Escape The Fate @ Club Academy
Escape The Fate have been facing adversity ever since they started out back in 2005. That might be why their core fan base is so passionate about them. The ability to overcome adversity and still push forward into new grounds is so vital in modern music, especially considering bands form and split in the blink of an eye-lined eye.
I mention that the ETF crowd are passionate, because I’ve been to a live show and seen it first-hand. They are such a colourful confident cross-section of rock and metal that I don’t want to tar them with labels. They are passion personified, and it was reflected in the band’s sold out Manchester show on Thursday night.
The band hit the stage late due to some technical difficulties so they were chasing lost time from the very start of their set. Speaking of technical, Thrasher Gruft’s intro riff of Just A Memory set off the pit, and the tempo for their show. With the added solid rhythm section of Robert Ortiz and TJ Bell, Escape The Fate delivered a solid mix of instrumentation. Front man Craig Mabbitt delivered extraordinary vocals close to record quality, which showed the progress the band had made over the past seven years. (NB - Seven years not twelve because they didn’t actually play any tracks from their debut album, as Craig was not the singer for that record.)
Playing through their high-octane Club Academy show, they played twelve songs to the sold out crowd, spanning four albums in a little over 45 minutes.
Old classics such as The Flood, 10 Miles Wide, Ashley and Something showed that Escape The Fate were more than capable of playing their metalcore fan favourites. The mix of distorted technical riffs, growling vocals and clean choruses lit the fuse that ignited the pit. From the front row to the sound desk, I repeat; from the front row of Club Academy to the Sound desk was a wild flurry of human activity. This energy was unlike anything I’d ever seen. If I wasn’t carrying my reviewing gear, I’d have fucking loved to be in the middle of that pit. What I can say right now is that I will never review an Escape The Fate live show again (sorry Phil!), because I don’t want to miss out something that raw, that passionate and downright fun.
In between tracks there was a brief pause to make sure the Manchester faithful were enjoying themselves, they were safe, and they were ready for the next instalment of ETF goodness. This goodness came in the form of the title track of their fourth album Ungrateful followed by new material from the record the guys were here to promote (Hate Me). Manchester were lucky to hear Live For Today as it was the live début of that track and it sounded like it fell straight out of a strip club with it’s big stomping verses and catchy chorus with a dive-bomb solo. Go check that tune out right now, I’ll wait…
Other songs from Hate Me included Alive and Remember Every Scar which was a perfect taster for the latest album. I have found that crowds really want to rock the fuck out to tunes they know, and the energy is lost if a band plays too many new songs. After hitting up the latest songs, Escape The Fate returned to the classics we know and love as they slayed the crowd with Gorgeous Nightmare, One For The Money and after one of the shortest walks off stage, returned to finish the night off with This War Is Our (Guillotine II).
I implore you to check out this band live if you ever get the chance. There are only a few bands out there that have so much more to offer than what you hear on their records. By all means Escape The Fate records are fantastic, but in comparison to the live show, the albums lack the visual passion that you’ll witness by being there with them, living the moment.
Words: Tom Blackwell