The flashlight finally signaled the back soundboard operator that Every Time I Die was ready to blast the eardrums of all the on lookers. The band nonchalantly took the stage but immediately a big letter “I” shaped like the one in their logo lit up like an atom bomb flash behind the drum kit. It was so bright that most cell phone cameras couldn’t even capture a photo without a haunting glow in the center of the stage like an ever present ghost overseeing a musical moment in time. The explosion of light blinding the audience was no match for the intensity of the band. I don’t know if anyone on stage even understood how to stand still. It was truly an impressive start with the crowd, band and backlight discharging their energy at the exact same time putting your senses into overload. This detonation of forceful vitality hit your eyes and ears at the same time and was the foreshadowing of a great performance.
Is that Jesus in that ball of light? I think it..oh, nevermind. It's only St. Francis.
All the members of Every Time I Die moved with the force of a tsunami and transferred their energy directly to the crowd below. Their mesmerizing guitar riffs, fast drum beats and passionately produced vocals powered the audience into a centrifuge of circle pitting. Keith, the lead singer, asked the crowd at one point to make the biggest pit possible and it spanned the width of the Nile Theater. The stage diving was as consistent as the steady stream of stupid redneck stories out of Florida and as hypnotic as any YouTube cat video. Towards the end of the set is when the stage divers decided to compete with each by posing during their dive. There was the “relaxed hand on the head” and a fairly perfect “swan dive.” Two small letter size pieces of paper were posted on the back wall of the stage reading, “No Stage Diving.” Apparently the font was too small for the crowd to read, but security allowed it to proceed since everyone was being courteous.
ETID played one hit after another and you get reminded how many incredible tunes this band has written. Keith has cornered the market on intelligently somber and hauntingly downtrodden lyrics and yet they remain unforgettable and inspiring. They mesh with the robust uproar of sound from the band so well that you would have thought they also discovered the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. The slight southern flair of guitar riffs and the now (in)famous cowbell sound, thank you Christopher Walken, give ETID such a unique persona that the music will leave an impression on your soul in the same way a crowbar smacking you in the cranium would leave a mark. Keith also had some witting banter thrown in between some songs showing that he is an all-around entertainer. The band was already drenched with sweat halfway through their set because they were bouncing all over the stage like a group of positively charged ions. There were a few sound issues during the show and I was hoping for a little cleaner sound but I understand that not every show can be perfect. I was still completely impressed with what I had witnessed and glad that I could catch an Every Time I Die headlining show, which are rare. If you have never had Every Time I Die invade your cochlea and implode your skull with a live show, than you have one more thing to add to your list before shuffling off this mortal coil.
This is how the show would look if you had died and were seeing it as a ghost.
Or so I have been told. I swear I'm not crazy officer.