The British Invade Kansas City

The British are coming!

Metalcore rockers from across the pond While She Sleeps, Asking Alexandria, and Bullet for My Valentine took the stage at Kansas City’s Midland Theatre on Tuesday Night.

Before the doors opened that evening, thousands of fans lined around the block in anticipation of a night of music, madness, and mayhem.
The Midland was buzzing with fans from near, and far away. Many of these people have been following these bands since their inception. As the saying goes, “the sun never sets on the British Empire.”

First to the stage was While She Sleeps, hailing from Sheffield, England. Lead Singer Lawrence Taylor’s energetic and acrobatic stage presence ignited the crowd from the first note played. Though they were the openers, this band brought it like they were headlining an area show. Guitarists Sean Long, and Mat Welsh delivered the heavy, down-tuned noise we expect. Combined with a thick bass groove from Aaran McKenzie, and fast paced, savage drumming from Adam Savage (see what I did there?), this band held control of the audience all through the set. Not only were these guys’ great performers: after the set, Sean Long was cool enough to hang out with the fans, give out guitar picks, and sell some really cool merch.

Talking to the fans between sets (all of which were amazing, lovely people), I found that many people here were brought from near and far for the next act – Asking Alexandria. New lead singer Denis Stoff wasted no time getting the fans riled up. Having been active for a decade now, Asking Alexandria has evolved their unique style of metalcore into a more grown-up sound. Guitarists Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell melted faces, and when they joined forces, the power unleashed couldn’t be contained. Sam Bettley provided the low end on bass, and drummer James Cassells rattled rib cages with his energetic drumming. The band played hard, fast, and loud for a packed floor of adoring fans. Asking Alexandria brought the 19 year old out in me, and I found myself up close and in the pit. I arrived just in time to witness Denis scream, mid-show, for a circle pit to form. AA did not disappoint in helping me relive my more youthful days (although my feet and thumb were certainly NOT feeling the after effects of the pit). Prior to exiting the stage, the band smashed through one of their latest singles “The Black” From start to finish, Asking Alexandria brought the house.

Pit wounds be damned! On with the show! Up next were our headliners: Bullet for My Valentine, or as the fans call them, Bullet. Formed in 1998 as Jeff Killed John, this Welsh quartet is made up by Matthew Tuck on vocals and guitar, Michael Paget as lead guitar, Jamie Mathias on bass, and Michael Thomas on drums. The set opened up with “Now Way Out” from their newest release “Venom”. By this time in our show, there was hardly a place to stand, as rabid fans filled every nook and cranny to get the best view. Bullet brought a refined, heavy rock sound to the stage and captivated the audience with their stage presence and dark, brooding tone. This show was all killer with absolutely no filler – this was straight to the point heavy f-ing metal. The audience went absolutely mad for this band, and they certainly did not disappoint.

Next time the British invade, don’t call to arms! Instead, get yourself a ticket because this certainly not a show to be missed.

God Save the Queen

While She Sleeps

Asking Alexandria

Bullet for My Valentine

Photos by Josh Chaikin
Words by Dallas Hessel

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