Date of Concert: June 24, 2012
Venue: Murray Hill Theatre, Jacksonville, Fla.
Artists: Demon Hunter, Sleeping Giant, Mychildren Mybride, Close Your Eyes, Hundredth, The Great Commission, Gideon, A Bullet For Pretty Boy, Your Memorial
Scream The Prayer was possibly the most intense and amazing concert I have ever been to. The tour is composed of ten bands and over seven hours of heavy worship music. On this particular date, Emery was not able to make it, so I was only able to see nine of the ten bands.
The day of the concert was a super rainy day because of Hurricane Debbie, but it did not seem to keep people away from the show, as it was almost completely packed. I showed up right around when doors opened at 2:30 in order to do an interview with Gideon. We ended up doing the interview after their set, which was around 5:30, but I hung out with their bassist, Timmy, for a little bit before the show. I walked into Murray Hill during Your Memorial’s first or second song and was immediately barraged by some of the most intense and heavy music I have ever heard. Timmy had told me they were the heaviest band on the tour, which after hearing them I could tell why he had said that. They very much impressed me, which surprised me since I was not too impressed with their last record, Atonement. Their spiritual depth was incredible from what I could tell, and a lot of the stuff they said on stage really impressed me. I definitely left the concert very much anticipating their upcoming album, Redirect.
Next up came A Bullet For Pretty Boy. I had never listened to any of their stuff, except maybe a few thirty-second clips on iTunes, so, going into their set I had high hopes that I would be blown away by their music. I was not. Their instrumentals were pretty good, but the vocals started to get on my nerves after awhile. I prefer deeper vocals when it comes to hardcore music, and he has a higher pitch that just did not suit my taste. Also, compared to the other bands, I felt their set was a little bit more bland. I am still really looking forward to their upcoming record, Symbiosis. I am hoping it makes me like the band a little more than I do right now. Make sure you keep your eyes out for a review of the album.
I had very high hopes and expectations for Gideon’s set after listening to their upcoming album, Milestone, a few times over the weekend. It is very good, but like a lot of albums I wondered how well it would translate to a live set. They did not disappoint one bit. They brought a lot of energy to the place, and the songs were just as good live as they are recorded. One plus, was that Gideon was filming their entire set for a music video of a song off their upcoming album. Kids went crazy during their whole set - stage diving, climbing on stage to sing along, getting on each other’s shoulders, crowd surfing, and of course moshing. It was awesome seeing the band’s passion, as well as the crowd’s passion. They are definitely one of Facedown's premier bands.
After their set I went and interviewed Timmy from Gideon out in their van, since everywhere inside Murray Hill was super loud from the concert, and since it was raining, we could not do it outside either. So, I missed The Great Commission’s entire set, but I heard from some people that it was killer. I walked back into the venue in the middle of Hundredth's set, another band I had never heard anything from before - not even thirty-second iTunes clips. Their set completely blew me away. Everything about the band impressed me, from the vocals, to the instrumentals, to their energy on stage. I was so impressed that I immediately went and bought their last album Let Go. Close Your Eyes followed Hundredth with another really good set. I have never been a huge fan of their music, but I think it was a lot better live.
The three headlining bands came next after Close Your Eyes. Mychildren Mybride blew me away when I saw them on For Today's Fight The Silence Tour (check out our review here), so I was very excited to see them live again. They never seem to disappoint. The band opened with my personal favorite, "On Wings of Integrity Pt. 2," a killer one to begin with. They also played songs like, "Dreamcatchers," "God of Nothing," and "Terra Firma," three more of my favorites. The band is so full of energy and it seems like everyone really gets into their set every time I see them play. Every time I hear them I grow more and more impressed with their live show; they may possibly be my favorite metal band to see in person.
Sleeping Giant is another band that completely blew me away. I have never really liked their music; there was just something about it that I did not like. Sleeping Giant, for me, was one of those bands I had to hear live before I liked them. Out of all the bands that played I was most surprised by them. Tommy Green, the vocalist, talked a lot in-between songs about a bunch of different things - from right out preaching, to telling his personal story. I have never listened to a metal band live and worshiped, but I felt like I was listening to praise and worship music when they played, because it put my heart in a place of worship. The fact that the band prayed on stage as well, really impressed me. Right after their set, I immediately went and bought their album, Kingdom Days in an Evil Age, that came out last year. I love listening to these dudes, and I am beyond pumped to hear more stuff from them in the future. I recommend going to Scream The Prayer just to listen to them.
Demon Hunter closed out the night with the best set by far, which was to be expected. After 45 minutes of soundcheck, which I felt was excessive, the band was readily welcomed to the stage by the crowd. I have an imaginary list in my head of bands I want to see really badly, and Demon Hunter was on that list, so I was beyond excited to finally hear their music in person. They played all my favorites, from the song that originally got me into their music: "Collapsing," to newer ones like, "My Destiny," "God Forsaken," and "Crucifix." They even played a couple I had never heard from some of their earlier stuff. (I have only heard their last three albums.) I guess the only thing that disappointed me about their set was that Ryan Clark's clean vocals were not as good in person, which may have come from not being able to hear it as well as I may have liked.
All in all, Scream The Prayer was an amazing concert. I enjoyed almost every single band and fell in love with a few bands I did not think I would ever like. This is one of those concerts I will be looking at in amazement for a long time; it may possibly be my favorite show I have ever been to. It was a little disappointing that Emery was not able to make it out to the show, but other than it was great. The show was so loud that my ears were still ringing the next morning when I woke up - that is how crazy this show gets. I highly recommend going to see all these bands if they are coming anywhere near you. Take the seven hours and go see these awesome bands play; you will never regret it.