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Sound Stage

From mellow to metal

2/13/2013

They Will Repent front man Justin Troutner at the Vaudeville Mews on Sunday, Feb. 10.

They Will Repent front man Justin Troutner at the Vaudeville Mews on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Mews played host to a plethora of metal acts on Sunday, Feb. 10, headed up by Colorado’s Asylum and Wisconsin-based Micawber. Opening the event were central Iowa acts Shadow of Indra and They Will Repent, which combined to kick off the show with a study in contrasts.               

Shadow of Indra’s 20-minute opening set was the closest I’ve ever come to dozing off at a metal show. Being the opening act on a show can be difficult in the best of times, as you’re the one responsible for priming a cold crowd. But Shadow of Indra made it more difficult on itself by turning in a listless performance that gave the crowd nothing to react to. Protip: When you find your front man repeatedly telling a crowd to “move around,” it’s a clear indication that your band’s music isn’t doing the job. For the first three songs, the “pit” in front of the stage consisted of one lonely man thrashing his limbs, while the rest of the crowd gave him space. Eventually the front-of-stage crowd started pushing itself around, but it seemed to be more out of polite obligation rather than musical inspiration.                

Meanwhile, They Will Repent had little trouble getting its crowd involved. While it’s been a band for about a year less than the act that preceded, They Will Repent has a more complete sound, with an engaging stage presence and a better feel for showmanship and presentation. Front man Justin Troutner had some beastly lyrics, and watching drummer Brad West do his jangling, syncopated work was a highlight of the show. As an added bonus, They Will Repent finished up its set by allowing everyone to scratch “hear a metalcore Rick Astley cover” off their bucket lists. All in a good night’s work. CV

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