Seeing fans sitting down at a Wage War (WW) or A Day To Remember (ADTR) performance is atypical, but this show was different. The Ocala, Florida bands joined for a limited tour to perform lighter, reassembled versions of their typically plugged-in heavy music.
Hearing and seeing acoustic performances from both artist’s catalogues was an early Christmas’ present treat for ardent fans. The softer instrumental sound brought a new perspective to the rock, pop-punk, and metal songs; the music was transformed into folky, poppy, western/country, modern active rock tunes—with some brief jam-out twists.
WW vocalists Briton Bond and Cody Quistad joked that if this was this first time anyone was seeing the band, it’s not even remotely close to the band’s primary sound. WW recently released a rearranged acoustic album called The Stripped Sessions that features many of the songs performed, with a somewhat Anberlin feel.
The metalers performed “Johnny Cash,” “Circle The Drain,” "Godspeed," “Gravity” and others for a soothing set that lasted close to an hour.
ADTR calmly positioned themselves on stage with added musicians and instruments, opening with “Mindreader.” The band clearly had a good time on stage, smiling throughout the one-of-a-kind set, performing songs including: “The Downfall Of Us All,” “Only Money,” “Rescue Me,” “Looks Like Hell,” “All I Want.”
Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon and guitarist Neil Westfall made the crowd laugh with various back and forth comical bantering, keeping the toned down serious song ambience more light hearted. At one point, McKinnon looked down, said “What’s up?”, smiled and flashed the peace sign. The precise performance, genuine live chemistry of ADTR, and the draped stage design produced a relaxed evening for the lengthy two-hour plus set.
Instead of feverishly headbanging and shouting lyrics, the glowing fans tranquilly nodded and subtly sung the words. Instead of intense dancing or moshing, fans either sat immersed or stood and swayed. And that was all fine for this successful, exceptional, rearranged tour.
A Day To Remember will tour overseas early 2023.