support Norma Jean + He Is Legend
author PP date 16/04/05 venue Astoria, London, UK

It's not that I hate goths. But I couldn't get over the feeling being sorry about those 1,500 teenagers, all dressed in black with their presumably died black hair with pink shades, and all wearing black eye-liner and more of the similar. They just look so miserable standing there in the line to the sold out Astoria. "We don't conform to what other people wear, we want to be different" and yet as I walked past this 1,500 people crowd, they all seemed to be wearing exactly same style of clothing to one another. The reviewer felt like an outsider together with the 500 other more 'normal' people who had decided to show up to this great lineup tonight. Unfortunately, as I travelled from Denmark back to the UK, I remembered everything except one thing. I remembered the charger, the usb cable and various other equipment for the digital camera. But of course, I forgot the camera itself. Please bear with the quality of the photos as they are taken with a Nokia 6230.

He Is Legend

So anyway, He Is Legend was probably the band I was most excited about tonight. They played a solid set of ear shattering post-hardcore. "I Am Hollywood" was even more brutal live than it is on the album. Schuylar Croom, the vocalist of He Is Legend, delivered one of the best performances in terms of stage show I have seen in a long time. During "I Am Hollywood"'s desperate screams, he was nearly lying on the stage, screaming his lungs out. Generally he just seemed to be all over the stage at the same time. The insane speed and power of their songs was perfectly reflected by the manicness of Schuylar. The big minus that really draws their grade down is the sound quality. The sound kept circulating too often, resulting in painful moments for the crowd, and at times it was difficult to hear the guitarist's backing up vocals at all. Disappointing show due to the sound problems.


Norma Jean

Norma Jean was the next band to get a warm welcome from the crowd. They were also the first band to ask the crowd not to buy the pirated Atreyu merchandise outside of the venue. This was new to me, and along with others I clapped for this honest request to stop piracy. Norma Jean delivered some of the best hardcore i have heard in a long time. Their half an hour set consisted of songs from both "O God The Aftermath" and from their debut album. Forget about melody, by the way. This band is about creating the hardest, heaviest possible hardcore sound. Their goal is not to create melodic songs. But what Norma Jean lacked in melody, they replaced with amazing stage energy. The guitarist literally threw themselves around the stage with their guitars. It was amazing that they were able to play the right chords at the speed they were jumping about on the stage. The crowd of course, was basically one, large circle pit. In fact I don't think I have ever seen Astoria's floor stretch out like this before. The circle pit was at least 30 metres in diameter, and as lethal as it sounds. Surprisingly, nobody died at the show.



Atreyu's setlist order was really strange. They basically played their 4 best songs to start out the show. When I heard "Right Side Of The Bed" as the third song i really began to wonder what they were going to choose as the final song. The vocalist Alex, who previously had joined Norma Jean in their first two songs, did a great job delivering his "thrown up" vocals live. Not much different from the album, to be honest. Atreyu continued pretty much where Norma Jean left the show. They delivered an impressive set of melodic metalcore anthems. And this was also how they differed from Norma Jean - they played with melody, but with less vigour. Their stage show wasn't anything special compared to what Norma Jean did just a few moments before, but it was still awesome. Oh, by the way, thanks Alex for announcing the titles for all of the songs, because else I could never have posted a setlist for the gig.

Now to the more specific's of their 50 minutes of metalcore excellence. "Bleeding Mascara" was a great choice to kick off the show. It is both harsh, melodic and singalongable at the same time and it kicked the crowd going, that was tired after over half an hour of continuous moshing with Norma Jean. "Right Side Of The Bed" was just as good live as it's on the album, and the guitars in "The Remembrance Ballad" gave cold shivers even though the overall temperature must have been near 35 in the mosh pit.

Many of the songs have long double-guitar with bass solos, such as "My Sanity On The Funeral Pyre". At almost all of the guitar solos, the guitarists and the bassist moved into the middle of the stage and stood in a triangle shape, turning their guitars left, right, up, and down at each change of the riff. Now this was cool during the first time. But when they did it every single time they had an instrumental part, it got a little bit tiresome, and frankly said, boring.

Just like the bands before, Atreyu requested the crowd to give the finger to the pirates waiting outside with the fake Atreyu merchandise. It seemed to work as well, because after the gig I saw very, very few people who actually went ahead and bought the fake merchandise. But back to the gig: Atreyu finished off the show with "Lip Gloss And Black", and the crowd exploded with the relative energy to a hydrogen bomb in the 60s as the last lyrics "LIVE, LOVE, BURN, DIE" were shouted out by Alex together with the Norma Jean vocalist who joined Atreyu on stage.

Overall, the gig was great but a little bit short. I also missed some some of my favorite songs from Atreyu, such as "Demonology And Heartache", "Tulips Are Better" and "Ain't Love Grand". But they are definitely a band to go watch at the Warped Tour this year.



  • 1. Bleeding Mascara
  • 2. A Song For The Optimists
  • 3. Right Side Of The Bed
  • 4. This Flesh A Tomb
  • 5. Someone's Standing On My Chest
  • 6. The Remembrance Ballad
  • 7. Deanne The Arsonist
  • 8. My Sanity On The Funeral Pyre
  • 9. The Crimson
  • 10. Lip Gloss And Black

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