Though Nashville, Tennessee is typically known for its country music scene, Sunday March 15th 2015 brought a much different beast to the forefront of musical attention: The Zombie. No, this isn’t an episode of The Walking Dead gone Broadway, but The Devil Wears Prada marking the 5th anniversary of their fan-favorite Zombie EP with a massive tour.
Rocket Town was abustle with anxious fans, many there to see Prada, but plenty were just as excited for the openers: Secrets, The Word Alive, and Born of Osiris. The former knew their position as opener would be a rocky endeavour but they did a fine job at getting the crowd energized for what was to come. Frontman Aaron Melzer appeared utterly inspired as he blazed through heavier bangers like ‘The Oath’ and ‘Artist Vs. Who?’, rarely pausing for breath. Guitarist/clean vocalist Richard Rogers’ sing-along enducing pop-punk choruses were as soaring and affecting as ever, he even taking off his guitar & becoming much more active for ‘Dance of The Dead’. Drummer Michael Sherman’s energy was infectious, clearly having a blast seeing the massive crowd. Before departing ‘Live Together, Die Alone’ shifted the previously somewhat stagnant crowd into high gear, a sight that caused Aaron to visibly don a massive smile.
The crowd grew noticeably bigger once The Word Alive stormed the stage with ‘Dragon Spell’. Frontman Telle Smith had the most memorable entrance of the night, hood up before revealing his newly bleached hair. Despite his prettyboy appearance Smith issued a demonic maelstrom of high shrieks and burly growls all the while maintaining a friendly approach to the crowd he commanded. Persisting through technical issues guitarists Zack Hanson & Tony Pizutti were the night’s most intriguing instrumentalists along with crowd-pleasing drummer Luke Holland who never fails to pound his kit with the utmost conviction. ‘2012’ and ‘Glass Castle’ were 2 of the night’s most intense moments, each bringing intensity to the forefront and the latter provoking the lone circle pit of the evening. ‘Play The Victim’ & ‘Entirety’ were rousingly inspired sing-alongs and set-closer ‘Life Cycles’ was utterly intimate, Telle jumping into the crowd to send his fans a statement of passion. As always TWA were memorable and left the crowd affected.
Post-TWA, Rocket Town was practically a sweat shop and the crowd only getting more anxious as the minutes passed. Lights dimmed and Born of Osiris crept their way to the stage rolling right into ‘Divergency’. An unfortunate technical difficulty left frontman Ronnie Canizarro without a working mic for a good majority of the song, however he didn’t seem to care too much as he admirably continued his delivery sans mic and with the help of keyboardist Joe Bursa, a nice evidence of chemistry between the two. Luckily the mic found its way to working condition in time for ‘Open Arms To Damnation’, Canizarro issuing a humble apology before commanding his army of 45 minutes to ‘Fucking move!’. Despite the sound set-up not doing the band’s busy soundscape enough justice ‘Illusionist’ and ‘Machine’ were among the highlights of the band’s positively brutal set. The pit reacted accordingly to the stage energy of bassist David LaRocha’s crazed windmilling, Lee McKinney’s eerily galactic shredding & Ronnie’s jumping around. BOO was more of a party than a metal set, and that is a compliment.
With signature insignia lit up to all, The Devil Wears Prada made their way in to raucous approval from the crowd who couldn’t have been happier to hear the opening melodic chords of ‘Assistant To The Regional Manager’. What erupted for the next hour and fifteen minutes were massive pits, crowd unison and loud singing, all brought forth by one of modern music’s most dedicated fanbase. This particular set was especially for the fans, Prada choosing to stick mainly with older songs like ‘Reptar: King of The Ozone’ and ‘Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?’ sprinkled between the frenzied and terrifyingly real ‘Zombie EP’ being played front to back for the first time ever. This was not the only exclusive however – Near the tail end of the set frontman Mike Hranica, in the midst of running frantically around the stage, declared “This is a new one” to widespread approval. The new song, which featured an atmospherically massive chorus sang by guitarist/clean vocalist Jeremy Depoyster and odd tempo changes, was well-received by the fans and pumped them up even more for the heavier ‘Dead Throne’ and ‘Mammoth’. An especially interesting aspect of the set was the inclusion of ‘War’ earlier on which featured Mike playing an acoustic guitar while still delivering his vocals – A neat inclusion. Ever the crowd-pleasers Prada only exited the stage for a minute or so before encoring with fan-favorite ‘Danger: Wildman’ reigniting the room for what one could only call at this point ‘an anthem’. Despite the disinclusion of guitarist Chris Rubey fans asked no questions and gave The Devil Wears Prada their all, a welcoming way for the band to begin their occupying 2015 here in the states.
Be sure to make your way out to the Zombie 5 Tour, with your undead defenses completely present of course.