After a long three year wait, I Prevail have finally made it back across the pond, much to the delight of the sold out crowd tonight.
But first, heading onto the stage with as much charisma and fan fair as you’d expect from a headline act are Finnish nu metal (or ‘violent pop’ as they describe) sextet Blind Channel. The band do a great job of warming up the crowd – middle fingers are raised during ‘Dark Side’ and the venue is full of swaying lights as the slower ‘Bad Idea’ is played mid-set. But it’s ‘Over My Dead Body’ that is the stand out song tonight, with the whole room shouting back the lyrics ‘you can have it if you want it, over my dead body’.
Next up are Trash Boat, who bring just as much energy to the stage. I Prevail’s Eric Vanlerberghe makes a guest appearance in ‘Silence Is Golden’, and the heartfelt cover of Linkin Park’s ‘Giving Up’ has the whole crowd screaming along. During the set, vocalist Tobi Duncan waxes lyrical about important subjects such as sexuality, identity and people being fucking idiots (see: Alpha Omega) Also bringing up the very relevant and prevalent problem of venues forcing their own merch guy onto bands, then taking 20-30% cut of the sales.
During this tour Trash Boat have been hitting back at this practise by selling their merch after shows at other venues like local pubs and clubs (or outside in the street when one such place let them down last minute) Fortunately, Rock City has always been an independently run venue since opening in 1980, so tonight they get to sit comfortably in the knowledge that none of their profits will be ripped from them.
Last but by no means least, I Prevail take to the stage. This has been a long time coming, three years in the making, so the excitement in the room is palpable. They waste no time, kicking straight into ‘There’s Fear in Letting Go’. Crowd surfers float along raised hands as the whole room bounces and sings along to ‘Come And Get It’. The band know how to pace themselves, giving the audience a little down time to recuperate mid set with the powerful ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Feel Something’.
A cheeky little rendition of ‘Chop Suey’ brings the energy back up, and when it’s swiftly followed by ‘FWYTYK’, the room explodes in a cascade of sweaty bodies. Later in the set, vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe joins the throngs at the front, not only screaming the words into the crowd, but also taking the time to greet as many people as possible along the barrier. The band end with an encore of ‘Gasoline’ and ‘Bow Down’, keeping the whole room engaged, energetic and enchanted throughout.
This show might have been a long time coming, but there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that it was well worth the wait.
Words and Photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard