With a promise of music before the show start time, die-hard fans of the Dallas local scene gathered to the House of Blues to see the widely-loved and successful local band Be//Gotten. This was legitimately the most packed I’ve seen the music hall of the House of Blues thirty minutes after the doors opened. The support from Be//Gotten’s hometown was strong as the people in the crowd were in full participation: screaming, dancing, clapping, chanting, and singing along. This was my first time seeing them live and it surely won’t be my last. They are hands-down one of the most entertaining bands that I’ve seen live. They had insane energy and confidence on stage to match their heavy riffs. In the future, I hope to see Be//Gotten for the long haul on a huge tour like this.
Next up, getting started shortly after 6pm, the masked and anonymous “collective,” Sleep Token, entered a pitch black stage as the crowd yelled, “worship!” The singer of the group showed off his polished vocals with a spotlit solo to open up their set. It’s no wonder that these enigmatic musicians gained such a following in a short period of time. Their music is so good and it’s executed perfectly live. Although they wear all black clothing and masks, you could still see so much personality come alive on stage, they were highly entertaining to watch. This band was quite a bit different from the local opener and even more different than the act to follow: Lil Aaron.
After a short set-up time, Lil Aaron graced the stage with a tallboy in hand. Although I’m personally not a huge fan of his style of music, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained. His vocals sounded on point and he had the crowd hooked. Everyone was jumping around and singing along. Lil Aaron’s set seemed pretty short, but he still seemed to satisfy the crowd as he closed with “DRUGS,” letting the backtrack play for the most part as he stage dove and crowd-surfed for about half of the song, only getting back on stage to sing the chorus and various explicit words.
And drawing up the largest crowd of the night, the entirely instrumental hip-hop influenced progressive rock legends, Polyphia, took the stage. It was such a cool experience seeing these guys absolutely melt-faces for forty-five minutes in their hometown. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people crowd-surf at the House of Blues, let alone for a purely instrumental band. Everyone was having the best night. Crowd-surfers escaped the pit with the biggest smiles on their faces, just beaming with adrenaline. I would probably estimate 30 of them over the duration of three songs, just one after the other. The entire set was filled with energy as the crowd was consistently clapping, chanting and cheering throughout. Polyphia sounded damn near perfect. As their set came to an end, each member took their turn crowd surfing on top of their hometown fans. I hope these talented guys continue having such a successful career.
With the fifth and final style change-up of the night, the band responsible for this very strange, yet cohesive touring package: Issues. The crowd thinned out a tiny bit for the headliners, yet they were just as rowdy and excited. This was a nostalgic band for me as it was for a lot of others, which I gathered when everyone collectively lost their shit when Issues played “Never Lose Your Flame” and “Stingray Affliction.” Despite these throwbacks, along with a couple more, they mostly played tracks from their recently released Beautiful Oblivion album. Their newer tunes still sound uniquely like Issues, just a bit more polished. Overall, they had an awesome light design, killer energy, and stage presence. They were a band I never expected to see live, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
This is definitely a tour worth going to see. There’s a little something for everyone and all of the acts on this tour genuinely love what they’re doing and you can see it on their faces as they perform. It’s very cool to be a part of that.
– Lauren Frederick