Overwhelmed by the show Friday night with Thousand Below, Make Them Suffer, Dayseeker & Bad Omens at The NorVA! I had a Bad Omens VIP package that included a Q&A with the band, early access to merch, tour lanyard, first access to venue and signed poster. The VIP experience was nicely executed and thoughtfully planned, if you have one you’ll enjoy it, I don’t want to spoil it for you.
I watched the show from the center balcony rail which was perfect as it afforded me a clear view of all the bands and the sound is always best when you aren’t on top of the speakers at the front. Considering the sold out attendance I also didn’t want to deal with the pit, potential crowd surfers (there weren’t any I saw) or the inevitable folks who hold their phones up all night and block your view.
California quartet Thousand Below kicked it off with my favorite song from them at the moment, “Venenosa”. James Deberg’s vocals spark the flame of contagious energy that sets the stage for the inevitable inferno to come over the next four hours. They have a new album dropping on Friday, December 9th, "Hell Finds You Everywhere", check here for the pre-order as the singles released thus far have me insanely excited to see what’s been held back.
Australia’s Make Them Suffer had the mosh pit raging in approval as soon as they took the stage with "Hollowed Heart". It was my first time seeing them and I’d definitely see this pulsing, heavy metalcore act again. They have a new member, Alex Reade, on keys with a glorious voice and their newest single “Doomswitch” is a completely addictive straight punch to the chest. They haven't released a new album in two years, since 2020's "How To Survive A Funeral". I'm hoping with the new single release that one in on the way in 2023.
Dayseeker’s following has grown tremendously in the past two years and it’s well deserved. Their music strikes a perfect balance between the hard riffs and Rory Rodriguez’s powerful, melodic voice. The best part was hearing the crowd sing along to every single track, it was truly beautiful to witness. They have signed CD’s at merch, go pick one up or have a gander at the artistic designs on their T’s and hoodies, lots to choose from. Their setlist consisted of songs from the last two albums, "Sleeptalk" and the recently released "Dark Sun".
This Bad Omens gig was simply the best I have ever seen during their career. It’s evident that every aspect of the performance is carefully curated down to the smallest detail. From the stage design, production, setlist arrangement, lighting and even their clothing, the imagery is perfectly executed to make the fan experience one you will remember. I’ve seen them many times over the past several years and while always great it’s never been at this level, they completely commanded the stage. Most of the setlist is from their recent release, “The Death Of Peace Of Mind” with old favorites like “Glass Houses”, “Mercy” and my personal fave “Dethrone”.
This is a perfect lineup and quite frankly, so well presented I’m going with Tour of 2022. I’ll see it again in Baltimore at Rams Head Live next weekend so my voice has a week to recover. It is a mind blowing spectacle. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket to this sold out tour prepare yourself for one of the best small venue shows of a lifetime.
By: Lisa Wills