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Periphery @ The Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale

This past Tuesday, April 18th, The Sonic Unrest Tour Part II featuring Periphery, The Contortionist, Norma Jean and Infinity Shred stopped through Fort Lauderdale, and I decided to attend the show. The event was located at The Culture Room (likely the busiest venue in town), and filled the place to capacity. Being a weekday I arrived late, when The Contortionist were almost done with their set, and I was surprised by the amount in attendance, it took me several minutes to get to the back stairs where the photographers are allowed to stand in order to have a full-frontal view of the stage.  

Periphery has been at the epicenter of the progressive metal scene ever since first getting audiences thrashing back in 2005. The band’s face-melting shows are a crash course in the unique metal subgenre known as djent, treating concertgoers to extensive breakdowns of overly melodic clean vocals, complex rhythms, and plenty of seven-string guitars. From the breakneck tempo and unexpected melodies of “Passenger” to the epic sonic onslaught of “Icarus Lives”, Periphery is a heavy-hitting and unforgettable live act that always get pulses racing on tour.

Around 10 mins after my arrival Periphery took the stage in a storm. Every single soul in attendance screamed and raised their fists in the air when the silhouettes of the musicians started to appear within the shadows, and in mere 10 seconds the mellow chords of “A Black Minute” off their album “Juggernaut: Alpha” spread through the airwaves increasing the frenzy of the ecstatic turnout to unproportional levels. The band’s musical proficiency was immediately apparent: they are truly masters of a progressive sound that incorporates their famous backing tracks as well as an array of guitars with different numbers of strings and different tunings; and despite the music complexity and multitude of poly-rhythms, the tunes sounded like if they were played off a CD instead.

Effortlessly wading through songs like “Marigold” and ‘Flatline”, they masterfully catered to the crowd energy, while jumping off platforms, climbing speakers, and messing around with each other. Skillfully raising the intensity up and down and back up again on many occasions throughout the set, their stage presence and meticulous musicianship dominated the night through stunning vocal hooks and impressive chops. The encore, the seven-minute-long masterpiece “Lune”, which embodies every single aspect of their broad musical palette closed the night in the highest tone.

A spot on and memorable show by a band which keeps pushing themselves ahead, it was an evening where the progressive metal reigned and shined.

SETLIST:

  • A Black Minute
  • Stranger Things
  • The Way the News Goes…
  • Marigold
  • Remain Indoors
  • Prayer Position
  • The Bad Thing
  • Flatline
  • Memento (Haunted Shores cover)
  • Psychosphere
  • The Price Is Wrong
  • Masamune

Encore:

  • Lune

Photos and words by Joel Barrios