It was finally here and the wait was over. The “Viva the Underdogs Tour” 2020 and 2021 of the exceptional Australian artists, which was postponed due to Corona, was finally allowed to take place as the “Darker Still Europe Tour 2022” and on September 14th Parkway Drive made a stop in the Festhalle in Frankfurt. Due to all the cancellations, a lot had changed in the support bands as well. Stick to your Guns and Hatebreed were originally planned, but they were completely swapped out and replaced by the Americans Lorna Shore and the British While She Sleeps.
Lorna Shore started as planned at 6:30 p.m. But before that could happen, the patience of the visitors was put to the test. Admission was originally supposed to start at 5:00 p.m., but it was delayed until 6:15 p.m., as apparently there were still guests on the premises from the trade fair that was taking place at the same time. Unfortunately, there was no information about the delay from the organizer or security either. Pretty pissed off and partly completely soaked from the downpour that had started again in the meantime, everyone tried to make it to the festival hall within the remaining 15 minutes, to buy beer, to leave their wet things in the cloakroom or to secure a good place. Not everyone succeeded and caused enough resentment, although admission actually went quite smooth.
Then finally, Lorna Shore, with exceptional singer Will Ramos, started their show on time. With lots and lots of fog and dark light, the band entered the stage, which had an outsourced bridge in the middle, to start with a cracker as the first song. To the Hellfire, one of their most well-known songs, blew the minds of listeners. This is where Will‘s unbelievable talent was shown, who manages to create such unbelievable breakdowns on his own vocally that you really wonder how such an unbelievable voice can come from such an inconspicuous and delicate person. When he then called in a Wall of Death, it was no surprise that he got it. Unfortunately limited in size by the wave-breakers, it still was quite impressive for the first band. Even though Will emphasized that he wasn’t feeling well that day, he definitely didn’t show it. However, I wouldn’t have put them as an opener, because the mood would have been a little better if While She Sleeps had really got the crowd going. Nevertheless, Lorna Shore delivered completely and convinced the audience.
With a very dark show and little light, the guys presented a few more songs like Sun//Eater and Cursed To Die. Unfortunately, the set was pretty short and after the five songs, the band left the stage to loud applause.
To the Hellfire
Of the Abyss
Cursed to Die
Into the Earth
While She Sleeps
Next up, While She Sleeps entered the stage of the Frankfurt Festhalle. The hardcore quintet from Sheffield in Great Britain obviously made it their mission to make everyone present sweat a lot. It started with the title track of their last record, Sleeps Society and immediately the first small pits formed in the auditorium. Frontman Loz just whirled across the stage and the bridge that jutted out into the crowd.
Already with the second song, the band managed to get the audience to mosh, to sing and to start one or the other Wall Of Death, which is a proud achievement for an opening act. The setlist consisted of several new and a few older songs. They played the song Anti-Social very melodically and with a lot of energy. As with Lorna Shore before, the stage lights were very dim and foggy. This made it very difficult to see the back band members from the auditorium, but that didn’t spoil the very good atmosphere: the audience sang along at the top of their lungs during the song You Are We.
After a full hour’s program, the English left the stage to great applause and gave the audience a little breather. After this sweaty show, everyone involved could get drinks to wait together for the main act of the evening.
You Are All You Need
The Guilt Party
I’ve Seen It All
Eye To Eye
You Are We
During the short changeover break, the entire stage was covered in thick smoke with smoke machines. For a mysterious and atmospheric intro, some figures dressed in black cowls first entered the stage. They held great torches in their hands and had their hoods pulled low over their faces. Shortly thereafter, the guys from Parkway Drive appeared and got off to a brilliant start with their latest song Gitch. The song was accompanied by powerful volleys of pyro, which were fired rhythmically and brought the air around them to a boil. With a permanent grin on his face, singer and frontman Winston McCall thanked the other bands of the evening and the numerous spectators.
With their choice of songs, Parkway Drive hardly gave their fans a chance to take a deep breath in 90 minutes: Right at the beginning of the set there were the fan favorites Prey and Carrion. So one hit followed the next – then came Vice Grip and people jumped up and down to the beat. In addition to Glitch, the quintet also brought along Ground Zero, The Geatest Fear and the title track Darker Still from the brand new album. The band was not only convincing musically. Above all, Winston McCall put on a show that which is up to all the dodges.
The absolute highlight of the evening was the performance of Shadow Boxing. What was special about it? That the band was accompanied by a string quartet and Casper, who originally sang along with the song, suddenly appeared on stage to demolish it. The audience absolutely loved it.
During the following song Bottom Feeder several Pyros went up in the air. The whole thing was even topped during the following song Crushed, as the entire edge of the stage including the bridge literally burned. This looked really spectacular.
Of course, the guys splashed out and played the last song, Wild Eyes from the 2012 album Atlas, to loud calls for encores. It really was a hardcore evening of an extra class. Gladly again, Parkway Drive!
The Greatest Fear