On Friday night, California-based metalcore veterans, As I Lay Dying brought their heavy, melodic guitar riffs, screaming vocals, and high energy to Alumni Hall at the HUB, fresh off of the “Marathon Metalcore” tour which also featured the bands For Today, The Devil Wears Prada, and The Chariot. The show, which was supposed to start at 10 p.m., left fans waiting in a line that stretched past the bookstore for over an hour, while the band performed soundchecks.
However, once the band took to the stage, it was worth the hour-long wait. Vocalist Tim Lambesis apologized to the crowd for the delay, which was completely out of their control. They had several airport delays in Colorado, and made it to State College right before the show was supposed to kick off.
After the apology, the band started right away with “Cauterize,” from their most recent release, Awakened. There was a barricade between the stage and the crowd, and right when the song started, fans rushed towards the front, nearly toppling the barricade, causing many of the SPA members to hold the barrier against the crowd for most of the show. Energy levels in Alumni Hall were high, with some crowd surfers being spotted throughout the night. Surprisingly though, the level of moshing was weak, given the nature of the band.
Thrashing, headbanging, and hair whipping were common occurrences throughout the night. The band’s stage presence was phenomenal, bringing together the crowd at several points throughout the band’s hour-long set.
While the band played, a spectacular light show accompanied their performance. Strobe lights, bright green, blue, and red lights all flashed throughout the venue, much to the fans’ delight.
Fellow Onward State writer Ryan Kristobak was with me at the show, and noted that bassist Josh Gilbert’s clean vocals were spot on. Whenever vocals sound just like the recordings in a live performance, that’s enough to make any fan happy.
— Ryan Kristobak (@Ryan_Kristobak) April 6, 2013
It’s now 2013, and many of us are hitting the age where a lot of the albums we used to listen to back in middle or high school are turning 10. To celebrate this milestone, Lambesis talked about the 10-year anniversary of their second studio album, Frail Words Collapse. From there, “94 Hours” was performed, leaving Alumni Hall with high-octane energy levels. Lambesis and drummer/co-founder Jordan Mancino are the only two original members of As I Lay Dying who performed on stage from the Frail Words Collapse era.
As I Lay Dying finished out the night’s set with “Through Struggle,” off of the band’s third album, Shadows Are Security. In case you missed out on seeing them live last night, check out this video from their 2012 performance in New York of the song.
The band posted a picture to their Instagram account after the show, noting that the Penn State concert (which was much smaller than the venues they’ve played on their last tour) had “the biggest circle pit of the tour!!!”
If you were there and want to relive some of the show, here’s Steve Osbourn’s gallery of pictures from the night.