Whether it was out of expectation for more and simply not wanting to accept that it had ended. As they came back on for an encore it oddly seemed somehow better. Maybe it was the constant building of anticipation that did it, but the second time around they took more the aggressors sophistication getting the crowd moshing and slam dancing finishing powerfully and playing a duet with both Elias Soriano (earlier on) and Aaron Nordstrom from Gemini Syndrome respectively.
Ultimately, Device seemed more engaged then I had even seen Disturbed play with a much bigger production. All three bands worked well together, and even with some veteran stars in the line up, the general feel was a well oiled machine that built to the height of an old school rock concert where it was less the random assortment of bands that happened to tour, It was three integrated pieces working well building to the climax of the show. There was much respect shown, both between the crowd and the bands professing its seemingly perfect fit. If you get a chance to see these guys on tour do yourself a favor and don’t pass up on it.
You Think You Know
Close My Eyes Forever
War of Lies
Out of Line (W/ Elias Soriano of Nonpoint)
Through It All
A Part of Me (w/ Aaron Nordstrom from Gemini Syndrome)
Related: Check out Device CD Review Click Here
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