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2023 got off to a bang with a full. Night ahead of magic from super group, The Sound Of Animals Fighting accompanied by the kings in Hail The Sun. Luckily we got the opportunity to be introduced to Concrete Castles and Record Setter in the same night. The lineup was stacked, and the room was packed. It was a cold one in Dallas that night, but thingS heated up quite a bit once the show got started. Let’s jump into it. 

Getting things going were the dudes in Record Setter. Jumping straight into the first song I was sort of blown away. They are like your favorite underground early 2000s emo band that just needed that platform to be seen and heard. Great stage presence and overall, the music was banging. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the bassist run around all over stage. Dude was on one. I really dug every song which is always an up in the air judgement with openers. Great performance.

Following them were Pennsylvania based trio Concrete Castles. Led by frontwoman Audra Miller, this was a new one for me. As I’ve stated before, openers are always so anticipating because sometimes you really find those diamonds in the rough. Concrete Castles is one of those. Very much on that Paramore-esque type sound, I found myself not even taking photos and just watching them give a fantastic performance. They had some electronic infused songs which was cool to hear because of how well female vocals and EDM go together. 10/10 would see again.

Next up was Hail The Sun and boy was I looking forward to seeing Donovan tear it up again. Last time I saw him was Unsilent Night with Scary Kids Scaring Kids when he was fronting with them. He puts on such a great live show and by the pictures I got, very JUMPY on stage which is always exciting to experience and capture. They are such a great mix of post-hardcore and prog metal. His vocals do such a great job of leading a song along to keep it exciting. They went on to play some of my favorites by them – “Relax / Divide” and “Human Target Practice” to name a few. Their 40 minute set was banger after banger. One minute you are vibing and the next you’re making sure your ear plugs are staying in. Can’t wait to see them again.

Finally, we had the pleasure of seeing The Sound Of Animals Fighting hit the stage – super group extraordinaire led by none other than Anthony Green of Circa Survive, Saosin, and L.S. Dunes. This was an exciting one as it was the first time I got to see him live. Lights dim and members start to flood out. It’s kind of crazy but there are about 8 members in the band and each play a role in the set. It started out very ethereal with Matthew Kelly, one of their other vocalist, singing a very soft intro before Anthony came out to wreck some havoc.

Carrying a soft white light bulb that was illuminating his face, Anthony took us on a journey into how talented he really is. He has to be one of the most diverse front men I’ve ever witnessed. Each song took a turn from fast prog metal to slowed ethereal vibes. Spoken word was even being read during songs to add an extra element to the performance. It was a non-stop heavy pounding experience. Stoked I was able to catch one of the many rare occasions of them touring.

James Coffman

Photojournalist - Dallas

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