Every Time I Die is a hardcore metal/punk band from Buffalo, NY. Irving Plaza is a venue in New York City with a capacity of 1200. On their latest headlining tour, these two forces collided, with ETID packing fans from all over the tri-state area, selling out the medium-sized venue out and packing it to the brim. Selling out a New York City destination of this size is no easy task, and I was excited to see what kind of attack the band could bring. In so many words… I was blown away.
Even though they were headlining this night, as I waited at the front of the stage for the show to start, I saw that the band themselves were the ones to set up and sound check their equipment. Calm and collected they were, joking with one another and laughing while warming up. The crowd at this time payed little attention to them, having just been slammed by waves of brutality from openers The Acacia Strain, Vanna, Hundredth and No Bragging Rights, and were too busy taking the brief chance they had to catch their breath. After a bit of a wardrobe change, the lights dimmed and a fully energized Every Time I Die took the stage.
For most of the night, a black drape hung over a large rectangular object towards the back of the stage. With little word or warning, front man Keith Buckley stormed in to their first song “Floater“. The drape over the object was pulled away, revealing a large “I“, crafted with numerous light bulbs, and shaped in the same design as the “I” in the “Every Time I Die” logo.
If there was one word to clearly explain the first time seeing Every Time I Die live, it would be “unpredictable“. During the second song, “Wanderlust,” Keith jumped off the stage, over the barrier, crowd surfing nearly to the the moshpit and back with out missing a note. Guitarist and brother, Jordan Buckley, quickly followed suite, jumping in to the crowd for a quick surf himself, effortlessly.
Next song, “Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow,” brought the first bit of front lighting on to the band, whom had been surrounded by strobe lights screaming from the large, “I” up until then. As the band struck in to their next song, “Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space,” Keith humbly requested the crowd sing along if they know the words, including such lyrics as, “I want to be dead with my friends! I want to be dead with my friends! Wide-eyed, brilliant, dynamic rest!”
After playing hardcore tunes, “Holy Book of Dilemma” and “A Wild, Shameless Plain,” the band took their first break of the night. Keith Buckley pointed out, “I’m very excited to say that I just saw my first shirtless guy come over the barricade. I want to see more of it.“.
As the band retuned their guitars and took a few sips of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Keith took the time to thank everyone, “We don’t often headline tours, especially not in venues this awesome, and for so many incredible people.“. He also invited everyone to join the band after the show to a local club to celebrate drummer Ryan Leger’s birthday, which seemed to earn quite a positive reaction from the many female fans in the crowd.
Before the song, “(I Suck) Blood“, Keith made a bold statement to those in the moshpit; “I want to see a huge empty circle in the middle of the floor, and when this song starts, I just want to see people running in a circle and slamming in to one another. And more bodies on top of bodies!“. The crazed fans in the moshpit happily obliged.
During the middle of the set, the band broke into a very delightful Pantera medley, led by bassist Stephen Micchiche. They brought a bit of a punk twist to pieces of heavy classics such as, “Domination,” “This Love,” and “I’m Broken“.
With the intense amount of jumping and bouncing that Keith, Jordan, Andy and Stephen do throughout a performence, if you were to see them from a distance, you would swear that they must have trampolines on their stage. During the song, “Kill the Music“, I had to actually move and get a better view just to make sure they didn’t actually fill the stage with trampolines or equipped themselves with moon boots.
Prior to playing the hit song, “The New Black“, Keith made what was easily one of my favorite jokes of the night, “You’ve probably heard this one, it just got the Glee treatment. Look for it to be on next season!“. Hell, maybe he wasn’t joking and the producers of Glee have lost their minds and are going to start covering good music! I know with the amount of singing along the crowd did, it could be quite the hit with the kids.
Proud of what they accomplished, Every Time I Die took a breather towards the end of the show to thank everyone for coming out, even late on a week night. Keith tried to get the crowd in to a chant of, “Let’s go Buffalo!“, but to my ears, all I heard was, “Let’s go Rangers!“. This is New York City, and they are pretty devoted to their home teams. The band didn’t mind however, and just cheering for anything worked for them.
During the last song of the night, “Indian Giver,” the band slowed things down to a final conclusion. With one final leap in to the crowd, Keith Buckley jumped from a platform roughly 5 feet above the crowd, floating over them back to the stage. After the band bowed, they exited to a delightful playing of none other than the Price Is Right theme.
This was my first time seeing Every Time I Die live in person, and I did not regret a second of it. With the power and ferocity they brought to the stage when I saw them this night, it’s in my opinion that given a bit more widespread coverage, Every Time I Die could easily fill venues twice the size of Irving Plaza.