Nearing the end of an era, about a month away from its closing, fans flocked to the Door Club (2513 Deep Ellum) for one of its final shows. For the second week in a row I’ve had the pleasure of covering Texas bands returning home. Last night, Crown The Empire, made their triumphant return. You could’ve sworn they started demolition on the building early because CTE blew the fucking roof off the building. With the energy slowly building up with sets from the supporting bands SHVPES, ERRA, and co-headliners We Came As Romans, Crown the Empire definitely stole the show with such an impressive set, that I dare say, it’s the only one that really mattered here in Dallas. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much energy and passion pour out of a crowd that seemed rather lifeless until the closing band performed.
With that being said, the first band to start off the night was the English hard rock band, SHVPES. Vocalist, Griffin Dickinson, (who is the son of legendary vocalist for Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson) wooed the crowd with his upbeat energy and rapping. This rather short set, was pretty enjoyable to watch even though I’m not a huge fan of their style of music. Although not everyone was familiar with their band, Dickinson did a great job of getting the crowd into the music and had them waving, clapping and sticking their middle fingers up high.
The next to the stage was the progressive metalcore band ERRA. For me, metalcore is a hit or miss and with ERRA, it’s definitely a hit. Lead vocalist, JT Cavey has some of the best screaming I have ever heard. Whether it be recorded or live, his vocals are insanely on point. This five-piece band is jam packed full of motion on stage; they are very fun to watch. They played a good mix of songs off of their 2016 album Drift (such as fan favorites: “Hourglass” and “Skyline”) and their newly released album Neon. Their set peaking with the song “Monolith,” and coming to an mosh-heavy ending with “Breach.”
Sticking with the theme of last week, We Came As Romans is also a band I kind of lost interest in after my middle school days, only really listening to their album To Plant A Seed released in 2009. To my surprise, they played two songs off of that album (The title track and “Broken Statues”) giving me that middle school emo phase nostalgia. The rest of their set was very heavily weighted towards playing newer songs off of their 2017 album “Cold Like War.” With a rather obnoxious waiting time for this set and an equally annoying fan base, it made it hard for me to enjoy this set. Even though I didn’t enjoy it, all the other fans surrounding me did. I did appreciate the guys on stage though, they played with a lot of passion, especially following the loss of band mate Kyle Pavone in 2018. They were full of love for Kyle and their fans and were definitely making both of them proud by performing as well as they did.
As the stage went dark, chants filled the air— “C-T-E, C-T-E, C-T-E.” The Dallas crowd made sure that Crown the Empire knew that they were warmly welcomed back to their hometown. They got right down to business playing older hits “The Fallout” and “Memories of a Broken Heart,” after their opening theatrics. Hearing these songs got the crowd fired up as CTE continued to play newer singles “20/20” and “what am i.” The crowd seemed to lose their minds at every single song as a plethora of crowd surfers and stage divers made their way to the stage. Frontman Andy Leo Valesquez is such an incredible performer, although he was sporting a broken finger, it only enhanced his aggressive pointing and finger guns. Valesquez engaged with the crowd after almost every single song and made their set one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever seen. Once again, another tiny fan riding on her fathers shoulders made it to the front of the stage, close enough to give Andy a exploding fist bump; Valesquez stating, “this is a metal show, you’re not supposed to make me cry,” after his encounter with the adorable little fan. They played through a few older songs off of Limitless and ended things with their top hit “Machines.” Their set was so good, I had a hard time even remembering the bands that preceded them. Everyone in attendance was extremely proud to be from Dallas as they watched Crown the Empire play the Door Club for the final time in history.
– Lauren Frederick
– click to enlarge photos –