JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine
What do you get when you stuff 300 humans into a basement with 4 bands and minimal air conditioning?
One of the most exciting shows I’ve had the opportunity to shoot in a LONG time!
The heat in the basement of this club eventually got to the point where I felt like a slightly overcooked hot dog floating ungracefully through the middle of a Tupperware container. But it was so worth it, and I’m so excited to be back shooting amongst rowdy, mosh pit throwing, headbanging scum that crawl out of their day jobs to come support music.
Y’all are my people, and I will forever be grateful for you all creating such memorable experiences.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to cover this show though – not only was I a huge Dayseeker fan already, but this was also the first ever U.S. tour by the supporting bands as well – Caskets, Thornhill, and Holding Absence were all newbies to the U.S. scene, and we hope they got a much deserved welcome from the Phoenix, AZ crowd at the Nile Theatre on a hot Tuesday night, April 5, 2022, in Mesa!
Starting out the night was Caskets, hailing from Leeds, England. I’ve been a fan of these guys for a few years now, so getting to see them perform live was an incredible experience for me. Frontman Matt Flood put on a hell of a show, interacting with fans as they would reach out to grab his hand (the venue had no pit, just a collective shoveling of humans towards the front). But even with the minimal room on stage – and I’m talking like…maybe less space than the inside of an RV – the band put on a great show. High energy, lots of love, and they closed out their set with their new hit “Glass Heart” which, if you haven’t heard it yet – you need to go listen to it right now!
Second up was Thornhill, a modern metal core band that came to us from Melbourne, Australia. Vocalist Jacob Charlton worked his magic over the crowd, making sure to thank the venue for hosting, Dayseeker for bringing them on the tour, and the fans that showed up to show their support. They launched into their set from the first note, and it was a heavy hitting 20 minutes of pure melodic joy (minus some static on the PA system – that was kind of a downer, but the show must go on). Fans responded in kind, being directed from Charlton from one side of the room to another – and he made it look effortless. Mosh pits began, and the show-goers found temporary relief from the drudge of a 9-5 existence, even if momentarily, by bashing their faces into the faces of the other people who were also bashing their faces into other faces.
And it was fuckin great!
Third up was a band that calls Wales its home. Holding Absence delivered a punch to the throat that the sweat-soaked audience devoured. Lead vocalist Lucas Woodland gave resounding thanks to the crowd, with the largest cheers coming from their hit song, “Afterlife.” The audience sang in unison, creating a pseudo echo chamber that filled the small venue with what felt like a choir. With hands raised (and phones, which is a separate gripe in and of itself, but I digress) the audience adorned the Wales natives with adoration as they rounded out their set.
After a brief changeover, it was time for Dayseeker to take the stage – ready to go with a giant pink-lit neon sign staged directly behind the drummer. They played the entirety of their album “Sleeptalk” which was nothing short of incredible. Vocalist Rory Rodriguez, before pounding in another post-melodic hardcore jam, stated, “You know…we’ve been doing this for 9 years now. And we’ve played here at the Nile before, you know, upstairs…but this right here is the best show ever!”
The crowd exploded with thunderous applause and shouting as Dayseeker continued to round out the night with wave after wave of high-intensity bangers. The great thing about the Nile Theatre being as small as it was, is that during the change in lineups, I got to see the bands in the alleyway talking with fans like they had been long-time friends. I certainly hope that the supporting acts (Caskets, Thornhill, and Holding Absence) got a big welcome from the United States, and hopefully they’ll return to play even larger shows.
Until next time…G’day.
Or is it…Cherrio?
Go listen to all these bands.